Cricket Australia Items/news/2012/11/30/no-holiday-for-abbott

No holiday for Abbott

UPDATED 04 January, 2013 3:15PM AEST | by Steve Orme

On Monday night, Sean Abbott was holidaying on the central coast with his girlfriend – by Friday morning, he had hit the winning boundary to lead NSW to a vital three-wicket victory over Queensland in Canberra.

Josh Hazlewood's inclusion in Australia's squad for the third Test against South Africa in Perth meant Abbott had to ditch his board shorts for whites and make a mad dash to the nation's capital.


Having cut short what was supposed to be a week-long break, the 20-year-old left Sydney at the crack of dawn on Tuesday morning in time for a 10:30am start on day one of the Bupa Sheffield Shield clash.


"Monday night I was away for a couple days with my girlfriend, and had to come down Tuesday morning on the day of the game," said Abbott, who took four wickets for the match.


"I was pretty tired but I got through it in the end.


"I was just away for a couple of days. I was supposed to have this week off and I thought I'd get a couple of days away to relax before the Big Bash season.


"I was a bit tired come Tuesday night but I was fine by Wednesday and got the job done and it was good to get the win."


Abbott arrived at the crease on Friday morning with the Blues precariously placed at 6-87, needing 10 runs for victory.


He watched Brad Haddin depart for 33 next ball but held his nerve to hit the final 10 runs.


"I was a bit nervous at first, I tried not to think about it and pretty much just went out there," he said.


"It was good to hit the winning runs. I was really hoping Adam (Zampa) up the other end would get one so I could have a go at hitting the winning runs.


"It's a special feeling. Hitting the winning runs in a Shield game after the boys have worked so hard on (a) flat wicket, to get to that stage of the game was special."


Blues skipper Stephen O'Keefe was relieved to bank the six points after a nervous night and tense morning.


"It might have been a long night for most of the blokes at 4-48," O'Keefe said.


"Before we went to bed last night we just talked about having our own plans and just playing to our strengths and regardless of what the wicket was doing let's try and back ourselves and back our strengths and fortunately it paid off."


Bulls coach Darren Lehmann praised his players' never-say-die attitude after almost stealing a miraculous victory but conceded the Blues were the better side.


"Cricket's a funny game isn't it, we had one of those games last year against WA when we needed 70 to win and I think we got them with nine wickets down," Lehmann said.


"The good thing about our boys is we just compete the whole game.


"That's what I'm really proud of. I'm disappointed we didn't play as well as we would've liked here but full credit to NSW. They deserved the victory."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 30 November, 2012 2:53PM AEST

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