New South Wales gained their fourth straight Sheffield Shield victory as Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood helped them to a 223-run victory over Western Australia.
They have given themselves substantial breathing space at the top of the table as they prepare to lose their Australia players to international duty with two more rounds of matches before the BBL’s pre-Christmas break.
Starc said, “It was an interesting wicket, lucky we won the toss and batted first. One of the slowest wickets I’ve played on in a few years. Never ideal when a game is dictated by the toss, but we were fortunate to bat first. Four from four is a very strong position to be in.”
There were already three Western Australia down overnight and it didn’t take long for New South Wales to make further inroads when Starc accounted for Marcus Stoinis.
Hazlewood then claimed two wickets in two balls as he burst through the defenses of Ashton Turner with a beautiful delivery that took his off-stump. He then removed Cameron Green in the first ball as the batsman paid the price for shouldering his arms for the second time in the match. Hazlewood was a whisker away from a hat-trick when he let go of his first ball inches off the off-stumps as well.
D’Arcy Short was the only batsman in double figures at this point, but his innings came to end when Starc struck him plumb.
A fast finish probably existed, but Inglis and Ashton Agar resisted for 28 overs before Inglis fell after lunch in a massively unfortunate fashion as he pushed Steven Smith into the short point’s boot with the catch rebounding to the short leg. Agar was then run out for 101-ball 14 before Liam Guthrie was castled by Hazlewood.