Marsh goes big on return to quell Tasmania in Shield

Mitch Marsh was at his free-flowing best with the bat on his Sheffield Shield return to help Western Australia build a potentially pivotal first-innings lead against Tasmania at the WACA

Marsh crunched an unbeaten 108 off 111 balls, and featured in a state record last-wicket stand as Western Australia posted 336 for a 157-run first innings lead.

The visitors ended the day at a shaky 1-27, leaving their hopes of unlikely charge for a spot in the Shield final on edge.

Tim Ward fell lbw to Joel Paris for 5, with fellow opener Caleb Jewell unbeaten on 21.

Tasmania seemed set to concede just a modest first innings deficit after claiming wickets at regular intervals throughout the day to leave the home side 9-223, a difference of just 44 runs.

But Marsh, in concert with No.11 Charlie Stobo, inflicted 11th-hour heartbreak on the Tigers' bowling attack.

Marsh and Stobo (38) combined for a record Western Australia 10th wicket stand of 113.

It is a partnership which likely ends the Shield hopes of a Tasmania side which went into the penultimate round match a win adrift of second-placed Victoria and Queensland.

Marsh, playing his first Shield match for WA in nearly two years, pummelled three sixes in a 111-ball innings, one of which brought up his half-century.

It was a 12th first-class century for Marsh and came off just 103 deliveries.

It was a very different story to last weekend's One-Day Cup return which saw Marsh unluckily run out for a duck.

Marsh is set to line up for Australia in the upcoming three-match One Day International series in India following ankle surgery.

Sam Whiteman was the other major contributor for Western Australia with the opener posting 64.

Until Marsh's late intervention, Tasmania seemed to have turned the corner after their mammoth 383-run defeat against the same opponent just last week.

Spinner Jarrod Freeman was the pick of the Tiger's attack with figures of 4-81.

Western Australia can guarantee hosting this month's Shield final with victory over Tasmania.