Mitchell Starc stunned cricket fans on Tuesday afternoon with a “filthy” blow-up in NSW’s Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania.
Starc was left gutted when NSW captain Peter Nevill declared the Blues’ innings at 6-522, setting Tasmania 348 for victory.
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The declaration meant Starc was left stranded on 86 not out, agonisingly close to his maiden century in first-class cricket.
Starc walked off the field with centurion Sean Abbott, applauding his teammate’s achievement.
However once he got over the boundary rope he threw his bat in disgust, clearly fuming at his captain’s call.
“Mitchell Starc is not happy, have a look at that - throwing the bat down, throwing the gloves down,” one commentator said.
“You could tell when they called for the declaration, he did shake his head when he was touching gloves with Abbott.
“That’s an indication of what he thought of that decision.”
Fans were firmly divided over Starc’s tantrum, with some believing he should have been thinking about the team first, while others said Nevill should have let him keep batting.
NSW eyeing incredible comeback victory
In the end it proved a masterstroke from Nevill, with NSW reducing Tasmania to 2-26 at stumps on day three.
NSW have orchestrated one of the more stunning turnarounds in recent Sheffield Shield history to be headed towards an unlikely win.
Embarrassed after being bowled out for just 64 in their first innings, the Blues savaged the Tigers attack when they batted again.
The signs were there early for NSW with Moises Henriques (113) and Nick Larkin (161) already in good form on Monday, the pair going on to register a 253-run partnership.
Henriques' departure prompted a mini-collapse, the Tigers picking up 4-37 including the bizarre wicket of Larkin who was stumped by Tim Paine after ponderously having his heel out of the crease.
But thoughts of a rattling through the long NSW tail were soon put to bed as Abbott (102 not out) scored his maiden first-class ton and fellow quick Starc almost joined him.
“If they had carried on and took a few more wickets there the game is probably pretty even going into the last day,” Abbott said.
Abbott thrashed six sixes and four fours in his 116-ball stay, coming after taking 4-33 in Tasmania’s first innings of 239.
Jackson Bird and Gabe Bell finished with two wickets each for the Tigers but it won’t be a day their attack will remember fondly.
Abbott and Starc may have been a little gassed after their batting exploits so it was left to Trent Copeland to do the damage when Tasmania took to the crease.
Copeland (2-7) had Charlie Wakim (0) and Jordan Silk (16) both out with Test batsman Matthew Wade (7 no) and nightwatchman Peter Siddle (3 no) left to see out the day in fading light.
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