Blues take early honours against Bulls - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues take early honours against Bulls

By Greg Buckle 26/11/2005 08:23:19 PM Comments (0)

Stuart Clark's 3-76 was the highlight of another powerful performance from the NSW pace attack as the Blues bowled Queensland out for 266 on the first day of their Pura Cup clash at the SCG.

Andy Bichel struck a late blow for Queensland in snaring the wicket of Blues opener Phil Jaques for two as the defending champions and competition leaders went to stumps at 1-6 in reply.

Clark, who has taken 15 wickets at 22.2 in four Pura Cup matches this season, led a dominant NSW attack with Nathan Bracken, Matthew Nicholson and part-time spinner Aaron O'Brien each claiming two wickets.

Queensland wicketkeeper Chris Hartley (37), Ashley Noffke (31) and Bichel (39) added some backbone to the Queensland innings after the first five wickets fell for just 89 runs.

Clark, who was this week named in Australia's one-day squad to tour New Zealand next month, said the pitch provided early assistance to the seam bowlers.

"Once the ball got old, it was hard work. To their credit, Bichel, Simpson, Noffke batted pretty well," Clark said.

"But at the start of the day, we would take (Queensland making) 266."

Clark paid credit to pace partners Bracken, Nicholson and Grant Lambert.

"We're getting them out and I'm the one that's sort of getting the rewards at the moment but as a foursome we're doing pretty well also," Clark said.

It was 23-year-old psychology student Simpson who held the Queensland innings together, scoring his fourth first-class half-century and hitting six fours and two sixes in his two-hour stint.

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