Don’t worry, we’re not going to do something outlandish like label Mitchell Swepson the next Shane Warne — but he did pull off a darn good impersonation of the Spin King in the Sheffield Shield on Monday.
The Queensland leggie did something very, very special when he ripped a ball out of the rough from way outside off stump to bamboozle Daniel Hughes and bowl the NSW opener for 16.
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It was reminiscent of Warne’s famous delivery to Shivnarine Chanderpaul in 1996, when he did the same thing from around the wicket to castle the left-handed West Indian with a ball that spun a mile.
Swepson didn’t take long to warm up his spinning fingers, sending down the fizzing leg-break with just the third ball of his first over for the innings.
“Look at the turn! Prodigious turn,” one commentator said. “Almost so wide it hit the footmarks on the edge of the pitch and spun sharply.”
Swepson then had Kurtis Patterson caught behind for nine as the Blues slumped to 2/49 at stumps on day three in the final round of the regular Shield season.
NSW posted 381 in its first innings, thanks to a century from Jason Sangha, before Marnus Labuschagne (112) and Usman Khawaja (64) led the way for Queensland, who responded with 433.
Aussie off-spinner Nathan Lyon took six wickets for NSW.
The Blues and Bulls will likely play each other again in the final, unless Western Australia can conjure up something spectacular on the final day of its Shield clash against Tasmania.
The Warriors ended day three at 1/11 in its second innings, needing to successfully chase down a monster total of 480 in just 96 overs to have any chance of dislodging either NSW or Queensland and forcing their way into the decider.