NSW SpeedBlitz Blues batsman, Tim Cruickshank
Some disciplined batting has allowed the NSW 2nd X1 to claw their way back into the match against their Victorian counterparts in Melbourne, after conceding a sizeable first innings lead.
With the home side resuming at 6-371, it was vital to take early wickets to stop too sizeable a lead being created. Gurinder Sandhu achieved this, by picking up the unbeaten Rose early on, before the 8th wicket added a further 74 runs in 21 overs, to declare at 7-455, with a lead of 109. Winner of last year’s Foxtel ‘Cricket Superstar’ Ian Holland showed that he was worthy of a State contract by finishing unbeaten on 103, while bowling honours went to Sandhu, who finished with 3-58 from his 19 overs.
The response needed to be brisk if NSW were to get back into the game and Daniel Hughes and Scott Henry laid a good foundation adding 33 in seven overs, before Hughes was lbw to former England paceman Darren Pattinson. The in-form Henry and Tim Cruickshank then added 36, before Henry (37), was caught in close, after spin was introduced.
The experience of Cruickshank and David Dawson then took control, scoring quickly, before Cruickshank (52), departed lbw. At tea, with the score at 3-154, any chance of an outright victory looked unlikely, but some fluent batting between Dawson and Kurtis Patterson hurried things along, until a poor call from Dawson saw Patterson run out for 34. This signalled the end of aggression as a great spell of reverse swing bowling from Patterson, meant only 10 runs were added to see the visitors finish at 4-242 at stumps with Dawson unbeaten on 81 and Semple on 6.
With a lead of 133, it will be tough for NSW to force victory, but a run chase of around 250 on the final day will not prove easy for Victoria.