The final day of the Round 7 Sheffield Shield match has arrived with two possible outcomes. New South Wales need the final two Queensland wickets remaining to enforce the follow-on and then it's a case of bowling the team out. For the Maroons it's a question of survival to fight out a draw on a pitch that is deteriorating. The Queenslanders began the day on 8/341 with skipper Chris Hartley not out on 40 and Mark Steketee on 15. The Two Blues opened the bowling with spinner Will Somerville and Doug Bollinger who were unable to snare any early wickets. Queensland skipper Chris Hartley was dogged at the crease and made a fine half century. New South Wales were unable to take a Queensland wicket during the morning session due to stout, resolute batting from Hartley and Steketee. The pair added a valuable 70 runs and trail New South Wales by 192 runs. Hartley remained not out 76 whilst Mark Steketee was unbeaten on 46, this innings being his highest first class knock, easily beating the previous mark of 34 runs.

The afternoon session moved slowly with Hartley and Steketee providing stout resistance. Doug Bollinger put his back into a thankless spell that kept both batsman on their toes. Mark Steketee brought up his first ever half century in Shield cricket. Yesterday NSW Blues Trent Copeland dropped Steketee with an absolute sitter of a chance at first slip. That drop has proved costly as the next wicket to fall cost 103 runs and possibly a shot at an outright victory. Steketee was eventually dismissed by Will Somerville, making it seven wickets for the off-spinner. In a bizarre play, Steketee was out caught after hitting a ball into a close in-fielder with the ball ballooning upwards with Sean Abbott taking the catch, Steketee out for 53.


Opening batsman Peter Forrest was solid at the crease for Queensland
The cool tradition at the SCG of flying both states teams flags NSW (left) QLD (right)

Day three began in warm sunny conditions with the overnight batsman for Queensland in Peter Forrest 48* and Joe Burns 34* at the crease. New South Wales elected for a spin /pace attack led by Doug Bollinger and Arjun Nair. Both bowlers were tidy in their spells with the very smallest of chances offered by the Queensland batsmen. Trent Copeland for New South Wales bowled a steady stint, but was unable to gain any inroads into the Maroons innings. Peter Forest and Joe Burns went quietly about their work, picking off the odd single and boundary and like New South Wales the previous day, the wicket was proving to be a batsman's paradise. Sean Abbott and Will Somerville picked up where Nair and Copeland left off and they to found little assistance in the pitch. The status quo would be broken up however when Will Somerville dismissed Peter Forrest for 79. Forrest attempted a loose hook shot that caught a top edge which saw 12th man Harry Conway take an easy catch at leg gully. Queensland were 1/140. At lunch Queensland were 1-144, Joe Burns not out on 55 and Marnus Labuschagne 1 not out. Queensland added 59 runs to their overnight total.

Wicked Spin! Somerville snaffles 3 wickets

The afternoon session belonged to New South Wales with four wickets falling in the session. Doug Bollinger who had bowled steadily in the morning, got his first wicket when Trent Copeland took a sharp chance at first slip to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne for 2. Will Somerville who had been toiling for little reward from the Randwick end started to get some assistance for his well flighted off -spinners. He soon had the wicket of Sam Heazlett for 42. Trent Copeland took his second catch of the game when he juggled an edge from Heazlett at first slip. Somerville would strike again when Sam Truloff was caught edging a ball to first slip and again Trent Copeland snapped up the chance. Truloff out for a duck and Queensland were 4/235.Joe Burns reached a well earned century for Queensland. His knock included 15 boundaries and remained not out on 102. Jack Wildermith was 0 not out. At the tea-break Queensland were 4/239 chasing New South Wales total of 6/603 declared.

The final session of the day saw New South Wales strengthen their grip on the game via a superb display of spin bowling from Will Somerville. Somerville took another 3 wickets by taking the scalps of Jack Wildermuth 21, Jason Floros 12 and century maker Joe Burns 108. Wildermuth and Burns were bowled by superb deliveries, whilst Floros was deemed to have made the faintest of edges and was caught by keeper Peter Neville. Somerville found himself with a 6 wicket haul. Spinner Arjun Nair chipped in with a wicket by trapping Michael Neser LBW for 10. It was a fortunate decision as the ball appeared to be heading down leg side, but the finger was raised and Neser had to head back into the pavilion. The Queenslanders made 103 runs and lost 4 wickets in the final session At stumps Queensland were 8/341 with skipper Chris Hartley not out on 40 with Mark Steketee 15 not out.

Will Somerville has again taken 5 wickets in an innings for New South Wales
Doug Bollinger opened the bowling for New South Wales

New South Wales are in a strong position on the second day of the Sheffield Shield cricket match against Queensland at the Sydney Cricket Ground. A superb, 391 run, 5th wicket partnership between Moses Henriques and Peter Neville saw the Two Blues amass a huge total of 6/603 before declaring. Henriques score of 265 was the 10th highest score by a New South Wales batsman in Sheffield Shield game. His innings was a superb display of deft touches and cut shots combined with solid power hitting which included 28 fours and five sixes. He kept the ball away from his Queensland opponents and gave little to none in the way of chances.At the other end Peter Neville managed to score another domestic century. Like Henriques, he gave away no chances and batted superbly, ever watchful of the Queensland attack led by George and Neser. Neville would remain unbeaten at the crease with 143 not out. Neville's innings included 16 boundaries. New South Wales took to the field and the bowling was opened by Doug Bollinger and Trent Copeland. Maroons batsmen Peter Forrest and Joe Burns were not troubled by the dual pace attack. NSW spinner Will Somerville forced the Queensland batsmen to be watchful, with several deliveries bringing loud appeals from the NSW team. At stumps Queensland were 0/85 with Peter Forrest 48 not out and Joe Burns 34 not out.

