NSW Blues Kurtis Patterson and Trent Copeland have produced impressive performances in the Toyota Second XI this week, as they along with several other NSW players prepare for the resumption of the Marsh Sheffield Shield on 14 February.
Continuing his return from a quad injury, Patterson made a defining 81 in a four-wicket outright win over Tasmania in Hobart. After missing out in the first innings, the 26-year-old left-hander reached the boundary 11 times and cleared it once to steer NSW Metro to the 204 required on Thursday.
Copeland claimed an impressive 5-60 from 26.5 overs, as captain of ACT/NSW Country, in the first innings of the 42-run loss to Victoria at Casey Fields, Cranbourne. The 33-year-old seamer claimed 2-45 in the second innings.
The undefeated NSW Blues meet Victoria on resumption of the Marsh Sheffield Shield, in just over a week, at the SCG.
However, Country almost pulled off a miracle victory on the fourth and final day. The visitors recovering from 6/68 late on day three to be 9/234 chasing 283 to win.
Blues left-arm quick and No. 10 batsman Greg West made 50 not out from 125 balls and was strongly supported by Copeland (43) and young seamer Henry Railz (44) during the lower order fightback.
In the first innings, ACT/NSW Country opening batter Blake Nikitaras top-scored for ACT/NSW Country with 86 from 181 balls.
Patterson was well supported by Blues and Metro captain Peter Nevill (39) during the successful chase in Hobart.
In the first innings, it was Blues Jack Edwards, 19, and off-spinning allrounder Param Uppal, 21, who rescued Metro from a low total sharing a 150-run partnership for the seventh wicket.
Edwards (77) and Uppal (74) guided Metro from 6/60 towards the eventual first innings total of 219 trailing Tasmania by just 14.
Blues leg-spinner Daniel Fallins claimed 4-78 in the second innings of the win, while emerging paceman Ryan Hadley collected 3-23 from 14 overs during the first innings.
Combining the results of all T20 and four-day fixtures so far this season, Metro is third on the Toyota Second XI table, while ACT/NSW Country is fifth.