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Blues on track for Shield win against WA

AAP logoAAP 6/11/2016 Matt Encarnacion

New South Wales need just 93 runs in their second dig against Western Australia to open their Sheffield Shield campaign with consecutive victories.

The Blues were 0-3 at stumps on day three after spinner Will Somerville starred with a five-wicket haul to help bowl the Warriors out for a second innings total of 177.

Somerville (0) and Dan Hughes (3) were unbeaten at close on Sunday.

New Zealand native Somerville was easily the pick of the Blues' bowlers at the SCG, bagging 5-65 in the innings to finish with career-best figures of 9-126 for the match.

"Especially to do it at the SCG, it's where I've always dreamed of playing my cricket. It's wonderful to get my name on the board downstairs," Somerville said.

He started the day with a spectacular caught-and-bowled of Cameron Bancroft in the opening over before claiming key scalps Michael Klinger (50) and Ashton Agar (35).

With national selector Mark Waugh in the stands, spin twin Stephen O'Keefe also backed up his first five-wicket haul at the SCG on day one with 3-41 off his 38.3 overs.

The Blues' attack strangled the visitors out of the contest with a combined 35 maidens from 102 overs bowled and a Warriors run rate of less than two an over.

O'Keefe went for less than one an over.

"He bowled a ridiculously stingy spell all day. He's been incredibly consistent and the benchmark for spin bowling in NSW for years," Somerville said.

A fighting, 206-minute half-century from WA skipper Klinger, a patient 35 from Agar and a stubborn 32 from Ashton Turner late were the only substantial knocks on the WA scorecard.

The lower order squeezed out 44 more runs after tea before succumbing on a deck O'Keefe described earlier in the match as the driest SCG pitch in recent memory.

Twenty-three of the 29 wickets to fall so far in Sydney have been taken by spinners, including a career-best 6-110 from former Test tweaker Ashton Agar on day two.

Somerville was relieved to have delivered on a spinner's paradise.

"There's obviously a bit of expectation but I get excited about bowling on wickets like this. You just gotta try and keep it simple and bowl your best balls," he said.

"Tactically, we did quite well. We set straight fields and we've certainly taken advantage of that so far in the game. Hopefully we can get the runs and celebrate in the afternoon."

Agar was again summoned to the crease early on Sunday after the Warriors, who started the day 0-14, lost three wickets in the opening hour.

But he could only squeeze out 35 in an innings-high 71-run stand with Klinger as the Blues attack kept their their rivals on the back foot for most of the day.

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