Thornely's final chance to make an Ashes impression
Dominic Thornely will use the Pura Cup final against Queensland as a last attempt to springboard on to the Ashes Tour. Thornely, 26, and his teammate Phil Jaques have enjoyed exceptional summers and have chances to boost their credentials in the decider at the Gabba starting on Friday.
Thornely, who reached 976 runs at 69.7, said it was great to be knocking on Australia's door alongside Jaques, who harvested 1152 at 72. "We have both been very consistent this year and are winning matches for the team so it's always nice to think of national selection coming up," he said.
New South Wales and Queensland have had two close battles in the Pura Cup this season, with the Bulls winning the first match at Brisbane and then holding on for a draw with one wicket remaining at Bankstown Oval. Thornely said the Blues, who began the season without the Waugh brothers and Michael Bevan, headed into the final with momentum and a feeling of unity after their successful season.
"It's a great feeling to know the Baby blues have made the final and we've got nothing to lose at the Gabba," he said. "Queensland are a terrific side but we pushed them right to the last over at the start of the year and we're a much improved side since then."
New South Wales are waiting to see if Brett Lee will be available for the match, but if he stays with the Test team they are expected to choose an attack of Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Matthew Nicholson and Stuart MacGill. Queensland must decide whether to play four fast bowlers or pick between Ashley Noffke and Mitchell Johnson for the third place behind Andy Bichel and Joe Dawes.