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Western Australia failed to finish off New South Wales and allowed Beau Casson and Matthew Nicholson to combine for a morale boosting tail-end partnership that lifted them from a disastrous 7 for 89. After choosing to bat, Simon Katich watched his batsmen fall apart as they slipped to 5 for 52 at lunch after Phil Jaques (13) had missed an early opportunity to press his Test claims.

Katich steadied the innings slightly with 50, but when he top-edged David Bandy to midwicket the Blues were in severe trouble. Casson and Nicholson, who were playing against their former state, dug in, got settled and frustrated the home bowlers during a 93-run stand that pushed them towards a more respectable 9 for 238 at stumps.

Ben Edmondson finally broke through for the eighth wicket when he bowled Casson for 51, but Nicholson made it to stumps unbeaten on 85 from 173 deliveries and will search for his third first-class century with help from the No. 11 Doug Bollinger. Edmondson, who knocked over Dominic Thornely (4) and Daniel Smith (1), finished with 3 for 70, while Brett Dorey collected 2 for 37. However, Steve Magoffin (2 for 50) was the pick and at tea he had delivered 13 maidens in 19 overs and earned the wickets of Jaques, who edged to Justin Langer at first slip, and Peter Forrest.
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