A century to former Tiger David Dawson and an impressive bowling performance from a relatively inexperienced attack has seen New South Wales register a comfortable 37-run Ryobi Cup victory over Tasmania in Hobart.
Dawson, released by Tasmania after the 2008/09 season, completed a successful return to Blundstone Arena on Monday, following up a gritty half-century in last week's Sheffield Shield encounter with an unbeaten 124 that helped the Blues post 4-246 from their 50 overs.
In reply, the Tigers never really threatened and were eventually bowled out for 209 in the 46th over, 19-year-old Gurinder Sandhu the pick of the visiting bowlers with 5-35 from 9.3 overs.
It was Sandhu's first five-wicket haul and came when he had Evan Gulbis (45) well caught by Nic Maddinson in front of the sight screen to wrap up the Tigers' innings.
Both sides were fielding inexperienced outfits, each with several players unavailable through international duty and injury, and while Jordan Silk (54) played a lone hand in the Tasmanian middle order, it was the Blues youngsters that really shone with ball in hand.
After Tigers opener Jon Wells was clean bowled for a duck by impressive third-game spinner Luke Doran (3-64 from 13 overs) in just the second over, Ricky Ponting had looked in imperious touch, crunching a couple of trademark pull shots and racing to 28 in quick time during a 52-run stand with Tim Paine.
But it wasn't to last long as the former Test skipper fell to 20-year-old Adam Zampa (1-44), cramped for room outside off stump and top edging a cut through to acting captain Pete Nevill behind the stumps.
When Paine (30) followed the next over, nicking a Sandhu slower ball behind, the Tigers had slipped to be 3-58 in the 13th over and looked at risk of falling off the pace.
A bonus point win was the only result that would have kept their slim finals hopes alive, but the loss of early wickets made the prospect of chasing the 247 required for victory inside 40 overs even less likely.
When Alex Doolan was fourth man out, caught at cover for 21, Silk was forced to take the reins alongside Matt Johnston (eight), the all-rounder falling soon after in freakish fashion.
Having clipped a full toss back at Sean Abbott (1-17), Johnston could only look on as the bowler parried his attempted catch over his left shoulder and straight to Daniel Hughes at mid-on.
As an omen it was typical of Tasmania's night, the home side struggling to find any form or fluency against the young NSW attack.
Perseverance hadn't been an issue for the Blues' batsmen, however, 30-year-old Dawson surviving a couple of chances on his way to triple figures.
The gritty opener anchored the innings to perfection, biding his time early and adding 93 for the second wicket alongside Tim Cruickshank (61) as the visitors passed 100 runs in the 28th over.
The pair reached their half-centuries in consecutive overs, Cruickshank bringing up the milestone from 70 deliveries and Dawson proving slightly more patient and needing 79 balls to make his 50.
It wasn't until the first ball of the batting power-play that Andrew Fekete (1-35) managed to split the pair, finding a way past Cruickshank's straight bat to rock his off stump and see the Blues well placed for a late charge at 2-120 after 31 overs.
But with Dawson unable to break the shackles and new man Nic Maddinson (19) struggling to find his feet, NSW could only add 32 runs in the five-over power-play and were starting to risk wasting their opportunity after winning the toss and opting to bat in perfect conditions.
Having seen a tough chance grassed behind the stumps by Tigers skipper Paine early in his innings, Dawson had a second life when Johnston (2-39) put down a sharp return catch with the compact right-hander still eight runs from his century.
But a punched drive to deep point saw Dawson bring up his maiden ton in the 47th over and he went on to accelerate during the final stages, finishing with consecutive boundaries in the 49th over and pushing on to carry his bat through the innings and help the visitors post their winning score.
First Posted 11 February, 2013 9:30PM AEST