The Sheffield Shield season is officially over for Victoria and South Australia, marking the end of Chadd Sayers’ first-class career.
Teams decided to shake hands for the draw just before the day four tea at Junction Oval, with South Australia 9-329 ahead of 297.
Fittingly, the last wicket to fall was Sayers’, finishing with an impressive 320 wicket first class at 26.51.
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He took 1-37 in his last bowling show and was fired for 17 before running through a guard of honor and retiring.
Sayers was somewhat of a victim of his time, making just one Test appearance for Australia, despite being one of the best exponents of swing in a decade.
His only test came against South Africa in 2018, when he claimed the wicket from AB de Villiers.
Sayer’s retirement, however, cannot cover up a dire season for the Redbacks, who failed to take a single win in both the One-Day Cup and the Sheffield Shield in 2020-21.
It is the fourth consecutive wooden spoon from Sheffield Shield for South Australia.
Only three of this season’s top 20 point scorers in the Shield are from South Australia. Travis Head made 893 runs at 68.69, Henry Hunt 628 at 44.85 and Harry Nielsen 503 at 35.92, while Alex Carey and Jake Lehmann both averaged more than 55 in their three games.
But the Redbacks largely struggled with the ball without one player in the top-20 wicket-takers. Sayers was the team’s lead wicket-taker with 13 poles at 46.76.
Meanwhile, Peter Handscomb (511 runs at 46.45) and Marcus Harris (695 runs at 63.18) and Will Pucovski (495 runs at 247.50) Victorias were the only hitters to score more than 400 runs.
Scott Boland dominated with the ball and took 30 wickets at midnight this season during the spinner Jon Holland strict 27 at 28.85, and young gun Will Sutherland 18 at 33.27.
SHIELD FINAL LOOMING
Elsewhere, Queensland and New South Wales also agreed to tie their match early, facing each other in the final on April 15.
NSW was 5-145 with a 93-point lead as heavy showers passed through Wollongong and the game ended in mid-day four.
Mitchell Swepson turned out to be another handful for the Blues batsmen, 4-60 before the game was stopped.
The result saw Queensland finish at the top of the Shield table and host the final in Brisbane next Thursday.
MORE TO COME
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