Thatscricket - News - Quiet start for Waugh twins at Sydney

Published: Thursday, March 4, 2004, 22:03 [IST]
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Sydney:Australian cricket's Waugh twins took to the field for what could well be their first-class swansong , but neither got a chance to show their talents with either bat or ball.

Apart from the last over of the day, bowled by Steve Waugh to the musical strains of "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" coming from the small crowd, the pair spent the day fielding as their New South Wales State team fought for a place in the final of the domestic Sheffield Shield competition.

Facing a powerful Queensland batting outfit, neither risked rolling their arm over - a practice both have become accustomed to in their 20 years of playing Test and One-day cricket at the highest level.

The four-day match against Queensland, being played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, will help determine which State plays in the final against Victoria starting on March 12.

At stumps on the first day Queensland were 282 for six after New South Wales skipper Steve Waugh had sent them into bat.

For the Waugh brothers, it is their last match at their beloved home ground as the final, should they reach it, will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The pair are locked in a personal duel after scoring more than 50,000 first-class runs between them over 20 years, Steve, older by four minutes, is shading brother Mark in career batting averages: 52.01 to 51.98.

Both brothers, competitive since childhood, want to finish their first-class careers ahead of the other.

New South Wales and Queensland must take maximum points from the match and rely on Victoria denying Tasmania points in Hobart if either State is to have a chance of making the final.

For New South Wales, left-arm paceman Nathan Bracken, unwanted by selectors for the current Australian tour of Sri Lanka, ripped through Queensland's middle order and at one stage had figures of three wickets for one run off 24 balls.

Amongst his victims was the prized scalp of prolific run-scorer Martin Love for 52.

Bracken was untouchable after the tea interval and with Queensland starting the final session on 181 for three, he claimed Love's wicket, trapped James Hopes lbw for eight and had Chris Hartley caught by Michael Clarke at third slip for a duck.

Queensland staggered to 202 for six, and Bracken's burst, combined with Matthew Nicholson getting rid of the prolific Stuart Law for 10 and Glenn McGrath's miserly effort of 0-26 from 17 overs, gave New South Wales an early chance of gaining the six-points for an outright win they need.

But Queensland recovered thanks to a late 80-run partnership between Aaron Nye who was 59 not out on debut and Andy Bichel who was not out on 46.

Bracken finished with 3-42 while Nicholson took 2-68.

In Hobart, Tasmania reached a hard-fought 313 for nine at stumps on day one in their match against Victoria at Bellerive Oval.

Michael Dighton ruled the day for the Tasmania, top-scoring with 152 off 208 balls including 18 fours and five sixes.

His reign ended when he was caught at cover by Cameron White off left-arm paceman Allan Wise, who later captured Andrew Downton in front for three to take three for 59 off 22 overs.

Tasmania was keen for an outright win to ensure a final berth against runaway leaders Victoria.

In Adelaide, a Marcus North century rescued Western Australia from trouble and gave them a solid first innings total against South Australia on the opening day at Adelaide Oval.

Western Australia made 335 in their first innings, with North scoring an unbeaten 130 from 191 balls, with 18 fours and two sixes.

South Australia were 13 for none in reply at stumps.

Brief scores:

Sydney (day one): New South Wales versus Queensland 282 for six (C Simpson 75, A Nye 59 no; N Bracken 3-42, M Nicholson 2-68).

Hobart (day one): Tasmania 313 for nine (M Dighton 152, S Clingeleffer 46; A Wise 3-59, A McDonald 3-69) versus Victoria.

Adelaide (day one): South Australia 13 for naught versus Western Australia 335 (M North 130 no, M Goodwin 55; M Cleary 3-43, P Rofe 2-53).

McGrath hopeful of late call-up to Sri Lanka

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