NSW is poised to snap its longest Sheffield Shield winless streak in 130 years after Matt Renshaw failed to seize the spotlight from Cameron Bancroft despite a fast start with the bat.
The Blues lead Queensland by 97 runs at stumps on Day 3 at Sydney Olympic Park after a lower order run fest took their first innings score to 446 on Friday morning.
Chris Green (50 not out) and No. 11 Jackson Bird (34 off 39 balls) put on 59 runs for the last wicket after Hayden Kerr fell short of his maiden first-class century with 86.
Renshaw hammered 10 boundaries on his way to 55 from 64 deliveries as he began to eat into the Blues’ 270-run lead, but the wickets tumbled around him as Chris Tremain blasted out Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja and Jack Clayton in quick succession.
Khawaja was again caught behind for just seven after making 30 in the first innings.
Bulls keeper Jimmy Peirson resumed his strong red-ball form from last season with an unbeaten half-century, putting on 82 with Michael Neser (48 not out) before rain halted play with Queensland 5-173 heading into the final day.
Renshaw was unable to match Cameron Bancroft’s commanding 122 against Victoria in Perth, but the contenders for David Warner’s opening spot will have four more Shield matches to stake their claims before the Test summer begins against Pakistan on December 14.
“If I feathered one, then that’s what happened – unfortunately I’m not sure, but I felt pretty good out there,” Renshaw said after his innings.
The left-hander was frustrated with his contentious dismissal against Jack Edwards, which he may have “feathered” down the leg-side to the keeper.
“I had a look at what was working on that pitch, and it felt like being nice and positive was one of those things, and I got a few balls in my area to score.”
WA strengthened its hold over Victoria with an explosive finish to its first innings to claim a 225-run lead at tea on Day 3.
Resuming at 2-237, Bancroft fell to Scott Boland early on at the WACA but third-gamer Jayden Goodwin picked up where he left off to make a patient 63.
Victorian captain Will Sutherland came to life with three successive wickets in the afternoon session to remove Goodwin, Aaron Hardie (48) and Josh Philippe (24), but Ashton Turner made the most of the Warriors’ platform to slam 57 off 33 balls, including three sixes, as WA was bowled out for 481 at the tea break.
Boland and Sutherland were Victoria’s top bowlers with three wickets each, while Todd Murphy struggled with 1-141 from his 32 overs.