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Maddinson stars in NSW Shield victory

A final-day captain’s innings from Nic Maddinson set up New South Wales for an unlikely victory against Queensland in the Sheffield Shield clash in Mackay.

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A match that was a dour affair for the first three days provided a thrilling finish after Queensland’s attacking declaration gave the Blues a chance of winning, which they grabbed, getting home with three wickets to spare.

With the light closing in and men camped around the bat, Steve O’Keefe and Gurinder Sandhu shared a crucial 15-run partnership with the latter hitting consecutive boundaries to take them over the line.

The result seemed unlikely when Maddinson arrived at the crease at 2-59 and NSW requiring a further 155 runs to win.

In a match where most batting strike rates were well under 50, the Blues skipper’s 80 came from 72 balls including seven fours and three sixes.

“I don’t think it’s one of my best innings, but it might be one of my most important,” Maddinson said.

“I hadn’t been in a position before where I’ve had to play a big fourth-innings knock to help win a game, so that was good.

“My goal as long as I play is to represent Australia. I was disappointed with the way I started this season so I’m very happy to get runs today.”

The stylish left-hander fell leg before wicket to debutant Mitch Swepson (3-69) with his side still needing 23 runs, a task made harder when Ben Rohrer (31), who had helped put on 61 for the fourth wicket, was caught and bowled by Jason Floros (4-71) without adding to the score.

Sean Abbott (3) was then trapped lbw – becoming Floros’ fourth victim of the innings – and Ryan Carters fell to Swepson, caught by Sam Heazlett at short leg, to set up the tense finish.

Maddinson admitted the result wouldn’t have been possible without the bold declaration from opposite number Chris Hartley.

The declaration came just after lunch when the Bulls were 7-131 in their second innings.

Earlier, Doug Bollinger (2-29) and Sean Abbott (2-26) cut through the Queensland top-order batting line-up to bring their side back into the game.

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