Following the latest round of Sheffield Shield action – one that included a record-breaking partnership, a New South Wales win and a leg-spinner’s career-best haul – here’s Wisden’s team of the week.
Will Pucovski: 255* (Victoria)
Alongside Marcus Harris, Pucovski put on 486 for Victoria’s first wicket against South Australia, breaking the Waugh brothers’ 30-year-old record for the highest partnership in Shield history. Remarkably it was the 22-year-old’s maiden innings as a first-class opener, underlining what a precocious talent Australian cricket has on its hands.
Marcus Harris: 239 (Victoria)
Harris has been out of Australia’s Test set-up since a miserable Ashes tour in 2019, but a record-breaking 239 will surely mean he re-enters the thoughts of the selectors, with work on his alignment at the crease alongside coach Chris Rogers reaping rewards.
Shaun Marsh: 115 & 88 (Western Australia)
The veteran remains a stand-out performer at domestic level and top-scored with a century in Western Australia’s first innings against Tasmania as his colleagues struggled at the other end. After that 242-ball battle came an enterprising 74-ball 88 to set up a declaration.
Marnus Labuschagne: 117 & 0 (Queensland)
Labuschagne made it back-to-back tons this season with a first-innings 117 against New South Wales on a green wicket, notably dominating the off-spin of his international teammate Nathan Lyon.
Travis Head: 9 & 151 (South Australia)
Head now leads the run-scoring charts in the Shield after notching his second century of the campaign. Following the mammoth Harris-Pucovski stand, his rearguard 151 came off 296 balls and was central in South Australia claiming a draw.
Peter Nevill (wk): 59 & 25, 6 catches (New South Wales)
The New South Wales captain took six catches to go alongside a vital 59 in his side’s first innings, as he put on 105 with Sean Abbott for the sixth wicket and was the last man to fall. He also contributed a 44-ball 25 in a successful chase of 206.
Liam Scott: 16 & 61, 0-80 (South Australia)
In just his fourth first-class match, the 19-year-old Scott played a key role in South Australia’s escape from defeat, taking up 162 balls for his 61.
Sean Abbott: 2-56 & 2-23, 66 & 18* (New South Wales)
After collecting the scalps of Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja, Abbott top-scored for New South Wales in their first innings against Queensland with an attacking 77-ball 66. Another pair of wickets followed soon after and he was on hand for a dramatic finish, hitting the winning runs in a one-wicket win.
Trent Copeland: 2-44 & 5-17 (New South Wales)
New South Wales’ beanpole seamer outshone Mitchell Starc in Queensland’s second innings, removing the entirety of the top five – four of whom are Test centurions – as he conceded just 17 runs from 18 overs.
Scott Boland: 2-52 & 6-61 (Victoria)
Boland rattled outside-edges and stumps on his way to a six-wicket haul as Victoria chased victory against South Australia. That they fell just short was no fault of Boland, who toiled for 33 overs in collecting 6-61.
Mitchell Swepson: 5-94 & 5-74 (Queensland)
With a 10-wicket haul to take him up to 15 wickets this season, there is currently the odd sight of a leggie topping the Shield wicket-taking charts. Swepson collected five in each innings against New South Wales and now looks Australia’s best red-ball spinning option outside of Nathan Lyon.