SA to look for quick runs in Shield v NSW

Mitchell Starc took two wickets for NSW but South Australia have the edge in the Sheffield Shield.
Mitchell Starc took two wickets for NSW but South Australia have the edge in the Sheffield Shield.

NSW made a sporting declaration, Mitchell Starc got some of his mojo back and Sean Abbott again demonstrated his all-round capabilities on the third day of an intriguing Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia.

The Blues declared at 7-366 at tea, still trailing SA's first innings total by 116.

Test paceman Starc, who had been struggling for form since the second half of the India Test series, then claimed 2-0 to have South Australia on the back foot.

He picked up Henry Hunt and Liam Scott, both lbw for ducks as the Redbacks slipped to 2-1.

But order was restored with a quickfire 44 to Travis Head and with Jake Weatherald (42 not out) and first innings centurion Alex Carey (5 not out), the Redbacks will look to build on their 209 lead on the final day before a declaration of their own.

Earlier, paceman Sean Abbott struck an impressive 71 to take him to 442 runs at an average of 74 for the competition, putting him amongst the top 10 scorers this season.

He's also the fifth-highest wicket-taker with 17 scalps at 30 apiece.

Starc made it a day for bowlers with the bat, adding 51 to ensure the Blues stayed in touch following Kurtis Patterson's ninth first-class century.

The elegant left-hander steadied the ship for NSW, who had slipped to 4-115 on Sunday and looked in danger of ceding a significant lead.

Patterson admitted that he'd been caught up in T20 mode and hadn't been completely focused on his return to Shield cricket.

"It felt nice to be present again to be honest," he said.

"I feel like if I am honest that my mind has been wandering over the last few innings post Big Bash."

He moved from his overnight score of 86 to 102 before supplying left-arm spinner Joe Medew-Ewen (2-105) his breakthrough first-class wicket.

Dancing down the pitch to drive, Patterson only managed to find Travis Head at short extra cover, Medew-Ewen then swamped by celebrating teammates in his debut match.

"It was awesome ... and a little bit of a relief as well," Medew-Ewen said.

Wicketkeeper Peter Nevill scored 62 for the Blues while Daniel Worrall and David Grant both picked up two wickets.

Australian Associated Press