NSW remain upbeat about their bowling stocks despite conceding a mountain of runs in a drab rain-affected draw against Tasmania, which has further dented their Sheffield Shield final hopes.
Tasmania had piled on 4-489 when stumps were called two hours early on Tuesday, in a match during which the best part of two days were lost to rain.
NSW impressed with the bat reaching 8-449 but found little penetration with the ball on a slow SCG wicket.
It was a third match without a win since the mid-season break leaving the Blues tumbling from top spot to fourth in that period.
"If you take the scoreboard out of it, I think our bowlers - particularly our three quicks - it was the best they have bowled all year," NSW spinner Steve O'Keefe said.
"The weather hasn't helped and marred a game which was dominated by the batters but still could have been a little bit more result-driven, so a little bit frustrating.
"When you set a game up by making 450 from 100-odd overs, you give yourself every opportunity of getting into the game. Going at over four an over is the most you could ask for from a batting group."
NSW had Test trio Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in their squad for some of the season's early matches, accruing three wins from five starts.
But O'Keefe remains confident in Trent Copeland, Gurinder Sandhu and Harry Conway, with the Blues needing wins over Victoria and Queensland in the final rounds to reach the final.
"The bowlers hit some very good areas so the mood around the camp is very upbeat," O'Keefe said.
"The guys are very positive and we know destiny is in our own hands.
"It is up to us and if we go win-win, we have every chance of playing in the Shield final."
Tasmania slipped to third with the draw but impressed with the bat.
Opener Beau Webster hit a career-best 136, wicketkeeper Matthew Wade scored an unbeaten 108 not out, while in-form Jake Doran (97) very nearly scored a third century in the innings.
Ben McDermott added a confident 75 not out in an unbroken stand of 152 for the fifth wicket with Wade.
The Tigers have home matches against South Australia and Victoria as they chase a spot in the final.
Australian Associated Press