Сricket

Blues on back foot in Sheffield Shield final

Blues coach Phil Jaques is adamant Nathan Lyon can still play a major role in the Sheffield Shield final and keep his side in the hunt after Michael Neser gave Queensland ascendancy with an outstanding five-wicket haul.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, the Blues never got going on day one at Allan Border Field, slumping to 5-96 before being bowled out for 143 in the 63rd over.

Kurtis Patterson trudges off after top scoring with 43 for New South Wales.Credit:Getty

Josh Hazlewood managed to remove Joe Burns (20) but it was Queensland’s day as the home side and higher ranked team went to stumps sitting pretty at 1-58.

Neser was the chief destroyer with 5-27, while opening partner Jack Wildermuth was also damaging with 4-21 from 16 overs.

Captains Usman Khawaja and Kurtis Patterson said before the match they thought the decider wouldn’t last a full five days and their predictions look set to come true.

Only five Blues batsmen made it to double figures. Kurtis Patterson top scored with 43 before edging behind off Brendan Doggett (1-38).

A lively pitch that offered some early turn has given Jaques hope his spin king can come to the rescue.

“We’ve got another gear we can go up and I think if we can create that pressure with our quicks, Nathan will be really dangerous,” Jaques said after play.

“The fact it turned and bounced means we’re very optimistic that Nathan can have a real impact on this game and bowl Queensland out fairly cheap if we can get a couple of these batters out early.

“We would have liked a few more runs that’s for sure. I thought it was a really tough pitch and didn’t seem like any of the batters were really in at any stage.”

Things started badly for the Blues when opener Matthew Gilkes was nearly run out for a diamond duck before shouldering arms to a Neser delivery that cannoned into his off stump.

Dan Hughes (19) and Jason Sangha (20) failed to make the most of their starts, while Jack Edwards went from hero to zero following his match-winning one-day final hundred on Sunday when he was caught behind for a six-ball duck.

NSW lost 4-20 to round out the innings and will be desperate to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne (23 not out) early on day two.

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