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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sheffield Shield final winds up domestic season

I've been watching the final of the Sheffield Shield. Victoria dominated throughout, secured a reasonable first innings total (510 is barely par for these 5 day attritional contests) then bowled Queensland out for 200. Disappointed as the Bulls would have been this was at least an improvement on their 506 run first innings deficit against Victoria a week before.

Both sides went through the motions of a second innings but the game, which the Bulls needed to win to knock the Bushrangers off their unbeaten perch, fizzled out. Perhaps Martin Love , the last man standing of the side which first won the shield for Queensland , thought otherwise, though his apparel (inc at least two shirts, sunhat and cap, as the photo above shows) gave the Fox Sports commentators something to talk about in the slow passages.

Victoria deserved to win, even though the Bulls had three key players (Ashley Noffke, Ryan Harris and Chris Swan) unavailable because of injury. The Bushrangers' talent pool was deep enough to cover international call ups to Andrew McDonald and Bryce McGain: they were able to omit a recent England Test player .


During the telecast Fox Sports interleafed some archival footage, including some of the last time South Australia won the Shield by hanging on for a draw against Western Australia, who were on top throughout. I was there and remember the tension building as the last few South Australians hung on grimly as the April light faded. (Interesting to note that only Mike Hussey of the 22 players in that match is still playing).
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