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Victoria vs New South Wales
2018-19 Sheffield Shield final
|Venue: Junction Oval, Victoria|
|Toss: Victoria elected to bat first|
|Match status: Victorian first innings, Stumps, Day 1|
|Victoria||New South Wales|
|Victoria||New South Wales|
Victoria will take on New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield final at the Junction Oval today. Join The Roar for live updates of Day 1 from 10:30am (AEDT).
The Bushrangers finished with top spot on the table at the end of the regular season, and it’s their incredibly strong bowling attack which New South Wales will have to be wary of in this match.
Led by Scott Boland, who was yesterday named Sheffield Shield player of the year, the attack has demolished everyone in their path this season, including New South Wales just a couple of matches ago.
That win should fill them with confidence ahead of final with changed rules this year.
In short, there will be no more drawn finals, unless the rain prevents 270 overs of cricket being played. Instead, bonus points in the first 100 overs of the first innings would decide the premiers if a drawn match was the case.
While Boland leads the attack for Victoria, he is backed up strongly by James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and spinner Jon Holland, who also had a sensational season.
Given the Blues batting line-up leaves a little bit to be desired, it could be a mismatch, and the New South Wales stars must stand up.
Daniel Hughes and Kurtis Patterson – who was selected for Australia on the back of Shield form – will need to lead the way for the Blues with strong technique and patience at the crease. They have scored 699 runs at 41 and 629 runs at 39 respectively during the season, while Nick Larkin has also been strong.
If Hughes and Larkin at the top of the order can see off the new ball and frustrate the Victorian quicks, then the momentum of the battle might begin to shift.
On the other foot though, the Blues attack is also strong, with Trent Copeland leading the way through his accuracy. He has also had an outstanding season, and needs to find a way to stop Marcus Harris – who has scored more than 1000 runs this Shield season – building a platform for the home side.
As is the case with any final, the toss will be important, although not as much as in previous years thanks to the bonus points rule. In fact, teams may even prefer to bowl first, putting them in a position to ensure they can be ahead on bonus points through a measured run chase at the end of 100 overs in the first innings.
There isn’t a heap in this match, but Victoria are at home and defeated New South Wales a couple of weeks ago. They should hang onto the Sheffield Shield for another year.
Victoria in a close one.
Be sure to join The Roar for live updates of Day 1 from 10:30am (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.