Adam Zampa's push for a Test ticket to India has started on a positive note, with the NSW legspinner claiming three wickets on day one of the Sheffield Shield clash with Victoria.
Zampa (3-57) and Sean Abbott (4-56) did most of the damage on Thursday as the Blues skittled Victoria for 209.
In reply, NSW were 2-61 at stumps with Jason Sangha (15 not out) and Moises Henriques (5no) at the crease.
Daniel Hughes blasted five boundaries in a quickfire 34 from 28 balls before he was bowled by Fergus O'Neill (1-18).
Fellow opener Kurtis Patterson (seven) didn't have much of an impact, falling to Will Sutherland (1-9).
Zampa has returned to Shield cricket for the first time since 2019, hoping to stake a claim for a Test call-up for next year's tour of India.
The 30-year-old white-ball specialist removed Victoria's top scorers Sutherland and Sam Harper (39 each).
It is Zampa's first match with a red ball at any level in more than 1000 days.
"I'm pretty curious, to be honest," Zampa said.
"I feel like my game's progressed enough to bowl well with the red ball and I was excited.
"It's nice to be playing for the Blues again, as well."
Sutherland declared Zampa was the pick of the bowlers on day one.
"He was very accurate and there was something different every ball pretty much," Sutherland said.
"He was bowling cross-seam leggies, seam-up leggies, wrong'uns which I was struggling to pick at times.
"I was very impressed with his work and hopefully he gets a chance over in India."
NSW sent their hosts in to bat on a green Junction Oval pitch and the decision paid dividends when they reduced Victoria to 4-61 by lunch.
Abbott struck early, removing opener Ashley Chandrasinghe for a nine-ball duck and getting rid of the dangerous Nic Maddinson (13).
Mickey Edwards (1-32) dismissed out-of-sorts opener Travis Dean (18) and Henriques (1-11) struck a huge blow when he removed in-form Victoria captain Peter Handscomb (18) moments before lunch.
The tail wagged a little for Victoria, with second-gamer Sam Elliott (21) and Jon Holland (12 not out) ensuring their side's tally went past 200.
"We're probably reasonably happy in the end," Sutherland said.
"We would've liked to bowl first but we can't win a toss at the moment and we got sent in again.
"But if you had've told us we'd scrape to 210 batting first at the start of the day, maybe we would've taken it."
Last-placed NSW are playing their first Shield match under caretaker coach Greg Shipperd after Phil Jaques was axed this week.
The decision came on the back of the Blues' worst start to a Shield season in 14 years.
Australian Associated Press
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