Queensland wins ninth Marsh Sheffield Shield title

Queensland has won its ninth Marsh Sheffield Shield title, defeating New South Wales in the 2020-21 Final by an innings and 33 runs at Allan Border Field.

Bulls batsman Marnus Labuschagne was named Player of the Final for his first innings 192 which countered the Blues’ attack which featured three members of Australia’s Test line up.

Labuschagne came to the crease in the final session of day one after the Bulls, led by Michael Neser (5-27) and Jack Wildermuth (4-21) bowled New South Wales out for 143 in a little over two sessions.

He combined first with Bryce Street (46 off 203 deliveries) to blunt the early onslaught before taking control of the game on day two, bringing up his century by reverse sweeping Nathan Lyon to the boundary in front of a capacity crowd of 2900.

Queensland lost just two wickets on the second day but could not maintain the same resistance on the third, losing their final seven wickets for just 90 runs including that of Labuschagne just shy of his double century. Sean Abbott (4-71) and Nathan Lyon (3-116) did most of the damage for the Blues.

The Bulls’ total of 389 gave them a commanding lead and that was reinforced when NSW, after reaching 64 without loss in quick time to open their second innings, saw their top order dismantled by Xavier Bartlett (3-42) and Brendan Doggett (3-37).

Bad light forced a premature end to the third day’s play with NSW at 5-140, leaving day four to begin at the unusual time of 8:54am. It added a final layer to an extraordinary 2020-21 summer of firsts, with the day understood to be the earliest start to a First Class match on the latest day of an Australian domestic season.

The early start did nothing to slow Queensland’s charge to victory, as leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson (3-68) owned the morning session on the final day. The final five wickets all fell before the lunch break to the delight of the parochial home supporters, with NSW all-out for 213.

Blues spinner Nathan Lyon was named Player of the Tournament for his 42 wickets at 25.97 apiece, as voted by the umpires. Throughout the Australian summer, Lyon sent down an mammoth 645.3 overs in Test, Marsh Sheffield Shield and Marsh One-Day Cup cricket for a cumulative 57 wickets, underlining his importance to the Australian and New South Wales outfits.

Cricket Australia wishes to thank everyone who made the 2020-21 summer of cricket possible, including all players, match officials and their families, our State and Territory Associations and their staff, broadcast partners, commercial partners and suppliers, the ACA, media and the fans who supported the game throughout this unusual season.

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