Hazlewood’s career-best keeps New South Wales rolling

New South Wales 289 (Solway 133*, Nevill 53, Sayers 8-64 and 253 (Larkin 91, Sayers 5-67 beat South Australia 245 (Head 109 and 201 (Cooper 77, Hazlewood 6-35 by 96 runs

Josh Hazlewood found his groove ahead of the Test summer with a career-best 6 for 35 as New South Wales secured a hard-fought 96-run victory over South Australia to consolidate their position at the top of the Sheffield Shield.

Chasing 298, and having already started the final day one down, South Australia fell to 7 for 107 as Hazlewood, Trent Copeland and Nathan Lyon chipped away during the first half of the day.

However, an eighth-wicket stand of 94 in 18 overs between Tom Cooper (77 and Chadd Sayers (47, who added runs to his 13-wicket match haul, gave South Australia a glimmer of an unlikely fightback as they got the requirement into double figures before Hazlewood settled New South Wales nerves with his fifth wicket and the final three fell for no runs in 14 balls.

It hadn’t taken them long to make further inroads to the chase with Copeland remove nightwatchman Nick Winter and Hazlewood having Henry Hunt caught behind off a top-edged hook in the first half hour of the morning.

Travis Head moved briskly 29 on the back of his first-innings century but was then undone by Lyon as he edged a drive to slip where Copeland took a smart catch. After a 40-run stand between Cooper and Callum Ferguson three wickets fell for 20 runs with Hazlewood and Copeland doing the damage.

Sayers chanced his arm as he and Cooper took the attack back to New South Wales but just as they threatened to make things interesting Sayers top-edged a pull to deep square where Matthew Gilkes held a well-judged catch.

In the next over Copeland halted Cooper’s excellent innings via an inside edge leaving Hazlewood to end the match when he bowled Luke Robins for a duck to surpass his previous best of 6 for 50 which came in the 2014 Sheffield Shield final against Western Australia.