Marnus Labuschagne finally fell for 192 after an innings that lasted nine hours
New South Wales 143 and 5 for 140 (Bartlett 3-31) trail Queensland 389 (Labuschagne 192, Abbott 4-71) by 106 runs
Queensland were on the brink of claiming the Sheffield Shield after another dominant display left New South Wales struggling to avoid an innings defeat.
Whereas in the first innings it was nine wickets between Michael Neser and Jack Wildermuth that dismantled the visitors, this time it was Xavier Bartlett and Brendan Doggett who shared the five wickets to fall – including four in the final session as it briefly looked as though Queensland could wrap things up on the third evening before bad light intervened.
They had earlier extended their first innings to 246 with Marnus Labuschagne finally departing for 192 off 353 balls – eight short of his second double century. At 351 for 4, Queensland might have wanted an even greater advantage but New South Wales were finally able to get some reward for their toil as the last six wickets fell for 38. The next-highest score after Labuschagne was Bryce Street’s 46.
New South Wales’ second innings started positively as Daniel Hughes and Matthew Gilkes added 64 in 16 overs before a brilliant catch by Usman Khawaja at the second of two gullies intercepted Hughes’ drive and provided Queensland their opening.
Doggett struck in quick succession after tea when Kurtis Patterson’s poor season ended with a booming drive edged to first slip and Gilkes was squared up, the edge carrying to Joe Burns who was stationed close at second slip to counter the slowness of the pitch.
Bartlett then made inroads in consecutive overs as he won lbw appeals against Jason Sangha and Jack Edwards who were both caught on the crease by full deliveries that shaped back in.
At that point New South Wales were 121 for 5 with 20 overs remaining but Sean Abbott and Baxter Holt survived until the early close, although it was a close-run thing for Holt who was beaten by ripping leg-breaks from Mitchell Swepson.
Queensland had resumed on 286 for 3 and Matt Renshaw departed relatively early when he inside-edged a drive into his stumps off Trent Copeland.
Labuschagne, who had been 160 overnight, was the quiet partner in a fifth-wicket stand of 52 with Jimmy Peirson who struck eight boundaries in his 46.
However, when Peirson edged Lyon to slip the innings rather lost its way – although all things are relative. Wildermuth nicked a good delivery from Abbott and Neser got an inside edge to short leg before Labuschagne’s nine-and-a-half hour marathon ended when he late cut into the hands of a wide slip. His career-best remained the 215 against New Zealand at the SCG last year.
Abbott was reward for an extended spell with the last two wickets as he finished with four (and the biggest workload of the quicks) but while it stopped the lead being as hefty as it might have been the task of rescuing the game, beyond a miracle, was too much for New South Wales.