O'Keefe eyes NSW landmark

22 February 2019 11:39:33 UK

Left-arm spinner Steven O'Keefe says he hopes that his 200th first-class wicket for New South Wales comes in a winning cause.

Nine-cap Test bowler O'Keefe heads into the second half of the Sheffield Shield season with 195 of the 272 wickets in his 14-year career coming for the Blues.

Speaking ahead of Western Australia's visit to Bankstown Oval, the 34-year-old said: "If you asked me 10 or 15 years ago when I first started out, whether I would be able to get to that many I probably would have laughed at you.

"Between my first and second Shield games there was something like five years.

"I was fortunate to play since that time that I got my second opportunity.

"It's a personal milestone, hopefully I don't stop at 200, and hopefully getting to 200 will be a match-winning performance."

The left-arm spinner, whose career-best match haul of 12 for 70 came in a Test match against India in Pune two years ago, has only taken seven wickets in three Shield appearances in 2018-19.

He will also have to get used to bowling with the Dukes ball made to cope with Australian conditions.

The Dukes are now used for the latter five rounds of first-class cricket in Australian domestic cricket to prepare the national team for the Ashes.

Meanwhile, Australia are 9/2 to win the World Cup later this year, with the Baggy Greens 7/4 to win the Ashes series outright.

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