Patient Smith puts NSW on top in WA Shield

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CRICKET SHIELD NSW WA

It's been slow going for Steve Smith, batting for NSW against WA in the Shield

At times it seemed that Steve Smith was more intent on occupying the crease than scoring runs as NSW ground down Western Australia on the opening day of their Sheffield Shield match at the SCG.

Smith kept most of his usual free-scoring shot-making hidden away in a chanceless 59 not out off 217 balls, helping the all-star Blues to 2-221 off 96 overs on Monday on a lifeless pitch.

Smith's raw numbers were remarkable. He made just three runs off his first 47 balls faced, going more than half-an-hour without scoring at one stage.

The Test superstar scored only 24 during the 32-over middle session, and took 135 deliveries to hit a four, although he had curiously already struck two sixes.

With NSW winning the toss, it meant another day of rest for their all-international bowling attack before next week's First Test against Pakistan in Brisbane.

It was NSW's least-experienced player who had the most success, opener Daniel Solway top-scoring with 65 to follow up last week's century on debut.

"The wicket kind of dictated that," Solway said of Smith's slow scoring.

"If you bowl disciplined, you need to take risks to score and they bowled quite well."

Without usual fast bowling spearhead Jhye Richardson, WA had few answers with the ball, barely raising an appeal all day.

Solway and Daniel Hughes put on 73 for the first wicket with the latter scoring 53 off 99 balls.

The pair went through the session without offering a chance until Marcus Stoinis (1-34) had Hughes caught behind off the second last ball of the morning.

Solway, playing in place of David Warner who is absent for family reasons, has a century and a half-century from his first three Shield innings.

"I was a tiny bit more settled compared to last week, but you still are nervous when you walk out to bat," said Solway.

Legspinner Liam O'Connor (1-34) had the opener caught in the covers during the final session.

Moises Henriques picked up the pace in trademark fashion during the final hour to end unbeaten on 43 off 66 balls.