The final of Sheffield Shield 2020-21 between Queensland (QL) and New South Wales (NSW) is currently in progress at Allan Border Field in Brisbane. NSW won the toss and elected to bat first, but the Day 1 proceeding did not go in their favour as the whole team got bundled out for 143 in their first innings.
During the game, QL’s mainstay in batting, Marnus Labuschagne, exhibited high-class fielding to get rid of Josh Hazlewood and wrap up the NSW innings. Labuschagne, who has been in tremendous form in the ongoing Sheffield Shield season scoring 629 runs in seven matches (9 innings) at an average of 69.89, grabbed a sensational catch to show his remarkable fielding skills.
It all happened on the second delivery of the 63rd over of Blues innings bowled by pacer Micahel Neser. The Western Australian went for a full delivery outside off-stump, asking the batsman to have a go at him. Hazlewood, who was on the strikers’ end, did precisely what Neser anticipated and smashed the ball towards the cover region.
Labuschagne, who was stationed at the short-cover, dived to his right and plucked a breathtaking catch to dismiss his Test teammate Hazlewood for a six-ball duck.
The stunning grab from Labuschagne also left the commentators in awe as former Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds explained the jaw-dropping effort while showering high praise for the South African-born Australian cricketer.
“He’s (Labuschagne) been busy in that cover/mid-off area all day, saving his team runs and got some reward for his hunting,” said Symonds.
“Josh Hazlewood hit that very, very firmly, and Marnus Labuschagne moved away to his right, plants his foot, gets underneath, gets his feet underneath his body and away to his right he goes, and he swallowed that and then a little one over the head, one bounce to the umpire, beautiful,” he added.
Here is the video:
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) April 15, 2021
Neser was the star with the ball for the Usman Khawaja-led side. He picked up five wickets for 27 in 13.2 overs. Apart from the 31-year-old pacer, Jack Wildermuth also shined after finishing with a four-wicket haul.
At stumps, Queensland have posted 58/1 on the scoreboard in 25 overs. Bryce Street (14 no) and Labuschagne (23 no) are alive at the crease.