Hola! Henriques. NSW batsman pummel the Queenslanders

New South Wales have established a commanding position after the morning session in day two of the Sheffield Shield match currently being played at the Sydney Cricket Ground against Queensland. In oppressive heat, NSW Blues skipper Moses Henriques and Peter Neville have punished a wilting, Queensland bowling attack. The pair added 130 runs to the overnight total which stands at lunch as 4/458. Henriques has been superb with the bat. In a flawless innings, he has belted 21 boundaries with some impressive stroke play. The innings included several deft touches and exquisite cut shots down to the third man boundary. He remains 181 not out at the lunch break. His partner in Peter Neville has also been in superb touch. Ever watchful, the NSW keeper has over eighty runs to his name at the break. His knock includes 11 boundaries. Like Henriques, he has offered no chances during his innings. For the Queenslanders Peter George and Michael Neser were unable to make any inroads into the New South Wales batting order. With the blistering afternoon sun on the way and if Henriques and Neville can remain at the crease, this session will be nothing short of a torture session, for the heat fatigued Queenslanders.

Two-Blues On Top as Moses Henriques & Peter Neville punish the Queenslanders

With more searing, hot weather predicted for Sydney, New South Wales will be pressing for more runs and keeping their Queensland opponents in the field. Moses Henriques 102 not out and Peter Nevill 38 will be hoping to build on their 131 partnership.

NSW team : Larkin, Hughes, Cowan, Patterson, Henriques, Nevill, Nair, Copeland, Abbott, Somerville, Bollinger 12th Man: Conway
QLD team: George, Nesser, Steketee, Burns, Forrest, Labuschange, Heazlett, Truloff, Wildermuth, Hartley, Floros 12th Man: Gannon
Match umpires: Stephen Harris (South Africa) & Mick Martell
The Maroons have picked up two early wickets in the Shield against New South Wales


Dan Hughes is dismissed for a golden duck after Queenslander Marnus Labuschagne took a smart catch at mid off

The crucial round 7 Sheffield Shield cricket match between New South Wales and Queensland is underway at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The Two-Blues won the toss and have elected to bat. The batting strip appears brown with some patches of green suggesting a good batting strip. With scorching hot weather forecast for the coming days, getting a big score will be vital in the morning session. The Queenslanders began the game brilliantly picking up two quick wickets. NSW opening batsman Dan Hughes made a golden duck when he hit an uppish ball that was smartly taken by Marnus Labuschagne at mid off. Another wicket would soon tumble when Ed Cowan was trapped LBW off the bowling of Michael Neser and the Two-Blues were on the ropes at 2-2

NSW opener Nick Larkin on his way to a solid half-century

With the loss of two quick wickets, Nick Larkin and Kurtis Patterson had to consolidate the New South Wales innings. Larkin was the pick of the two making 68 not out at the luncheon break. Larkin gave little in the way of chances, slotting 8 boundaries. Kurtis Patterson provided the classic "sheet anchor" role with Larkin and remains 29 not out. For the Queenslanders, Peter George and Michael Nesser picked up the early wickets but were unable to make any inroads. Spinner Jason Floros was brought in to see if any early spin was on offer, but found little assistance from the pitch. At lunch New South Wales were 2-101.

Kurtis Patterson drives the ball hard into the SCG turf. Patterson made 88 before being bowled by QLD's Mark Steketee

In the most difficult session of the day due to the searing heat conditions, the bragging rights for either team could be declared as a draw. Nick Larkin and Kurtis Patterson continued to build the New South Wales innings. To Queensland's credit they did not give up in the field. Despite some minor errors, the Maroons kept the pressure on. Jason Floros toiled hard from the Randwick end with little result. His persistence paid off when he took a smart, caught and bowled chance. He caught a firm shot from Nick Larkin in his right hand. It was a much needed wicket for the Queenslanders. For New South Wales, the Larkin / Patterson partnership took their precarious score of 2/2 to 3/158. Larkin was dismissed for 86. Moises Henriques joined Patterson at the crease. The pair seem untroubled as they added a further 39 runs before Patterson was cleaned bowled by a delivery pitched on his off-side by Mark Steketee. The Maroons were back in the match and it was a credit to how they persisted in the field in very trying conditions. At the tea break New South Wales were 4/199 with Henriques 13 not out and Peter Nevill 2 not out.

In a brutal final session, weather wise, the New South Wales batsmen in Peter Neville and Moises Henriques pushed their advantage with a solid 129 run partnership after the tea break. They both gave nothing in the way of chances to the Queensland bowlers. Henriques in particular was in superb touch. He made a well crafted century in the trying conditions, belting 9 boundaries. The Maroons tried a combo of bowling changes all to no avail as New South Wales continued to build a big score, ending the day on 4/328 with Henriques 102* and Neville 38*

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