Victoria routed for 114, with Hardie claiming 4 for 24, before Sam Whiteman’s 63 put WA infront as they seek to host their first Shield final in 24 years
Western Australia 2 for 119 (Whiteman 63) lead Victoria 114 ( Hardie 4-24) by 5 runs
Victoria could only muster 114 after being asked to bat first, while WA raced to 2-119 by the close of day one.
Shaun Marsh remains unbeaten on 11, with nightwatchman Matthew Kelly on 4.
But it wasn’t all bad news for the ladder-leading Vics, with the lack of bonus points earned at the matches in Adelaide and Hobart meaning the Vics are effectively assured of a spot in next week’s decider.
Western Australia are already halfway towards the victory they need to both reach and host the Shield final thanks to some high-quality seam bowling.
Hardie led the way with a career-best 4-24, knocking over a host of big names in the process.
Hardie skittled last week’s centurion Travis Dean (3), Shield top-scorer Peter Handscomb (1), the in-form Nic Maddinson (4) as well as Jake Fraser-McGurk (4) during a dream first session.
Kelly (2-27) returned to end the Vics’ biggest partnership – 47 between Matt Short (43) and Sam Harper (18). But Harper’s dismissal kick-started a tail-end collapse as the Vics lost 5-23 to end their innings after just 43.5 overs.
Debutants lined up for each team with Victoria fielding medium-pacer Cam McClure and Western Australia including 17-year-old prodigy Teague Wyllie.