17 February 2020

Siddle bags five wickets to end Blues' run

Victoria has overcome the threat of rain on the final day of play to take a 112-run win over New South Wales in the sides’ Marsh Sheffield Shield clash at the SCG.

Veteran paceman Peter Siddle wound back the clock with second innings figures of 5 for 49, putting an end to the Blues’ unbeaten season and earning Victoria their first win of the campaign.

An unbeaten first innings century from Victorian middle-order batsman Seb Gotch saw the Victorians to a commanding total of 7/431 declared, from which they would take a 121-run first innings lead as NSW replied all-out for 310.

Nic Maddinson backed up his first innings knock of 95 with an expansive 105 not-out on day three, setting the Blues an imposing 290 runs to chase to win the match.

Resuming on day four under clouded skies at 1/41, NSW quickly fell to 4/69 when night watchman Nathan Lyon (1), Kurtis Patterson (1) and Moises Henriques (10) all failed to make inroads against the Bushrangers bowling attack.

Siddle and his pace partner Scott Boland combined for three wickets before lunch to leave the Blues floundering at 5/98 at the break.

Mid-afternoon rain at the SCG saw the lunch interval extended by half an hour, and the Blues began to sense frustration from the Bushrangers when captain Peter Nevill (29) and Daniel Solway (66) combined with a 54-run partnership to stem the flow of wickets.

But the Victorians would steady their push towards victory when Siddle struck with his third wicket of the innings to send Nevill on his way. The 35-year-old snared Steve O’Keefe for a third-ball duck inside the same over to have NSW 7/135, still 155 runs shy of victory.

Despite wickets falling at the other end, Solway offered resistance and combined with Harry Conway in a partnership that stood for 15 overs.

Siddle again proved the man with the golden arm, trapping Solway LBW and all-but bringing the innings to a close as the Blues’ hopes of survival quickly evaporated at 9/176.

Chris Tremain had Liam Hatcher caught behind for nought just four balls into his innings as Victoria rounded out an emphatic 112-run victory, keeping their 2019-20 Marsh Sheffield Shield finals hopes alive.

NSW face South Australia in the next match of the Sheffield Shield season, commencing at Bankstown Oval next Monday (24 February).

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