View Comments
North s Warriors future in limbo
Marcus North of the Warriors is congratulated by team mates after dismissing NSW's Josh Hazlewood. Pic: Getty Images

If Marcus North has walked off the WACA Ground for the last time as a WA player, he picked a momentous time to do it.

The veteran was in the middle with his captain Adam Voges when the Warriors completed the eight-wicket victory over NSW yesterday that has given them every chance to play - and host - the Sheffield Shield final.

WA are two points clear on top after Victoria's draw with South Australia yesterday.

They round out their season with away matches against Queensland and NSW.

Both batsmen were four not out in the score of 2-10 after NSW's collapse for 126 in the opening hour set WA a minute target.

But eight wickets fell for just five runs across both innings as the Blues lost 6-3 and WA responded with a nervous 2-2.

Cam Bancroft completed a three-ball pair when he was stumped from the second delivery of the reply, while Marcus Harris' preconceived bid to hit spinner Manjot Singh out of the ground ended with a spooned catch to slip.

North, 34, has never played in a shield final, but has been part of WA teams that got within touching distance over the past decade before stumbling in the final moments.

He believes this current team is a tougher combination than any other he has played in.

"There is no doubt this is a more complete, composed and ruthless team," North said.

"We have been here a few times where we went into the final game or two needing one win to guarantee the spot but have slipped up.

"This time it feels like we are moving forward with real confidence and momentum and just waiting for the next opportunity."

North's contribution as a remade opener has been critical to WA's resurgent season.

He now has 832 runs at 92.44, and could bat another six times should the Warriors finish in the top two. But North was unsure whether he would play again at the WACA.

He does not have a contract next year and WA are not guaranteed to host the final, even after moving to the top of the ladder ahead of the Redbacks and NSW.

"All I will be doing for the next two or three weeks is concentrating on the rest of the season and hopefully I have got three games left," he said.

"I am out of contract so there is a chance that this was my last day at the WACA."

North also completed his best bowling figures at home when he exploited a crack at the northern end to claim 3-9 in six overs.

He was on a hat-trick at one point as NSW collapsed from 4-102 overnight, and hoping to set WA a challenging run chase, to their eventual 126. Only three other shield teams have lost six wickets more cheaply.