Sheffield Shield Round Up 10

The results

South Australia traveled to Tasmania needing an outright win to secure their place in the Shield final – their first since 1996. However the Redbacks did not even get close. Batting first, South Australia were bowled out for 212 with only Andrew McDonald providing resistance with 83. Jackson Bird returned to the Tasmanian line up for the first time this season and delivered with 6/50. Tasmanians reply was delicately poised at 6/238 with Chadd Sayers having taken 4 wickets.  Enter Evan Gulbis at number 8. He shared an 150 run stand with Tim Paine (87) before making his maiden first class century a big one recording 229 off 283 balls with 28 fours. It was the highest score by a number 8 in Sheffield Shield history and Tasmanias innings finished on 651 all out.
To exemplify SA bowlers difficulties Cal Ferguson took two wickets never having previously taken a wicket in 81 first class games. Despite being 333 runs behind South Australia’s second innings started in a positive fashion with a half century opening partnership. From there SA lost 10 for 64 including their last 6 wickets for just 8 runs. Luke Butterworth took 3 for 18 and man of the match Evan Gulbis returned the bowling figures of 8.1 – 5 – 7 -4. Tasmania won by an innings and 316 runs – their biggest ever Shield victory and the 9th biggest in Shield history.
Evan Gulbis on his way to a double century.
Evan Gulbis on his way to a double century.
Queensland travelled to the MCG to face Victoria knowing outright victory could get them a place in the final if other results went their way. Batting first Victiria could only muster 21o with James Hopes continuing his golden run with the ball taking 6/40.
In reply Queenslands innings was held together by 155 to Peter Forrest and complimented by half centuries to Burns, Lynn and Boyce before the Bulls declared at 8/483. John Hastings, as he has been all season, was the pick of the Victorian bowlers with 4 wickets. Facing a 270 run deficit on the first innings Victoria batted for the draw and faced out 124 overs thanks to 143 not out to Rob Quiney. The Vics finished on 2/314 and such was Queensland desperation for wickets Usman Khawaja even bowled 4 overs. The two first innings points to Queensland were not enough to secure them a place in the Shield final.
 
Western Australia traveled to Manuka Oval in Canberra to play NSW with the winner to host the Shield final after South Australia’s capitulation. Batting first the Warriors were rolled for just 82 with Doug Bollinger & Josh Hazlewood taking 4 wickets apiece. New South fared little better in their first innings managing just 186 with WA spinner Ashton Agar making a welcome return to form with 5 for 74.  New South Wales had Western Australia on the back foot again in there second innings reducing them to 5 for 109 before a determined century to Shaun Marsh, ably assisted by the tail wagging, lead the Warrioirs to 316 all out setting the Blues a target of 212 for outright victory. New South Wales looked to be in control at 2 for 119 but then lost 4 for 39 before Steve O’Keefe saw them over the line. Steve Smith had been the main stay of the innings with 89. Outright points to New South Wales which means they host the Shield final against WA and once again it will be at Manuka Oval due to baseball at the SCG.
In a side note both Shaun Marsh and Nathan Lyon were fined 20% of their match fee for dissent and abuse of cricket equipment respectively. Marsh was given out lbw to Lyon on 100 but remonstrated with umpire Paul Wilson showing him the inside edge of his bat. Wilson reversed his decision and in frustration Lyon kicked the stumps. NSW skipper Steve Smith downplayed the incident saying “I don’t think he kicked the stumps too hard”
Shaun Marsh - a century and controversy
Shaun Marsh – a century and controversy

The Selections

Some of the Australian Test squad players returned to play Sheffield Shield in this round. Phil Hughes returned for South Australia, Jackson Bird and Alex Doolan turned out for Tasmania, Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon rejoined with New South Wales and Shaun Marsh was back for Western Australia. However some of players not involved in the Australian T20 team did not play Shield cricket: Chris Rogers, Michael Clarke and Peter Siddle. Ryan Harris also didn’t play due to a knee operation. Micahel Clarke has said he will be available for New South Wales in the Shield final.

Victoria played two spinners in its final game for only the second time this season. South Australia were without their skipper Johan Botha afer he was suspended for one match due to an incident in the previous round. Botha was warned for stopping the ball with his spikes and then pretended to rub the old ball on his spikes as it was discarded for a new ball. The match referee didn’t see the funny side and Botha was suspended.

 

The final solution

The Shield final is causing some fixturing and venue headaches due to 6 venues being on standby for an event only one will host. New South Wales will host the final at Manuka Oval in Canberra because the SCG is hosting the opening of the Major League Baseball season. If the South Australia had won the right to host the Shield final it would have been played at Glenelg Oval due to a Rolling Stones concert at Adelaide Oval. The MCC would probably prefer to host AFL matches at the MCG next weekend than have it sit vacant. The solution to these problems is to have the Shield final fixtured at the same neutral venue each year. And where better to host it than the underused venue of Manuka Oval in Canberra.

New South Wales’ contract to play one Shield game a season their expires this season so from next season, Manuka could become the neutral venue for the Shield final for the years to come. The team finishing on top would still win the Shield if the match is drawn and it would give players and venue managers of the cricket grounds around the country certainty as to where the Shield final would be each season. Manuka Oval is an international cricket ground that sees only a handful of cricket matches per season – a Chariman’s XI game and a PM’s XI game against touring teams and ACT Futures League games – hosting the Shield final could become a feature event in ACT cricket.

 

The XI

1. Mark Cosgrove (Tasmania)

Made a welcome return to form with a century against his old team, SA.

2. Rob Quiney (Victoria)

Quineys determined batting in the second innings secured Victoria a draw against Queensland he finished on 143 not out from 383 balls.

3. Steve Smith (New South Wales)

In a low scoring game in Canberra Smith top scored in both innings for New South Wales with 48 and 89. He was instrumental in guiding the Blues victorious fourth innings run chase that secured them a home final.

4. Shaun Marsh (Western Australia)

Marsh batted at number 5 for Western Australia and followed up a 2nd ball duck in the first innings with a masterful 113 in the second innings that guided WA to a respectable total

5. Peter Forrest (Queensland)

Continued his recent run of good form and expertly held together the Queensland first innings with 155 not out – an innings which contained just 5 boundaries.

6. Tim Paine (Tasmania)

Paine looked set to score just his second first class century in a big partnership with Evan Gulbis but was dismissed for 87.

7. James Hopes (Queensland)

Hopes has starred with the ball since the Shield restarted, this time he took 6/45 to derail Victoria’s first innings.

8. Evan Gulbis (Tasmania)

Put in the performance of the round with the bat scoring 229 off 293 balls against South Australia and followed up with 4 for 7 with the ball. It is the highest ever score by a number 8 in Shield history.

9. Aston Agar (Western Australia)

Agar showed a return to the form of 12 moths ago with a five wicket haul against NSW.

10. Josh Hazlewood (New South Wales)

Hazlewood dismanteld the WA first innings with 4 for 14 and followed up with 3 for 59 in the second.

11. Jackson Bird (Tasmania)

In his first Shield match this season Bird ripped through South Australia with 6 for 50 in the first innings and return

 

Coming Up…

The 2013/14 Sheffield Shield final over 5 days, starting Friday March 21

New South Wales v Western Australia at Manuka Oval, Canberra

Entry is free.

 

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Published by

Ross Slater

Blogging about the important things - AFL and cricket

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