Weather blow to WA’s hopes of Shield success

ANY hopes Western Australia had of winning a first Sheffield Shield crown since 1999 were washed away by rain yesterday.

Only 13 overs and four balls were bowled at Manuka Oval before Canberra was hit by a downpour, with rain continuing for most of the day.

Play on the fourth day was officially called off at 4.45pm (AEDT) with New South Wales on 3-59 in its second innings with captain Steve Smith (pictured) unbeaten on 31 and Kurtis Patterson the other not out batsman on nought.

In the play that was possible, the Warriors did pick up a wicket with Ben Rohrer edging Jason Behrendorff edging behind to wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman for 27. With NSW only needing a draw to win the Shield, Smith's men are odds-on favourite to win the title for the 46th time.

Play was due to get under way on the fifth and final day at 10am with new South Wales in front by 326 runs.