New South Wales Blues fast bowler Harry Conway has returned his best match figures in First Class cricket and earned player of the match honours in a disappointing loss to Victoria during round nine of the JLT Sheffield Shield at Drummoyne Oval.
After it was set 166 for victory on the third day, NSW was bowled out for 102. It could have been worse for the Blues at one point, but for captain Peter Nevill (26 not out) and Stephen O’Keefe (25).
The pair added 48 for the final wicket on Thursday. O’Keefe batted at No. 11, with a runner, due to hamstring soreness as was the case in the first innings.
Conway (4-50) claimed his fourth wicket for the second innings on day three to finish the match with 9-64.
The speedster claimed 5-14 from 13 overs in the first innings. His previous best match figures were 5-59.
It was an extraordinary comeback victory for Victoria after it was 9/82 in its first innings on day one and bowled out for 106. The Blues remain in second position on the Shield table with one match to be completed in round nine.
They need to defeat Tasmania in the final round to keep their hopes alive of making the Shield final against Victoria who guaranteed a home final with victory at Drummoyne.
In his return match from injury, Victorian fast bowler James Pattinson claimed his 10th First Class five-wicket haul. He returned 5-25 from 12 overs in the second innings bowling with significant pace.
Pattinson was the third player to take five wickets in an innings during the match along with Conway and Victorian left-arm finger spinner Jon Holland, who claimed 5-31 in the first innings.
Middle-order batsman Matt Short made the only 50 of the match in the second innings. He shared two partnerships worth 52 and 49 with former Blues batsman Nic Maddinson (33), and wicketkeeper-batter Seb Gotch (18), during that knock which proved crucial in the low-scoring contest.
Victoria earlier resumed at 7/159 and the Blues quickly finished its second innings in nine overs bowling out the visitors for 194.
Pattinson (13) was the first wicket to fall for the day, run out brilliantly by Daniel Hughes who had one stump to aim at from point, and he was closely followed by seamer Peter Siddle (6).
A blazing cameo from No. 11 Holland contributed to another handy 10th wicket partnership between the spinner and paceman Scott Boland (10).
Holland made an unbeaten 18 from 13 balls in the 26-run partnership to follow the 24 runs added with Boland in the first innings.
Victoria made the ideal start with the ball when Siddle (3-34) struck in the first over. He disturbed the stumps of Hughes and dismissed the opener for a duck. The Blues were 1/0.
The Blues were soon 3/8 when Pattinson removed both opener Nick Larkin and Moises Henriques, also for ducks, within three deliveries in the fourth over.
NSW lost another four wickets before lunch to be 7/48 at the interval and Pattinson had 4-12.
After lunch, the Victorian quick claimed his fifth wicket when he bowled Greg West for four.