New South Wales hosted Western Australia at Manuka Oval, Canberra due to baseball commitments at the SCG. New South Wales batted first and looked in control on Day 1 reaching 1/164 with Steve Smith and Ryan Carters both scoring 70s. However Jason Behrendorf inspired a collapse of 5/25 to reduce the Blues to 6/189. Enter Moises Henriques who rescued the Blues with 140 and handy contributions from the tail in O’Keefe (41), Copeland (35) and Lyon (36) allowed NSW to reach 447. In reply Western Australia were blown away by Josh Hazlewood with the fast bowler taking 3 early wickets and capturing a run out to leave WA shellshocked at 4/15 at stumps on Day 2. Western Australia’s innings on Day 3 was held together by 92 not out to Mitch Marsh but they could only muster 180 due to 6/50 to Josh Hazlewood. Most of Day 4 was lost to rain and a Steve Smith century on Day 5 ensured there was no chance of a result, so the match was called off at 2 pm as a draw. New South Wales had won the Sheffield Shield by finishing on top of the points table and Moises Henriques was named man of the match for his first innings 140.
The final was hailed as a success with 7000 spectators attending the first three days at Manuka Oval. Interestingly three former ACT cricketers played in the final: Nathan Lyon and Ryan Carters for NSW and Jason Behrendorf for WA.
New South Wales
New South Wales unearthed a real find in Ryan Carters, turning him form a back up keeper into a fine top order batsmen. Steve Smith performed well as skipper and managed 5 games in and around his international schedule. Steve O’Keefe was the competitions leading wicket taker while Doug Bollinger was the states best paceman ably supported by rising allrounder Shaun Abbott, Trent Copeland and Josh Hazlewood. All 5 bowlers were in the top 15 bowlers in Shield cricket.
Gone missing: young batsmen. Scott Henry (average 27 ) Nic Maddison (33) and Kyle Patterson (31) had disappointing seasons.
Combined the old and the new perfectly with veterans North and Voges guiding a very young team including the talented 21 year old wicket keeper Sam Whiteman. Shaun Marsh also managed two first class centuries in one season which is a rarity for him. Left arm fast bowler Jason Behrendorf was the best bowler ably supported by veteran paceman Michael Hogan. Back up wicket keeper Tom Triffit was axed from the sate squad after a night out during a Futures League game saw him arrested and charged with two counts of theft at 3am.
Forgotten man: Michael Beer, only played one Shield match this season when Ashton Agar was suspended for dissent during a Futures League game.
Unearthed a real players in 19 year old Travis Head who batted at No 3 prior to the BBL. He made a string of scores in the 90s before his form tailed off and he finished the season out of the team, however Head is a name to look out for in the future. Tom Cooper was the mainstay of the batting, whilst Chadd Sayyers and Johan Botha were both in the top 6 Shield wicket takers. The Redbacks will rue that they couldn’t manage outright victories against Queensland or NSW post BBL, when they had the upper hand in both matches, which would have secured them a home final. In one of the more bizzare disciplinary actions this summer, fast bowler Dan Worall was suspended after scratching a dick and balls on an adjacent pitch during a Futures League game.
Forgotten man: Peter George, the 2m tall one Test paceman didn’t play a single game for SA this season. Former Victorian allrounder Andrew McDonald, a new recruit to SA this season, was looming as the forgotten man until he was able to overcome his injury concerns and play the last two Shield matches of the season.
The strong looking batting line up of Burns, Pomersbach, Khawaja, Lynn and Forrest struggled to get on the park together due to injury and form. Forrest was the best performed batsmen, whilst James Hopes and Luke Feldman shone with the ball, ably supported by Alistair McDermott. By the end of the season, Cameron Boyce had taken over the number one spinners position.
Forgotten man: Nathan Hauritz, played 3 games prior to BBL but was not seen since. Ben Cutting had a indifferent season managing just 6 matches for 15 wickets at an average of 38 and a strike rate of 70.
Sam Rainbird and Xavier Doherty were the leading wicket takers for the Tigers and impressively managing to tie for the record of 5 ducks this season whilst veteran Ben Hilfenhaus produced a hatrick during the second half of the season. Ed Cowan, Ben Dunk and Mark Cosgrove were the highest run scorers for Tasmania but managed only 2 centuries between them. Allrounder Evan Gulbis was the surprise packet managing a double century from number 8 – the best individual batting performance of the season for the Tigers.
Forgotten man: Jordan Silk was in good form prior to injury in the BBL managing 2 centuries from 6 matches, however he didn’t play in 2014.
