New South Wales v Victoria, Sheffield Shield, Sydney, 4th day November 7, 2008

Thornely helps Blues bat out draw

Cricinfo staff

New South Wales 261 and 8 for 340 (Hughes 86, Thornely 58, Forrest 55, Holland 3-96) drew with Victoria 440

Dominic Thornely helped his team avoid defeat © Getty Images

Dominic Thornely led his young New South Wales side in avoiding defeat but Victoria took the only points from an SCG match that fizzled out to a draw. Thornely made 58 and had strong support from a couple of the Blues' newer faces as they batted out the final day and finished on 8 for 340, with a lead of 161.

The Bushrangers had secured a 179-run first-innings advantage but they started the final day with that lead whittled to 41, still needing nine more wickets before they could chase victory. Victoria were given a sniff when the Blues lost both of their overnight batsmen with only six runs added to the tally.

Clint McKay got a delivery to nip and take the off stump of Peter Forrest for 55 and Dirk Nannes had Phillip Hughes caught behind for 86. But Thornely, the captain, and Usman Khawaja, playing his fourth first-class game, put together a 96-run partnership that kept Victoria at bay.

Both men fell before tea, Thornely for 58 and Khawaja for 40, but Moises Henriques also chipped in with 30 and by the break their lead was 110. Victoria needed four quick wickets if they were to launch a chase, however Grant Lambert made 29 from 131 balls and ensured there was no collapse.

Jon Holland finished with three wickets but such was Victoria's resignation to the draw that even Chris Rogers had a bowl before the captains called the game off early. Victoria are third on the table with one win and two draws, while the Blues have one loss and two draws.