NSW’s top four batsmen notched half centuries on day one of their historic Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia in Lincoln, New Zealand.
It’s the first time a Shield game has been played across the Tasman, where Test players Peter Nevill, Nathan Lyon and Adam Voges are warming up for next week’s Test series against the Black Caps.
Sent in to bat, Daniel Hughes (65), Ed Cowan (57), Kurtis Patterson (75) and Nic Maddinson (69) proved New Zealand wasn’t just a seamer’s paradise.
But the Warriors, thanks largely to inexperienced paceman David Moody, did manage to fight back with four wickets in the final session to limit the Blues to 6/293.
Nevill (15no) and Sean Abbott (5no) will hope to build on the total on Thursday.
“It’s fantastic conditions. We’ve seen a great wicket rolled out, great outfield,” Cowan said.
“If the batting condition is like that every game, we should move all 10 games a year here.”
Offspinner Ashton Turner claimed the first Shield wicket on foreign soil when he had Cowan controversially caught at short leg.
The former Test batsman was adamant the ball bounced before it reached Cameron Bancroft in close, pointing to a puff of dust in the area with his bat no less than six times before angrily remonstrating with the fielders and storming off.
“I had a pretty good view of what happened and I made it pretty clear to those on the field what I thought about them,” Cowan said.
Cowan and Hughes earlier made the Warriors pay for electing to field, leading the Blues to a commanding 2-243 and apparently on their way to a big score.
Maddinson’s run-a-ball 69 included two sixes but despite four batsmen reaching 50, none was able to kick on.
NSW then lost 4-42 and their ascendancy in the final session.
Moody, who finished with a day’s best 3-62 off 14 overs, claimed the crucial wickets of Hughes and Maddinson in a breakthrough performance.
“Having the sweeper let me get away with it a little bit but in terms of the confidence, I had the rhythm and I felt as though that was one of the better performances that I’ve had,” he said.