Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/3/16/nsw-move-to-top-of-shield-table

NSW move to top of Shield table

UPDATED 16 March, 2013 2:58PM AEST | by Steve Orme at the SCG, Omnisport 3

New South Wales remain in the running to play in next week's Bupa Sheffield Shield final after a convincing eight-wicket victory over South Australia at the SCG.

The win lifts the Blues momentarily into first spot on the ladder on 29 points, however their finals fate still hangs on the outcome of the Tasmania v Victoria and Western Australia v Queensland clashes.

If either of those contests ends in a draw the Blues will qualify for the decider starting next Friday.

However, if both matches are draws the Blues, who started the final round in last place, will host the final at the SCG.

South Australia resumed their second innings on day three leading by just 37 runs with six wickets in hand and lost 6-34 in a dramatic collapse, with Gurinder Sandhu (3-20) and Josh Hazlewood (3-35) the chief destroyers.

Chasing a modest 91 for victory, the Blues lost openers Scott Henry (nine) and David Dawson (17) cheaply before Nic Maddinson (41 not out) and debutant Daniel Hughes (21 not out) steered the hosts to a comfortable victory.

Maddinson blasted five sixes, including three off one Johan Botha (0-28) over, and two fours in a whirlwind 17-ball knock, while Hughes struck three boundaries in the unbeaten 47-run stand.

The Redbacks were immediately on the back foot as Sandhu removed Jake Brown (21) and Tim Ludeman (one) in his first two overs of the morning session.

Botha offered some resistance before edging a Hazlewood delivery to Peter Nevill behind the stumps for four.

Trent Copeland (1-36) chipped in with a wicket when he clean bowled Sayers for a duck to reduce the visitors to 8-109.

Gary Putland hung around a little longer before he was caught by Dave Dawson off Stephen O'Keefe's (2-0) bowling for five.

O'Keefe finished the job, removing Peter George for a 10-ball duck to leave the Blues in a winning position.

Callum Ferguson played a lone hand for the Redbacks, finishing unbeaten on 44 off 119 deliveries, but his gritty knock wasn't enough to save the visitors.

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

First Posted 16 March, 2013 2:53PM AEST

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