Marsh Sheffield Shield 2019-20
Dogged Smith patiently puts Blues on top
An uncharacteristically laborious half-century from the Test star helped the hosts take the upper hand against Western Australia at the SCG
11 November 2019, 06:47 PM AEST
Steve Smith hit an unbeaten half century to leave NSW on top against Western Australia on day one of their Marsh Sheffield Shield match at the SCG, despite some laborious batting from the home side.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl on an unresponsive wicket, NSW ground their way to 2-221 from 96 overs.
Smith ended the day unbeaten on 59 in a strangely slow 217-ball knock.
An unbeaten 43 from 66 balls in the final hour from Moises Henriques helped inject some life into the NSW innings.
Shorn of usual fast bowling spearhead Jhye Richardson, WA had few answers with the ball, barely raising an appeal all day.
Smith seemed more intent on occupying the crease at times, going half an hour without scoring and was sitting on just six after an hour batting.
Classic Steve Smith.Fresh off Australia's T20I series against Pakistan, he faces 105 balls without hitting a boundary 🤯Then he casually hits a six a massive six over long-off.#SheffieldShield #NSWvWA pic.twitter.com/kaJ9dwPxjU— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 11, 2019
The Test star ended up scoring 24 during the entire middle session, reaching the boundary for the first time with a six just before the tea break.
Remarkably, Smith took 129 balls to hit a four, though having cleared the boundary on two occasions.
Rookie opener Daniel Solway top-scored with a watchful 65 before spooning a simple catch into the covers off leg-spinner Liam O'Conner (1-29).
Solway, who scored a century in his Shield debut last week, batted for 194 balls and hit five boundaries.
The only other wicket to fall was Daniel Hughes who was dismissed to the penultimate ball before lunch, caught behind by a fine Josh Inglis catch behind the wicket for 53 off 99 balls.
NSW Blues: Daniel Hughes, Daniel Solway, Steven Smith, Moises Henriques, Nick Larkin, Peter Nevill (c/wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Steve O'Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Western Australia: D'Arcy Short, Josh Philippe, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner (c), Cameron Green, Josh Inglis (wk), Ashton Agar, Matthew Kelly, Liam Guthrie, Liam O'Connor