Steve O’Keefe makes half century in crushing defeat by Tasmania

Steve O'Keefe walks off after his second innings dismissal against Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield. Picture: AAP Image/George Salpigtidis

Steve O'Keefe walks off after his second innings dismissal against Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield. Picture: AAP Image/George Salpigtidis

THE Hawkesbury’s Stephen O’Keefe was one of only three New South Wales batsmen to score a half century in a crushing Sheffield Shield defeat to Tasmania.

NSW was comprehensively defeated at Blundstone Arena over December 3-6.

The Tasmanians won by 10 wickets in the end, but it was nearly an entire innings, after only four runs were needed to win in the final innings.

Tasmania, led by Jordan Silk, was 4-392 before declaring in the first innings. Silk scored 104, while O’Keefe bowled Jake Doran for 75.

In their first innings with the bat, NSW was bowled out for 208.

Ed Cowan top scored with 67, but O’Keefe finished unbeaten on 52 with four boundaries and a six under his belt.

Tasmania’s George Bailey, unlike his Australian counterpart Steve Smith, did enforce the follow-on in this match, and NSW was bowled out for 184.

O’Keefe batted again but made just eight runs before falling to Tom Rogers.

Despite the loss, NSW is still on top of the Shield ladder after five games, and will not play again until February, with a visit to Perth scheduled for the 8th.

O’Keefe wasn’t selected for the Adelaide day-night test match, despite being in consideration for the past few years, but his name has been touted as one who could make the Australian team for the Sydney test, starting on January 4.