The West

Warriors weigh up Malcolm
Warriors weigh up Malcolm

WA selectors will hark back to the successful examples of Wayne Andrews and Alan Mullally when they weigh up a shock Sheffield Shield elevation for club opener Alex Malcolm.

As NSW were rocked by the discovery that Test captain Michael Clarke has a broken shoulder and will not be able to play in the final in Canberra starting on Friday, WA will attempt to end a 15-year shield drought.

Clarke suffered a fractured left shoulder after being struck by South African quick Morne Morkel during his unbeaten 161 in the third Test win in Cape Town this month.

Malcolm's 123 for Subiaco-Floreat on Sunday was his third century in consecutive innings and sixth for the season. He has 1147 runs in all formats.

WA coach Justin Langer watched Malcolm in action at the weekend and will consider whether to pick him in the State's first final since 1998-99.

Warriors opener Cam Bancroft is struggling for form after making just 64 runs at 8.00 in his past four shield matches.

Mitch Marsh will be considered as a batsman, though a side strain will prevent him bowling. John Rogers, who scored 95 in the opening match this season, is the only other candidate.

Langer's mantra since becoming coach has been to reward club form but he is also wary of a Blues team that has lost Clarke and paceman Doug Bollinger to the Australian Twenty20 team, but regained all-rounder Moises Henriques.

"Winning a shield final would be nice. Winning five or six would be the ultimate," Langer said. "We were looking to build a dynasty in West Australian cricket. It's nice to have the opportunity to start this weekend."

Andrews was repeatedly overlooked by the State selectors until six club centuries in the 1982-83 season forced his inclusion.

Mullally was an 18-year-old paceman, who was plucked from club ranks to make his debut when WA beat Queensland in the 1987-88 final.

The West Australian

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