Queensland has destroyed NSW to claim an emphatic victory in the Sheffield Shield final.
The Bulls ripped through the NSW tail order on Sunday to have the Shield wrapped up just after 11.20am on the final day.
The Bulls’ win is Queensland’s ninth Shield crown and the state’s second since 2018.
There was never any doubt about the result after the first two days of play.
It was the perfect performance by the Bulls with the bat and ball, winning by an innings and 33 runs. It is the biggest drubbing seen in a Shield final since Queensland thumped Victoria by an innings and 354 runs in 2006.
The result was already guaranteed for Queensland heading into the final day with NSW resuming at 5/140 — needing an outright win to take the Shield.
Instead, Mitchell Swepson, Xavier Bartlett and Brendan Doggett combined for three wickets each as NSW finished all out for 213.
Play resumed at 9am on Sunday after bad light forced an early end to Day 3. The first wicket fell in just the third over of play on the final day when Sean Abbott was dismissed by Michael Neser just five minutes into the day’s play.
The bad light at least helped NSW extend the contest to a fourth day after test star Marnus Labuschagne fell agonisingly short of becoming the fourth cricketer to score a double century in a Sheffield Shield final.
Labuschagne’s score of 192 lasted 353 balls at the crease, cracking 21 boundaries in his marathon innings which spanned three days — incredibly, no other Queenslander reached 50.
Labuschagne was awarded man of the match honours while test spinner Nathan Lyon was named player of the series with 42 wickets at an average of 25.97.
NSW needed 246 to force Queensland to bat a second time after Labuschagne led the home side to 389 in the first innings.
More to come…