Marsh Sheffield Shield 2019-20
Sheffield Shield season review: New South Wales
Daniel Hughes takes us through the highs and lows of NSW's 2019-20 Marsh Sheffield Shield season
26 March 2020, 12:55 PM AEST
Final ladder position: First (won six, lost two, drew one)
Leading run scorer: Daniel Hughes (665 runs @ 44.33, 2x100, 3x50, High 136)
Leading wicket-taker: Harry Conway (25 wickets @ 21.32, econ 2.68, Best 5-15) and Trent Copeland (25 wickets @ 31.88, econ 2.61, Best 5-63)
The sudden end to the Marsh Sheffield Shield season saw NSW crowned champions and few could argue with the decision given their dominance during the season.
The Blues began the 2019-20 campaign with four straight outright wins, making the most of their available Australian players before international duty called. Another win before the BBL break had NSW with one foot in the door to host the final, set to be held in Wollongong. Despite two losses when the season resumed in February, a victory over South Australia sealed top spot.
Daniel Hughes, Moises Henriques and rookie Daniel Solway starred with the bat, while Harry Conway and Trent Copeland split 50 wickets across the shortened season.
Daniel Hughes looks back at the Shield summer.
Where it went right
"The consistency of the whole squad, I think. We didn't really have too many injuries to too many important players in our squad – the only bloke we had was Kurtis Patterson and he ended up playing only one game for us. So the guys who came in for him got to get most of the season under their belt (and perform well, which) was pretty important. We didn't have too many injuries and had the Aussie boys for the first few games and the guys who were on the sidelines, like Harry Conway and Liam Hatcher, they were raring to go when they came back in. It was a collective effort throughout the whole squad."
Where it went wrong
"I definitely think there were opportunities with the bat to put big scores on the board. We always say here at home where we play on flat surfaces if we bat first we want to try and get 400 and drive the game from the front. I certainly think there were a few opportunities we missed to do that and kept sides in the game for longer periods of time rather than leading from the front with a big first innings total."
"I can't go past Dan Solway. He's been really consistent with his performances and smashing the door down at club cricket. Nobody really expected him to come out on debut and score 133no. He was consistent throughout the whole year and he ended up averaging in the mid-50s. He was a really key player for us in the middle order the whole year. I knew he would play well but I didn't think he would play as well as he did in his first seven games."
Best individual bowling performance
"It's hard to go past 'Big H' Harry Conway. Against Queensland he got 10-for up at the Gabba then when we played them again at the SCG and he took 5-fa in the first innings. That haul at the Gabba - first game of the year, we had Starcy (Mitch Starc) playing in that game as well - to come on and bowl like he did and get the rewards with five wickets in the first then another five in the second really set us up for a good bowling season."
Best individual batting performance
"Solway's hundred on debut was very impressive but Moises Henriques in the middle order, he played an innings at the SCG where he got a run-a-ball hundred and set the game up for us. He did that all year – he came out with a real positive attitude, played a real up-tempo game and pushed the game forward for us. So I think Moises in that middle order, he scored two hundreds at a pretty quick rate and the one at the SCG was a pretty good performance."
"I reckon our last one against South Australia at Bankstown with the bowlers taking 20 wickets on a very, very flat surface. It turned out that win was the win that got us two wins clear at the top of the ladder and pretty much got us the Shield. That win there on that wicket where the bowlers had to change their tactics and come round the wicket and rough the batters up was a good effort on a flat pitch."
"Young Matthew Gilkes provided a bit of entertainment in Adelaide. In the viewing rooms up in the grandstand and the changerooms down the bottom, the televisions are delayed. He went downstairs to go to the bathroom and he came out of the bathroom and was watching on the TV and some bloke got out and he was next in. But all his gear was upstairs so he had to run upstairs because of the delayed broadcast. I've never seen someone get almost timed out but he was bloody close. And then to back that up he did it again in the second innings and didn't learn. He was pretty close to being timed out again in the second innings. That was a pretty funny moment for most of the boys."
"I'd say Moises. He was pretty consistent right through the one-day comp and the Shield comp. Those innings he plays in the middle order sets the game up for us. Where we just take our time at the top to try and blunt the bowling attack where he raises the run rate, takes on the spin and the quicks, so I would say Moises is pretty important for us in that middle order. Without him batting like that, it's hard to set wins up."
Toughest team to face
"Queensland are a pretty good outfit. They've got 'Ness' (paceman Michael Neser) and a pretty good batting line-up as well. So I would say Queensland would be the toughest."
Overall Shield player of the season
"Nic Maddinson. He ended up averaging 86 with the bat at the top of the order. To average 86 that's a pretty phenomenal season. He had a good year and won't be far off Aussie selection in the near future."