Sean Abbott takes two wickets on his return to bowling since Phillip Hughes' death and bowls a bouncer in his very first over

The cricket world has supported Abbott since the tragic accident at the end of November but he showed an impressive strength in character in his return to action

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The Independent Online

Sean Abbott took two wickets as he returned to first-class cricket for the first time since bowling the ball that killed Phillip Hughes.

Australia batsman Hughes died on November 27 aged 25, two days after being struck on the neck by a bouncer from New South Wales paceman Abbott while batting for South Australia.

The remainder of that round of Sheffield Shield fixtures was abandoned but on the same day the Test team took to the field against India, Abbott and NSW were back in action against Queensland.


Abbott was the fifth bowler used, though as early as the 13th over, and proved he was not to be cowed by sending down a bouncer at Joe Burns in his first over.

His initial four-over spell went for nine runs while eight came from his next four, and, in his third spell and his 10th over, he took his first wicket by bowling Nathan Reardon for six.

Abbott celebrates with his NSW team-mates Peter Nevill (L) and Stephen O'Keefe (R)

His second was not long in coming, occasional international all-rounder Ben Cutting edging the second ball of Abbott's next over to wicketkeeper Peter Nevill. Abbott roared in celebration after both wickets and ran to Nevill and the slips with his arms aloft.

He finished that spell with two for 36 from 12 overs and though he leaked 18 runs in the last two overs he bowled, he ended up with two for 54 from 15 as Queensland were bowled out for 268.

A picture of Phillip Hughes on show at his funeral service last Wednesday

New South Wales ended the day 17 for one from nine overs in reply, with Abbott likely to bat at number eight after tail-ender William Somerville was promoted as a nightwatchman.