New South Wales 2 for 221 (Solway 65, Smith 59*, Hughes 53) against Western Australia

Steven Smith continued his insatiable thirst for batting with a pain-staking unbeaten half-century on the opening day of the Sheffield Shield clash against Western Australia at the SCG.

He batted for two sessions for 59 not out from 217 balls as the home side crawled to 2 for 221 off 96 overs after winning the toss and batting first.

Smith, Daniel Solway and Daniel Hughes all produced half-centuries on a day where the run-rate never climbed above 2.5 on an SCG surface that looked very dry.

Hughes made 53 out of an opening partnership of 73 with Solway. He found the boundary eight times but fell to a loose shot, wafting at a length ball wide of off stump from Marcus Stoinis with Josh Inglis taking an excellent one-handed catch diving to his left.

WA were able to restrict the Blues by bowling straight with straight fields. Solway and Smith shared an 82-run stand but took nearly 42 overs to do so. Solway backed up his debut century against South Australia last week with another patient half-century.

He faced 195 balls for his 65, with just five boundaries, before falling to a leading edge, closing the face of the bat trying to work Liam O'Connor's legspin to the leg side.

Smith took 128 balls to hit his first boundary, launching Ashton Agar for six down over long-off. He struck just three fours and two sixes. Moises Henriques was far more fluent cruising to 43 not out late in the day.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne