For the third time this summer, NSW were left cursing the elements which robbed them of the chance to secure an outright Sheffield Shield victory over Western Australia.
The Blues’ clash at Blacktown International Sportspark ended in a draw on Sunday when persistent rain washed out nearly all of the final day.
With WA resuming at 8-211, holding onto a second-innings lead of just 109 runs, the Blues were confident of getting a result before they were confronted by a soggy outfield.
On six occasions the covers were removed, only to be put back moments later as the drizzle persisted.
The players eventually took to the field for 10 overs, with no wickets falling and the Warriors adding just eight runs through Ashton Agar (34) and Jason Behrendorff (seven) to finish 8-219.
NSW claimed first-innings points, thanks to classy half-centuries from Test hopefuls Steve Smith (72) and Moises Henriques (71) that gave them a 102-run first-innings lead.
But the missed opportunity to claim the maximum six points from the game will irk them and Blues coach Chandika Hathurusingha admitted the draw was a “hollow” feeling.
“We were in a good position to get the four points. But you can’t do anything about Mother Nature,” he said.
Perhaps the most frustrating factor for the luckless Blues is that Mother Nature hasn’t been on their side all summer after bad light denied them outright victory against Tasmania in September.
Two months later against Victoria they were denied a chance of forcing a result with the Blues holding onto a 157-run lead on day four but rain and bad light meant just five overs were bowled.
The Blues move to 15 points with a game in hand, but drop to fifth on the Shield ladder following South Australia’s one-wicket victory over Victoria on Sunday.
The Redbacks climbed into third place behind equal leaders Victoria and Queensland who are both on 20 points.
The Sunday washout also denied players a final chance at pushing their Test cases, with the squad for next month’s four-Test tour of India expected to be announced on Thursday.
Blues captain Stephen O’Keefe, considered an option to be picked as the back-up spinner to Nathan Lyon, did his chances no harm with match figures of 8-102 to take his season tally to 17 wickets.
Warriors coach Justin Langer said he sympathised with the Blues.Scores: Western Australia 242 (J Rogers 45, S Whiteman 41; S O’Keefe 4-55) and 8-219 (M Harris 43, N Coulter-Nile 42; S O’Keefe 4-47); New South Wales 344 (S Smith 72, M Henriques 71; N Coulter-Nile 3-89, A Agar 3-103).
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