It was not a good round to be a batsman in the Sheffield Shield, as we saw only three centuries and plenty of collapses.
Queensland 271 & 2-90 defeated Victoria 167 & 191 by eight wickets
Not a good performance by Victoria, who were outplayed by Queensland even though the Vics’ XI featured five players in Australia’s Test squad.
On a Gabba green-top, the Bulls elected to field first and Michael Neser (3-39) had Travis Dean (0) bowled in the first over.
Only Aaron Finch (50) and Peter Handscomb (81) managed double-figure scores as Mark Steketee, after being expensive earlier, wrapped up the tail (4-52).
Joe Burns produced a counter-attacking 96 off only 118 balls in reply, while other Test hopefuls Matt Renshaw (2 and 16) and Marnus Labuschagne (47) had mixed matches.
By the second innings, Marcus Harris (62) and Handscomb (53) had erased the deficit for the loss of only two wickets, but they fell in quick succession and rest of the order folded.
Taking five bowlers into the match would prove to be the wrong decision by Victoria.
Burns (24*) guided the chase and was a deserved man of the match.
Steketee finished with career-best match figures of 8-101 after four scalps in each innings.
New South Wales 261 & 253 defeated Western Australia 198 & 212 by 104 runs
Taking Sheffield Shield cricket to Optus Stadium, the Warriors won the toss and sent the visitors in – and it paid off big time.
Jhye Richardson was the star with a career-best 8-47, as the Blues were bowled out in the 89th over.
Kurtis Patterson resisted the onslaught and produced an unbeaten 107 of the highest quality, his sixth first-class hundred.
Sean Abbott (69) joined Patterson at 7-140, and thanks to their partnership, New South Wales managed a competitive total.
And there was plenty of life in the wicket for the bowlers on day two as well, with Trent Copeland‘s fine form continuing (4-52), leading the attack to dismantle the Warriors for only 198.
Shaun Marsh produced a classy 81, but there was little else around him, the final five wickets falling for 10 runs.
Richardson couldn’t exactly repeat his heroics in the second-innings, but did complete a maiden 10-wicket haul by grabbing 3-58.
Scores in the 40s to Patterson, Moises Henriques and Jack Edwards set the home said a difficult 317 to win.
Any hope was flushed away within 15 overs, as Western Australia slumped to 6-64.
The Blues only needed three bowlers (Copeland, Abbott and Nathan Lyon) to get the win, although Marcus Stoinis (81) and the tail did wag a bit.
Lyon finished the match with seven wickets (3-34 and 4-84).
Tasmania 185 & 8-353 defeated South Australia 136 & 213 by 189 runs
As the scorecard indicated, it was another match where the ball dominated the bat, at least for the first half.
Although both sides’ captains, in Tasmania’s Matthew Wade (43) and South Australia’s Travis Head (49), offered some resistance, both teams were dismissed for under 200 on a spicy Blundstone wicket.
That changed with Jordan Silk‘s rock-solid century (113 off 252) on days two and three.
He built 90-run partnerships with Ben McDermott (54) and George Bailey (63) along the way, and made the Redbacks’ previously threatening attack look dull.
Test skipper Tim Paine declared with his score 47 to set South Australia 403 to win.
Only two things looked like they might stop Tassie: the rain and Cal Ferguson.
The Redbacks slipped to 5-77 with Gabe Bell (3-44) and Jackson Bird (4-65) bowling well in home conditions.
Ferguson was the ninth wicket to fall (only a few overs after a decent rain delay) after a top notch 111 off 246 balls, with his trademark drives littered throughout the knock.
It leaves South Australia without a win and on the bottom of the Shield table.
Sheffield Shield standings
|New South Wales||2||2||1||20.59|
|Marcus Harris (VIC)||501||71.6||250*|
|Matthew Wade (TAS)||468||66.9||137|
|Alex Doolan (TAS)||453||45.3||115|
|Shaun Marsh (WA)||443 (3 matches)||88.6||163*|
|Tom Cooper (SA)||402||44.7||178|
|Scott Boland (VIC)||30||16.6||7-54|
|Joe Mennie (SA)||26||17.6||5-39|
|Chris Tremain (VIC)||26||21.6||5-13|
|Jhye Richardson (WA)||24||16.1||8-47|
|Trent Copeland (NSW)||23||16.8||6-86|