Unheralded quick taking Sheffield Shield by storm
LITTLE-known quick Nick Winter has taken the Sheffield Shield by storm to breathe life into South Australia's hopes of making a third successive final.
The left-armer has only played two Shield matches this season but has already taken 15 wickets at a cost of 15.73 runs apiece.
Remarkably, he has claimed five-wicket hauls in three of the four innings he has bowled in.
Winter made a splash on first-class debut at the start of the month by running through Victoria's batting order with figures of 5-85. As well as knocking over both of the Bushrangers' openers, he bowled Peter Handscomb for a duck.
In round seven of the Sheffield Shield he proved that performance was no fluke, taking five wickets in each of NSW's innings to guide South Australia to a seven-wicket win.
Winter had the Dukes ball singing for long periods at the SCG to register his maiden 10-wicket match.
In the first innings he was richly rewarded for attacking the stumps, taking 5-48 with three of his victims bowled and the other two trapped in front.
The 24-year-old followed that up with another impressive display in NSW's second innings (5-61), running riot alongside Dan Worrall (4-55).
Having trapped opener Nick Larkin (3) in front with the new ball, Winter ran through the Blues middle and lower order, nicking off Kurtis Patterson (41) and Peter Nevill (13), before bowling Will Somerville (3) and Daniel Fallins (10) to knock NSW over for 213.
That left South Australia with a target of 189 to chase and they did so with ease, winning by seven wickets.
Victory allowed South Australia to jump to fourth on a ladder further congested by a series of upsets since the competition resumed last weekend for the second half of the season.
While South Australia leave the SCG in buoyant mood, it was a second straight defeat for a NSW side that led the competition for the first half of the season.
Shorn of numerous international players including Test fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, the Blues struggled for penetration against some disciplined South Australian batting.
One of the few highlights for the Blues was the debut of legspinner Fallins who took four wickets, albeit expensively, including 3-51 in the first innings.
South Australia's new-found form will be tested by a strong Queensland side at Adelaide Oval next Saturday, while NSW will host Tasmania at the SCG.
- with AAP