Rob Quiney and Cameron White were the best performed batsmen, while Dave Hussey made 573 at an average of 52 from 7 matches.After a rough initiation, including 3 ducks, Marcus Stoinis may have come of age with his 170 against Tasmania. John Hastings battled manfully with the ball all season. Glenn Maxwell had a two game cameo scoring his 2 centuries and 1 of his 2 half centuries in the two matches, he took 5 wickets in 5 games at an average of 48 – how Maxwell was selected in the Shield team of the season ahead of Peter Forrest is beyond comprehension. Clearer thinking about captaincy – it was moved from Cameron White to Matthew Wade – the batting order – Wade batting at number 5, Dave Hussey omitted on occasions, Aaron Finch opening despite terrible first class form – and the selection of spinners was required from Victoria. Three spinners – Fawad Ahmed, Jon Holland and James Muirhead – into one spot won’t go if Greg Shippherd continues his stubborn and outdated attitude of not playing two spinners. Shippherd even went so far as wanting the 12th man to be able to bowl so he could pick two spinners – a clear sign of muddled thinking and a portent of the thinking that ruined Victoria’s season.Dave Hussey may depart after being selected sporadically this season. Assistant coach Simon Helmot has already departed to coach Trinidad and Tobago.
Clint McKay, dropped after collecting just 9 wickets at an average of 49 in 5 matches.
Dan Christian, dropped for taking just 9 wickets at an average of 50 in 5 mathces.
Aaron Finch, his poor first class form continued. He made 3 ducks including a king pair in his first game for a season total of 148 runs in 10 innings at an average of 14.8. Take away his one score of 97 against SA and the figures are very bleak.
1. Marcus North (Western Australia) (Captain)
The former Test number 6 was promoted to opening by coach Justin Langer and the move immediately payed dividends as a North reargaurd unbeaten century guided the inexperienced team to a draw against Victoria in the first match of the season. North continued the season in similar fashion to become the competition leading run scorer with 886 runs including 5 centuries and 3 half centuries. North also picked up 12 wickets with his handy off spin.
2. Ryan Carters (New South Wales)
The back up wicket keeper was no longer required at Victoria and left to try his luck at NSW where he reinvented himself as an opening batsmen and managed a 90 agains the touring England team before debuting for NSW in the Shield and scoring 3 centuries for the season.
3. Phil Hughes (South Australia)
Hughes made nearly 600 runs in just 6 Shield appearances including 3 centuries and a highest score of 204. He was only denied more Shield runs by being sent over to South Africa to watch the less credentialed Shaun Marsh and Alex Doolan play Test cricket ahead of him.
4. Tom Cooper (South Australia)
When Tom Cooper makes centuries he makes them count – particularly against Queensland. Cooper scored 175 and 131 against the Bulls this season on his way to 881 runs at an average of 51.
5. Peter Forrest (Queensland)
Forrest provided the stability in a Queensland batting line up that too often changed due to injury and poor form. Forrest started the season substitute wicket keeping for a gastro struck Chris Hartley before the bug struck him and he battled manfully for a final day century after being up all night vomiting. Forrest finished the season with an unbeaten 155 at the MCG on his way to 823 runs for the season.
6. Adam Voges (Western Australia)
Voges season highlight was 235 not out against Queensland that secured WA a draw. The veteran was the middle order rock for WA and managed 769 runs for the season.
7. Sam Whiteman (Western Australia)
21- year old English born Whiteman was the keeper of the season for his work behind the stumps and also for his batting. Whiteman finished 6th on the run scorers list with 687 runs including 6 half centuries.
8. James Hopes (Queensland)
The Queensland veteran was on fire after the BBL with the ball taking two six wicket hauls and 24 wickets in four matches after promoting himself to open the bowling. His form was solid all season with 38 wickets at an average of 24.
9. Steve O’Keefe (New South Wales)
Lead the wicket takers in the Shield with 41 wickets at an average of just 20.83. Left arm orthodox spinner O’Keefe has been the leading spinner in Shield cricket for a number of seasons so it will be intersting to see if he gets a look in for Australia’s next Test tour – Pakistan in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in October.
10. Jason Behrendorf (Western Australia)
The 23 year old left arm pacemen managed 40 wickets at an average of 22 with two 5 wicket hauls.
11. Chadd Sayers (South Australia)
The fast medium bowler took 36 wickets at an average of 28 and was the mainstay of the South Australian attack playing all 10 games.
Team performance of the season
Queensland’swere bowled out for 135 against South Australia at the Gabba and were set a fourth innings target of 471 for victory. Amazingly Queensland managed to haul inthe massive target, setting a Shield record in the process, with just five wickets down and with 8 overs to spare. They were superbly guided by Usman Khawaja who batted throughout the last day to finish on 182 not out.
Individual performance of the season
Special mention has to Usman Khawaja’s efforts in Queensland record run chase and to to Glenn Maxwell’s performance against New South Wales. In the first innings Maxwell scored 94 off 95 balls out of Victoria’s total of 214 and in the second innings he managed 127 off 102 balls including 14 fours and 7 sixes out of Victoria’s 184 after the Bushrangers had been 6 for 9.
However the winner is Evan Gulbis with his incredible all round performance against South Australia. Gulbis started his Shield career woith four ducks but that was all forgotten as he made his maiden century one to remember with 229. It was the highest score ever by a number 8 in Shield history. Gulbis then returned with his medium pacers and collected the barely believable figures of 8.1- 5 – 7 – 4 to wrap up an innings victory for Tasmania.