Jaques rolls above the sand with century
New South Wales 2 for 256 (Jaques 131*, Phelps 90) v Queensland
Phil Jaques batted throughout the first day to guide New South Wales to a hard-won advantage in the top-of-the-table clash against Queensland at Bankstown Oval. In front of about 800 spectators and Mark Waugh, who was visiting his old club ground, Jaques reached 131 by stumps on a dull pitch and a deliberately sandy outfield to compensate for the short boundaries.
Usually a dashing batsman, Jaques collected seven fours in his 266-ball innings, but had numerous firm shots stop short of the boundary. Queensland were ruing a Wade Seccombe dropped catch off Matthew Phelps when New South Wales were 1 for 122, and the No. 3 went on to reach a hard-earned 90. Seccombe grabbed his second chance late in the day off Ashley Noffke and the home side was 2 for 256 at stumps.
"Any hundred is a good hundred but against Queensland, when the outfield is slow, it feels really good to have batted the whole day," Jaques said. "They didn't over-do it [with the sand] but it's a bit disheartening when you hit a couple through the gap that would be four normally, and you only get two for it."
Queensland, who are two points in front of the Blues, started well with the wicket of Greg Mail, caught by Jimmy Maher at second slip off Andy Bichel, after Brad Haddin, who played for Australia at Adelaide on Wednesday, won the toss and batted. "You don't normally come off the field after taking only two wickets and be excited about how well you've bowled," said Maher. "It's probably the first time in my career."