Sydney weather strikes again, saves NSW from imminent defeat with Vics just two wickets away

Sydney rain and dogged resistance from Nathan Lyon have combined to put a dampener on Victoria’s bid for top spot on the Sheffield Shield ladder.

Second-placed Victoria had taken five wickets early on the last day of their Shield game against NSW at the SCG and were just two wickets away from an innings win.

That would have given them top spot at Tasmania’s expense, with two rounds left.

But the players had to leave the ground on Monday about noon because of the weather and they did not return.

NSW finished on 8-116, needing another 86 runs to make the visitors bat again.

Batting at No.8, Lyon thwarted Victoria with his rearguard action, scoring an unbeaten 17 from 47 balls.

Things you love to see: stumps cartwheeling across the turf

A big early wicket for Scott Boland #SheffieldShield

— (@cricketcomau) February 18, 2024

Rain had also ended play early on day three at the SCG.

Tasmania now have a massive home match against Victoria from March 1, with only 2.02 points separating the two top teams.

Whoever finishes on top will host the Shield final from March 21.

NSW, who had turned their Shield campaign around with three wins from their previous four games, remain in the final hunt in fourth spot, behind WA.

Also on Monday, Tasmania drew with WA.

NSW resumed their second innings on Monday at 3-40, steadily losing wickets before the weather forced an early lunch and ultimately ended the match.

Lyon’s fellow Test squad member Scott Boland starred with 5-41 and took eight wickets for the match ahead of the New Zealand tour.

Scott Boland doing Scott Boland things to NSW at the SCG this morning as Victoria edge ever closer to claiming top spot in the #SheffieldShield

Live stream, scores highlights ????

— (@cricketcomau) February 18, 2024

Opener Sam Konstas top-scored with 35 before he was Boland’s fifth victim.

Despite going frustratingly close to a win and top spot, there was a significant highlight out of the match for Victoria.

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Will Pucovski returned to the Shield team and top-scored with 131 – his first ton in the competition since November 2020.

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