Bushrangers bat out to take Shield title

VICTORIA gave new definition to the term winning ugly, drawing its Sheffield Shield final with Western Australia at Blundstone Arena to claim the title for the 29th time.

The Bushrangers, needing only a draw to win after finishing top of the table, provided road blocks in the form of David Hussey (37 from 169 balls) and Matthew Wade (pictured, 9 from 99) late on the last day of play, at one stage playing out 10 consecutive maiden overs.

The Warriors had declared early in the day at 2-293, leaving Victoria a target of 333 which it was never going to chase.

Rob Quiney top-scored with 53 from 163 balls as the Bushrangers ground their way to 4-158 from 95 overs.

The match itself may have been less then memorable, but it capped a stunning season for one player from each side. Bushrangers leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed took 8-89 in Western Australia's first innings, the best haul in a Shield final.

It also saw him finish on top of the competition with 48 scalps at an average of 23.73, the seventh-most wickets by a wrist spinner in a Shield season, with Victoria's Chuck Fleetwood-Smith (60 at 18.95 in 1934-35) the leader.

Warriors batsman Adam Voges will take some consolation from the final, his first-innings 107 making him just the seventh player in Shield history to score six or more centuries in a season.

With an unbeaten 36 in the second innings, Voges finished the season with a total of 1358 runs (at an average of 104.46), the fourth-best of all time at Shield level.

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