The second day of the Sheffield Shield 2013-14 final will see the two teams, New South Wales and Western Australia start off on an even keel at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.
It was an interesting opening day of the final, with fortunes fluctuating for the two teams over the 90 overs of play.
It started with a reasonably early wicket for Western Australia in the first session of Nic Maddinson, but things changed drastically in favour of New South Wales over the next session and a half.
Ryan Carters and captain Steven Smith tread on the cautious path to kick-start their partnership but as it grew, the confidence also shot up and so did the scoring.
The 121-run stand ensued and for most part of this partnership – that lasted 45 overs – the pair looked inseparable. Almost unassailable.
Then, much to the disgust of his captain and partner, Carters fell on the stroke of the tea break to a rash slash and Western Australia had something to chew on at the start of the third.
Having gotten the wicket of Carters before tea, Michael Hogan sent back Ben Rohrer early in the final session before Jason Behrendorff joined in the fun.
In a matter of less than six overs, he had turned the game on its head by sending back the well-set Steven Smith Kurtis Patterson and Peter Nevill to peg the hosts back to 6/189.
Remember, the Blues were 1/164 at one stage, which meant a loss of five wickets for 25 – it couldn’t have gotten worse for them.
Fortunately for New South Wales, the pair of Moises Henriques and Steve O’Keefe gritted it out to survive the remaining 20 overs of the day’s play and in turn added 53 for the seventh wicket. It was an unbeaten stand that took the Blues to some total of substance.
The objective for the second day will be as straightforward as they get. With the track expected to make batting even more difficult, New South Wales’ aim will be to get to 350 over the next session and a half.
Western Australia have the option of taking the new ball and if the quicks fail to extract the same reverse swing from this old one, it could well be replaced with the shinier and hopefully a more swinging cherry.
Join me for this Sheffield Shield final on Saturday and you can follow the live score of this game from 10.30 am local time and post your comments below.