After playing just one Test during the 2019 Ashes series in England and taking 1/129 in the opening round of the 2019 Sheffield Shield games, Australia pacer Mitchell Starc served a timely reminder of his red-ball capabilities with a match haul of 10/60 for New South Wales against Tasmania.
Starc’s efforts helped set up an eight-wicket victory for New South Wales, who chased down a 45-run target for the loss of opener Daniel Hughes and Steve Smith, who bagged his second single-digit score in four innings, with a century in the first innings of this game sandwiched in between.
Starc first snared 5/40 in the first innings of the match, scuppering a strong start from Tasmania. He first struck with the score of 146/2, when he sent back Australia team-mate Matthew Wade. By the time he had picked up his final wicket, Tasmania had sunk to 268 all out.
Centuries from Smith (106) and Moises Henriques (124) then drove New South Wales into the lead. The duo put on 197 for the third wicket, but as was the case with Tasmania, the home team collapsed quickly after the stand was broken, losing their last eight wickets for 78 runs.
Already behind by 96 runs, Tasmania put up a much worse second-innings performance, as Starc ripped through the top order to reduce them to 54/3. The visitors could never quite recover from that early jolt and eventually folded for 140, with Starc returning to claim three lower order wickets, and leaving his team with just 45 runs to get.
Starc will miss the next round of Shield games to be with Australia’s white-ball team for three T20Is each against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. After the latter of those, he will have the chance to compete in one more round of the first-class competition, when New South Wales take on Western Australia at home, starting on 11 November.
Australia’s home Test summer begins with the first game against Pakistan on 21 November. The two-Test series will be followed by three home Tests against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.
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