Just in case anyone in Australian cricket needed a reminder, Marnus Labuschagne can do it all.
Having quickly become the anchor as one of Australia’s best batsmen at Test cricket level, Labuschagne also impressed with the ball in the Big Bash last season.
While it’s not been forgotten, he’s also a gun in the field, as he has shown with an incredible catch in the Sheffield Shield final to bury NSW on day one.
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NSW have had a horror day without a glut of big name players currently in the IPL and the Blues batsmen were blown off the park by the Queensland quicks.
Michael Neser finished with outstanding figures of 5/27, while Jack Wildermuth had 4/21 and fellow quick Brendan Doggett had 1/38 as NSW capitulated for 143.
Stand in skipper Kurtis Patterson, the forgotten man of Australian cricket, tried in vain for a dogged 43 off 128 balls but the Blues showed little resistance at Allan Border Field.
Jack Edwards, who hit a sparkling century in the Marsh One Day Cup final on Sunday also couldn’t help, falling for a duck as NSW limped to their final score.
But it was the last wicket to fall, that of No. 11 Josh Hazlewood that had tongues wagging.
His six ball duck handed Neser his fifth wicket, thanks to an amazing diving catch from Labuschagne.
Hazlewood looked to be off the mark with a four after crushing a cover drive off Neser that fooled the cameraman, who moved the camera past Labuschagne.
What a grab from Marnus Labuschagne.Source:FOX SPORTS
And the commentators rightly went nuts for the grab.
But while Hazlewood got all of it, the quirky Queenslander pouched the catch like it was nothing, despite diving full length and snaring the grab.
“That’s out, that’s an unbelievable catch,” Darren Berry said.
“Marnus Labuschagne there, one handed diving full length, cover drive from Josh Hazlewood and he’s out,” former Australian coach Darren Lehmann said. “That is an unbelievable catch. Andrew Symonds is going off here in the change rooms, he’s laughing. That’s what you want from your fielders, to take that dismissal.
“That is the end of NSW for 143, what a catch.”
Symonds finally stopped laughing, adding: “He’s been busy patrolling that cover, mid-off area all day, saving his team runs and got some reward for his hunting. Josh Hazlewood has hit that very very firmly and Marnus Labuschagne has gone away to his right, plants hit foot, gets his feet under his body and he’s swallowed that.”
Labuschagne also toss the ball back to the umpire, tossing the ball over his head nonchalantly, with the ball getting to the umpire on one bounce. Beautifully done Marnus Labuschagne.”
It’s a long way from the effort in the last game of the Shield regular season when Labuschagne caused a controversy with a catch where he appeared to drop the ball after claiming the catch as he was still moving.
While there was no doubt in his catch in the final, Queensland didn’t have it all their own way with captain Usman Khawaja fuming over a no ball drama that went against the Bulls, despite one going against the Blues earlier in the day.
While Queensland lost the wicket of Joe Burns early for 20, the side cruised past 50 to be 1/58 at stumps on day one with Labuschagne on 23 not out.
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