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WA inching towards third straight Shield title

Western Australia are inching towards a 400-run lead and just about an unbeatable position in the Sheffield Shield final against Tasmania at the WACA Ground.

WA are in a commanding position after three days, leading Tasmania by 382 runs.

At stumps on Saturday the home side were 3-221 in their second innings after taking a 161-run advantage after each team had batted once.

WA were able to consolidate with an unbroken 95-run partnership between Hilton Cartwright (62no) and Aaron Hardie (39no).

It is the second half-century of the five-day final for Cartwright, who will be keen to push ahead on Sunday's fourth day as one of the WA players looking to be part of a third consecutive Shield triumph.

Tasmania were in a tough position at the end of the first innings, not only with the 161-run deficit but with WA also claiming the bonus-points advantage to be guaranteed of a third straight Shield title even with a draw.

The Tigers' bowlers still gave their all for the rest of day three, including a short-ball barrage that saw Cartwright take plenty of blows on the body, and one on his head.

Tasmania's Beau Webster
Tasmania's Beau Webster is congratulated by teammates after dismissing WA batter D'Arcy Short. (Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS)

Tasmania were able to dismiss first-innings centurion Sam Whiteman (eight), D'Arcy Short (38) and Jayden Goodwin (46), but they weren't able to string quick wickets together.

That third straight Shield crown is within grasp now for WA with two days to play, but coach Adam Voges isn't getting too carried away just yet.

"I think we've played three really strong days, set up by that first-innings total, and then we were incredibly disciplined as a bowling unit yesterday and early this morning," he said.

"We then had a really important partnership towards the end of the day there to help us keep driving the game.

"Hopefully we can continue to bat for as long as possible tomorrow and set a huge total for Tassie to try to chase and give our bowlers plenty of rest, and plenty to defend in the fourth innings."

In reply to WA's first innings of 347, the Tigers never built momentum with the bat, going to stumps on day two at 6-152 and scoring at just two runs an over.

Jarrod Freeman was run out to open Saturday's third day without scoring, meaning Tasmania had lost 5-21, but Iain Carlisle (16) made some crucial runs to get the visitors to 186.

Offspinner Corey Rocchiccioli was the pick of WA's bowlers with 4-48 from 28 overs, while Cameron Gannon took 3-38 from 20.