Test quick Josh Hazlewood says he's lived a dream by capturing his best first-class bowling figures to inspire NSW to a Sheffield Shield win.
The Blues extended their lead atop the Shield table with a third consecutive victory on Monday, defeating South Australia by 96 runs at Adelaide Oval.
Set 298 runs to win, the Redbacks were bowled out for 201 with Hazlewood taking 6-35 - his best innings figures in a first-class match.
"I love winning games for NSW and that is probably a bowler's dream, to go out and take wickets on the last day," Hazlewood said.
"It wasn't offering a great deal out there so good, hard work (was needed) - and to get three (wins) from three for NSW, (we're) off to a flyer."
Hazlewood, in his first four-day outing since the Ashes, said he felt rusty in taking 1-60 in SA's first innings when Test prospect Travis Head made a fighting 109.
"He played really well ... he was quite patient early, which is probably not his game usually," Hazlewood said of the Redbacks captain.
"But he hung around and spent some time in the middle before he started playing his shots.
"And that is probably what you have got to do in Australia especially - make the bowlers work for you, tire out, and cash in at the end of the day ... it was a great hundred."
Head made 29 from 32 balls in SA's second dig as Hazlewood rapidly found rhythm, snaring five of six wickets on the final day.
The 28-year-old expected to play for the Blues again in the next Shield round before fronting for the first Test against Pakistan starting November 21 in Brisbane.
"There's still a fair bit of time to go before the Tests - you're going to be bowling in the nets, you may as well play the (Shield) game," he said.
Hazlewood's fresh personal benchmark came in a remarkable match for SA stalwart Chadd Sayers, who claimed a career-best 13-131 with the ball and smacked 47 from 57 balls with the bat on Monday.
Sayers' aggressive knock came as Tom Cooper top-scored with 77 - the pair hammered 94 runs in 18 overs after SA slipped to 7-107.
The Redbacks remain winless after three Shield rounds and haven't managed a victory in their past 16 games in the four-day competition.
Australian Associated Press