Cricket

Starc and Hazlewood maintain New South Wales’ winning run

New South Wales 8 for 444 dec (Smith 103, Henriques 91) and 0 for 98 dec beat Western Australia 191 and 128 (Starc 4-57) by 223 runs

New South Wales surged to their fourth straight Sheffield Shield victory as Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood did most of the damage on the final day to earn a crushing 223-run victory.

They have given themselves significant 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 competition breaks before Christmas for the BBL. It is the first time since 1997-98 that New South Wales have won for Shield matches in a row.

“It was an interesting wicket, lucky we won the toss and batted first,” Starc said. “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.”

With Australia having limited-overs commitments when the Shield resumes in February they are unlikely to see much more of their all-format Australia players in the competition. Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon are not part of Australia’s short form teams so could feature again later in the season.

Western Australia were already three down overnight and it didn’t take long for New South Wales to make further inroads when Marcus Stoinis drove Starc to backward point.

With the ball continuing to reverse significantly, Hazlewood then claimed two wickets in two balls as he burst through Ashton Turner’s defence with a beautiful delivery that took off stump then removed Cameron Green first ball as he paid the price for shoulder arms for the second time in the match. Hazlewood was a whisker away from a hat-trick as Josh Inglis also let his first ball go inches from off stump.

At this point D’Arcy Short was the only batsman into double figures but his innings was halted when he was given lbw to Starc and did not look at all impressed with the decision.

A swift finish appeared likely but Inglis and Ashton Agar resisted for 28 overs before Inglis fell in hugely unlucky fashion after lunch as he drove Steven Smith into the boot of silly point with the catch rebounding to short leg. Agar was then run out for 101-ball 14 before Hazlewood castled Liam Guthrie to close out the match.

Article source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1206568.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

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