WITH NSW a game clear at the top of the JLT Sheffield Shield table the Blues have named an unchanged side, which includes Nowra’s Nic Maddinson, for their match against Tasmania, beginning in Hobart on Sunday.
Having won their first three matches, the Blues held on for a defiant draw against Victoria at North Sydney Oval last Monday.
NSW wicketkeeper Peter Nevill said the Blues began their campaign with the aim of being top of the table at the mid-season break for the Big Bash League, which comes after next week’s match.
“We sat down at the start of the season and highlighted what other teams have done better than we have, which is sitting at the top of the table come Christmas time,” Nevill said.
“That was a real goal for us.
“Hopefully we can achieve that because I think traditionally six wins gets you in the shield final.
“A good performance in Tasmania and one more pretty much guarantees you’re hosting it.”
Nevill was pleased with the resolve NSW showed batting out almost 120 overs against Victoria to deny the reigning Shield holders victory.
“Our tactics were really good,” he said.
“There was one end that had a very good foot mark for (spinner) John Holland to bowl into, which would have been tough work for the left handers, so we consciously had our right handers park the bus down there.”
Nevill and Blues team mate Ed Cowan were the only two players to score three Sheffield Shield centuries last season.
NSW Blues squad: Moises Henriques ©, Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Ed Cowan, Daniel Hughes, Nick Larkin, Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Stephen O’Keefe and Kurtis Patterson.