Marsh Cup Match Report: TAS v NSW

After losing the toss and being sent into bat, the decision seemed not to phase the Tigers early, with the new opening pairing of Caleb Jewell and Ben McDermott piling on 138 runs within the first 20 overs without the loss of a wicket.

Keen to make up for just missing out on reaching the half-century milestone in his last one-day knock against South Australia, Jewell raced away to 70 runs off just 51 balls, until Ben Dwarshius got the breakthrough in the 20th over.

Despite not having played since the end of the Big Bash season, McDermott’s good form of the summer still seemed to be with him and early on in the match at least, he did not seem bothered by the hamstring complaint he picked up during Australia’s T20I tour of New Zealand.  Although batting at a slightly more conservative rate than Jewell, he went on to make 68 runs of 70 balls, notching his 1000th List A run (991 of which have been made in green) in the process.

Unfortunately, the departure of the openers spelled for a flurry of wickets for the Tigers.  From the dismissal of McDermott in the 22nd over - again courtesy of Dwarshius - Tasmania went on to lose 6-40, including the key scalps of returning captain, Matthew Wade (7), Tim Paine (9) and Jordan Silk (12). 

Bowlers Nathan Ellis (31 runs off 46 deliveries) and Jackson Bird (28* off 20) rallied at the tail end of the innings to ensure the home side still had a respectable total to defend, so that in the end the Tigers finished on 9-258 off their allotted 50 overs.

The Blues also got off to a steady start with the bat, with openers David Warner and Matthew Gilkes compiling 46 runs before Peter Siddle sent Gilkes back to the sheds for 17 in the 10th over.  The Australian Test opener in Warner looked unfazed by the turn of events, however, and, joined by Moises Henriques at the crease, the pair proceeded to build a partnership of 96 runs in just over 15 overs.

It was Bird who put an end to that particular run-fest, with Henriques being caught behind by Paine for 47.  Whilst no other batter could establish as meaningful a partnership with Warner as Henriques had, Kurtis Patterson (17) and Oliver Davies (28) also made handy contributions to their team’s total.  However, Warner – combined with the Tasmanians not having the best day in the field – meant the writing was on the wall in terms of the result.

Warner was eventually dismissed for a well-made 108 off 115 balls, thanks again to the combination of bowled Bird, caught Paine.  The Tigers did manage to claim some cheap wickets late, but NSW captain, Pat Cummins (19*), combined with Dwarshius (4*) to hit the winning runs for the Blues with seven balls to spare.

Bird was the best of the bowlers for the Tigers, finishing with figures of 3-52 off his 10 overs.

Unsurprisingly, Warner was awarded Player of the Match.

Both squads will now re-group before their Marsh Sheffield Shield encounter, which begins at Blundstone Arena on Saturday.

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