Day one of the 20th Imparja Cup has concluded in Alice Springs with Victoria, South Australia, NSW and Western Australia all remaining undefeated after the first day of play.
Western Australia’s Michael Bailey propelled his side’s innings in first match of the day, making 96 to contribute to his team’s huge total of 5-180. It proved an insurmountable target for the out-gunned ACT side, managed just 42 for their ten wickets.
The youth of the South Australian team was shown to be no reflection of their skill, as they piled on 107 runs for the loss of 6 wickets against the Northern Territory. In reply, NT was dismissed for 76.
New South Wales were keen to make a big impression in their first hit-out in their 2012 title defence, posting a strong 7-116 against Tasmania. The Tasmanians rallied in reply, falling just 13 runs short of their target, with a score of 103. NSW’s Jake Turner was the key with the ball, taking 3 for 8.
Queensland – looking to go one better than runners up that they achieved in the 2012 Imparja Cup – started strongly, posting a solid 4-131 for Victoria to chase down in their opening match.
A spirited run chase from a youthful Victorian side, which included a captain’s knock of 60 not out from Ben Abbatangelo in the searing Red Centre heat, saw the Victorians chase down the total in 18 overs. It’s the first time in tournament history that the Victorian side has defeated the traditional might of Queensland.
As the second round of matches began for the day, the South Australians built on their earlier display, piling on 145 for the loss of only two wickets against the ACT. The ACT cast aside their lowly first-match performance in their run chase, reaching a respectable 6-133 in their allotted overs.
WA continued to dominate in the afternoon stage, this time against the NT. It was Alistair Bivens’ turn to star with the bat, notching an unbeaten half century to contribute to his team’s total of 8-125. In reply, victory never looked a realistic prospect for the locals, who were eventually all out for 72.
It was a quick turnaround for both Victoria and Tasmania between matches, and it looked like the excitement of their win over Queensland had tired the Victorians, who slumped to 8-94 in their second match of the day at Traeger Park.
As underdogs, the Tasmanian’s had control of the match, until the Victorian captain stood up again – this time with the ball – taking 3 for 8 from three overs. Tasmania lost 9 wickets for 34 runs in their chase, stumbling their way to 9-82 after 20 overs.
The final game of day one was a rematch between the 2012 finalists New South Wales and Queensland.
Despite posting a meagre score of 7-108, the 2012 champs NSW put in a tight fielding performance to contain Queensland to 7-102 to complete the quartet of undefeated teams.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 18 February, 2013 11:42PM AEST