NSW Blues allrounder Sean Abbott was impressive with the ball early on day three of the Marsh Sheffield Final, and now unbeaten at the crease, says the team is still upbeat that victory is still possible at Allan Border Field.
As bad light ended play early on Saturday, the Blues went to stumps in Brisbane at 5/140 trailing by 106 runs in their second innings. Abbott is unbeaten on 20 with wicketkeeper Baxter Holt (10 not out).
Queensland’s 389 was highlighted by 192 to Marnus Labuschagne. Abbott finished with 4-71 from 28.3 overs.
Reflecting on the Blues’ come-from-behind wins against Tasmania and Queensland in the Adelaide hub during October and November – the latter secured by one wicket in a thrilling finish, the former where NSW was bowled out for 64 – Abbott said the key for he and Holt was to “not think too far ahead.”
“There’s certainly some feelings that we can draw back on with those couple of games we played and took points out of at the start of the year,” Abbott said after play in Brisbane.
“(Queensland) will know if we get any sort of a lead that we’re going to come hard at them and we’re not going to give up until this match is done.
“We’re a long way behind at the minute … (but Baxter and I) just need to get together in the morning, build a partnership and see where we end up.”
Abbott has the second most Shield runs for NSW this season with 568 trailing Moises Henriques by 65.
Trent Copeland took the first wicket of the day, bowling Matt Renshaw for 34, and taking him to 328 Sheffield Shield wickets for NSW, joining great leg-spinner Stuart MacGill in equal third on the all-time list.
Only former Blues' captains Geoff Lawson (367) and Greg Matthews (363) sit above the man affectionately known as ‘Copes’.
Copeland is also closing in on 400 First Class wickets remaining just six shy of that milestone.
Nathan Lyon claimed three first innings wickets to take his season tally in the Shield to 42, on top of the competition's wicket takers list, and seven clear of Tasmanian seamer Jackson Bird.