Shield victory in NSW grasp
NSW celebrate their 46th Sheffield Shield title. Picture: Robert Prezioso/ Getty Images

NSW have won their 46th Sheffield Shield title after the mercy rule was applied to the final against WA at Manuka Oval.

Blues captain Steve Smith reached his 13th first-class century when his unbeaten 103 helped NSW to 4-197.

The players walked off 10 minutes after Smith reached three figures with man-of-the-match Moises Henriques 10 not out.

Cricket Australia operations manager Sean Cary, who played in WA’s last shield triumph in 1998-99, gave both captains permission to end the game early with NSW leading by 464 runs.

Only 24 wickets fell in the match which was affected by rain on the fourth day but has been played at pedestrian pace on the placid surface with a slow outfield.

Yet Manuka Oval is a superb cricket ground and could host Test matches if required.

The ground is settling after being relaid last year for Greater Western Sydney who will play several AFL matches this year.

NSW finished on top of the shield ladder and only had to draw the match to win their first title in six years.

WA had not made a final in 15 years but the team is developing rapidly under second-year coach Justin Langer whose mantra of hard work and selecting talented youngsters has been rewarded.

The West Australian

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