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Maxwell ton can't stop NSW Shield rout

By AAP .
14 February 2014 09:49PM EST

VICTORIA lost 6-9 in the worst ever start to a Sheffield Shield innings, before succumbing to a humiliating defeat against NSW on day three of their clash at the SCG.

The Bushrangers limped their way past 27, the lowest total in the history of Australian domestic first-class cricket, but still crashed to an innings and 48-run loss - despite Glenn Maxwell (127) smashing a stunning 89-ball hundred to showcase his potential in the longer form.

NSW are in the box seat to play South Australia in the Shield final, while last-placed Victoria - rolled for 186 on Friday - are done and dusted with three games still remaining.

In an unprecedented start to an innings, with five batsmen making ducks, Maxwell came to the crease with Victoria still 18 runs shy of avoiding an unwanted place in the record books at 6-9.

After resuming at an already dire 3-0 - a scoreline only seen twice before in Shield cricket - the capitulation eclipsed the worst start to an innings for six wickets down of 6-11 set in 1957-58.

It was the Bushrangers' first loss by more than an innings in Sydney in 40 years, but Maxwell could hold his head high after smashing 14 fours and seven sixes.

Maxwell - the limited overs star who played two Tests last year - also played a lone hand of 94 off 95 in the Vics' initial offering of 218, to become the first Victorian since Dean Jones to score 100 and 90 in a match.

"If you can get 127 off 102 balls every time you bat, who cares what format it is," said teammate Dan Christian (30), who combined with Maxwell for a gutsy 92-run eighth-wicket stand.

"They had seven or eight blokes on the fence at the end there and he was still hitting it over their head.

"That (batting) is as good as you will ever see in any form of the game, it was extraordinary.

"The rest of us need to step up."

Overcast conditions and an SCG green top described by Christian as "a pretty ordinary wicket" were major factors, but Victoria's star-studded squad were simply outclassed in every department.

The Blues attack, led by Trent Copeland (3-50 and 3-24), Josh Hazlewood (2-35), Doug Bollinger (1-25) and Steve O'Keefe (2-43) made the better of the conditions.

And what played like a minefield for Victoria, seemed a walk in the park for the Blues - as Peter Nevill (100 not out), Scott Henry (92) and Kurtis Patterson (94) gave the home side a commanding 234-run first innings lead after posting 9(dec)-452.

Hazlewood (2-2 off his first six overs) was in terrifying, Mitchell Johnson-type form on Friday, as he sent nightwatchman Scott Boland and skipper Matt Wade packing for ducks.

"(Johnson) is a very aggressive fast bowler ... I'm more line and length and I want to work hard on that," said Hazlewood.

"It was good fun out there. Maxy batted well again and the rest of them didn't put up too much of a fight."

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