The Imparja Cup trophy will reside in Queensland for the next twelve months after the Maroon’s 39-run victory over New South Wales in the Imparja Cup final in Alice Springs.
After a slow start to the week, Queensland entered the final on a winning streak. There they met NSW who had assumed their almost obligatory finals spot days in advance of the match.
Queensland batted first on a pitch not prone to high scores. Twenty four hours after being named a Cricket Australia Indigenous Scholar, Queensland opener Bradley Stout exploded atop the innings.
Stout cleared the boundary four times on his way to 46 from 32 deliveries, putting on 79 with Worrin Williams (26)for the first weekend before both batsmen needlessly ran themselves out.
NSW regrouped to slow the scoring rate before John Hay interrupted the NSW middle innings renaissance with 31 from 19 balls to push Queensland’s total to 5-150. Jake turner (1-15) and Jeff Cook (1-20) were the best of the NSW bowlers.
A fiery spell from Ashley Renouf unhinged NSW’s experienced top order, reducing the champs to 3-18. Renouf finished with 3-18.
NSW never recovered from Renouf’s barrage. The Blues’ disjointed innings finishing on 7-111 and allowing Queensland to leave Alice Springs with the Imparja Cup for the fifth occasion, and the first time since 2009.
Queensland opener Stout said his side didn’t perform early in the week but clicked during the latter part of the tournament.
“We got off to a slow start earlier in the week and we started to come good towards the final,” Stout said.
“New South Wales have been dominant so it’s a special feeling for the boys. I’ve been around for a few years and had some hard losses to NSW so it’s good to get one back."
In the women’s final, five-time champion NSW strutted their way to a sixth straight title against first timers the Invitational XI.
Formed from players from across the country, the Invitational XI shook the NSW top order, dismissing NSW’s imposing opening duo of 15-year-old Ashleigh Gardner and Samantha Hinton to prompt thoughts of an upset.
But as it has done for over half a decade, NSW responded. Roxanne Van-Veen led the recovery with a player of the match innings of 64 and was ably supported by Nicole Honeysett’s 27 not out, allowing NSW to reach 3-134.
The Invitational XI pushed NSW to within one wicket of defeat earlier in the week but could no such heroics in their run chase, staggering their way to 6-88 at the end of their innings.
The Commonwealth Bank was the Principal Partner of the Imparja Cup for the fifth consecutive year in 2013.
Anthony Heinrich, Area Manager – Northern Territory, said the Commonwealth Bank’s support is vital to strengthening Indigenous cricket and encouraging participation.
"We are excited to continue to be a part of the Imparja Cup again in 2013. The past week has seen some extremely talented players take the field – highlighted by today’s finals – and it no doubt increases awareness of Australia’s Indigenous cricketers," Mr Heinrich said.
First Posted 23 February, 2013 11:24PM AEST