'Game of his life': Queensland spinner's incredible 42-year first

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Mitchell Swepson, pictured here in action for Queensland against NSW.
Mitchell Swepson almost spun Queensland to victory over NSW. Image: Cricket Network/Getty

Mitchell Swepson became the first Queensland spinner in 42 years to record a 10-wicket match on Monday.

Swepson’s heroics fell agonisingly short as NSW eked out a one-wicket win in their Sheffield Shield clash.

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Sean Abbott bolstered his all-rounder claims and Swepson secured his status as the leg-spinner most likely as NSW scored a nervy win.

Abbott (18 no) hit the winning runs for the Blues when he clipped a ball over mid-on from the bowling of Marnus Labuschagne in the last half hour before tea on the final day.

It had been a dramatic denouement.

In command at 4-137 at lunch chasing 206 at Karen Rolton Oval, NSW lost five wickets in the second session to almost hand over the match.

At eight wickets down they appeared home when Test spinner Nathan Lyon (12) hit a boundary to tie the scores.

But more drama unfolded when Lyon was run out by Michael Neser's brilliant fielding at mid-off.

Abbott's drive off Swepson appeared destined for the boundary but Neser dived full length to stop it and Lyon, who had been watching the ball at the non-striker's end as his partner continued running, was out by almost the length of the pitch at the 'keepers end.

“That's what pressure can do to you,” Abbott said.

“It wasn't sharp enough there on my behalf ... I think I owe Gazza (Lyon) a beer tonight.”

Mitchell Swepson, pictured here in action for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield.
Mitchell Swepson in action for Queensland against NSW in the Sheffield Shield. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Mitchell Swepson’s historic 10-wicket match

It was left for quick Abbott, who top scored in NSW's first innings and took five wickets with a half century against WA, to get the job done himself.

Abbott said he'd spent plenty of time working on his batting of late.

“Unfortunately I've been facing a fair bit of (Mitch) Starc over the last two months with him quarantined here since he came back from the UK - so it was nice to watch someone else face him for a bit,” he said.

Swepson (5-74) almost spun the Bulls to a win and finished with match figures of 10-171.

He became the first Queensland spinner to claim 10 wickets in a Shield match since current Australian selector Trevor Hohns managed the feat more than 40 years ago.

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Earlier in the day, a Daniel Hughes (48) and Daniel Solway (52) partnership of 76 looked like it would get the Blues home before Swepson almost helped steal the win.

Queensland captain Usman Khawaja said, while disappointed, he had no complaints about the result in what was a fantastic game.

“When you are defending 200 you've to risk a bit to get a few wickets and I think the guys did that beautifully,” Khawaja said.

with AAP

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