Tremain, Davies star for NSW in Shield clash with Qld

Jasper Bruce |

Chris Tremain has put the NSW Blues in a strong position against Queensland in the Sheffield Shield.
Chris Tremain has put the NSW Blues in a strong position against Queensland in the Sheffield Shield.

Chris Tremain starred with the ball as NSW took control of their clash with Queensland on day two, but a late charge into the Sheffield Shield final still appears unlikely.

After rain washed out all but 12 overs on day one, veteran quick Tremain (6-20) devastated the hosts who managed a paltry 144 at Allan Border Field in their first innings.

NSW were 5-222 in reply at stumps. Jack Edwards (31) and Oliver Davies (79) are unbeaten at the crease, with the latter hitting his stride late in the day to give the Blues a 78-run lead.

Tremain set chaos in motion on day one to ensure the Bulls would start at 2-14 on day two and he struck again early on Tuesday when Bryce Street (9) picked out Jack Nisbet at mid-wicket.

Paceman Xavier Bartlett (70) produced the best batting performance of his career in the brightest spot of the Bulls’ innings at the crease.

His knock off 75 deliveries amounted to twice his previous first-class high-score of 32, and twice the score of the next-most prolific Queenslander, Max Bryant (33), on Tuesday.

But Bartlett too fell victim to a rampant Tremain, who had ripped through the tail and ended Queensland’s innings by enticing the quick into hitting to Dan Hughes at mid-wicket.

In reply, Australian U19 representative Sam Konstas (57) stroked his way to a maiden first-class half-century at the top of the order before being trapped lbw by a turning Mitch Swepson delivery.

Davies passed Konstas as NSW’s top-scorer by edging Bartlett past first slip for four and proceeding into the 60s as long shadows fell over the pitch.

The Blues came into their final game of the regular season as a mathematical chance to make next week’s season final, provided they win and pick up bonus points along the way.

Bowling the Bulls out in 49 overs and charging to 5-222, have earned the Blues 1.22 bonus points already.

But Western Australia’s clash with Victoria is nevertheless threatening their chances of reaching the decider.

That match needs to end in a draw for the Blues to have any hope of making the final, but a result appears inevitable with Western Australia sitting at 6-119 in their second innings after two days.