Two days into the 2013 Imparja Cup and perennial forces from each side of the country, New South Wales and Western Australia, maintain untarnished records after four matches.
NSW’s first game of the day came against a plucky South Australian side that traversed day one of the tournament without defeat to enjoy their most successful beginning to an Imparja Cup.
The Blues steadily compiled 6-131 without fuss or particular flare on a wicket not conducive to fluent scoring.
For the youthful SA team, who were so energetic on day one of competition, the might of the experienced NSW team was too great and weary batting performance ended on 6-85 after 20 overs.
After a historically successful first day for Victoria in their 2013 Imparja Cup campaign, the Northern Territory awaited, keen to atone at Albrech Oval after a winless first day.
The locals were encouraged by their total of 7-100, batting first and Victoria stuttered in reply before eventually passing the total in the 20th over to go three from three.
WA continued their solid performance next, dismissing Tasmania for 81 at Larapinta Oval. A total that ought not to have come with concern for WA.
However a sluggish start with the bat turned the measly score morphed into a run chase filled with complexity. A middle order renaissance eventually guided WA to a four-wicket win with an over to spare.
Queensland returned to the winner’s list on day two, comfortably dismissing the ACT for 51 in just 14.4 overs at Albrecht Oval. QLD chased down the target for the loss of just one wicket in a meagre 8.4 overs. Glen Martin was the standout of the Queensland bowling attack, taking 3-14.
As the afternoon round of matches rolled around and the Alice Springs temperatures continued to soar, heavyweights NSW took on Victoria at Larapinta Oval.
Again batting first, NSW made a respectable but not attainable 9-135. Victoria determinedly pursued the total early in their innings before a succession of wickets curtailed the quest for the ultimate upset.
Late hitting from Fletcher Stewart (44) reinvigorated the chase late in the game but tight fielding and clean bowling from the Blues left Victoria short on 7-117 after 20 overs.
Albrecht turned out to be a winning ground for Queensland, who continued their winning ways against Tasmania in the afternoon round of matches.
Queensland smashed their way to 5-127, with hefty contributions from Michael Strange (38) and Cameron Trask (31no). In reply, Tasmania limped to 7-99.
Persistence eventually paid off for NT, who despite putting in some solid performances remained without a win going into their match against the ACT at Traeger Park.
What appeared to be an unlikely run chase by the ACT turned into a close finish due in equal parts to spirited batting and a relaxed mid-innings fielding performance by the home side.
ACT manoeuvred their way to within four runs of victory on the last ball of the innings with one wicket remaining but a last ball dismissal granted NT their first win of the Cup.
In the final game of day two of competition, WA took on SA at Traeger Park. Both teams came out looking energetic, with the night match giving them some relief from the heat, but it wasn’t long before the WA bowling attack struck and the wickets began to fall; SA ending up all out for 88. In reply, WA took out the match, making 5-90 off 18 overs.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 19 February, 2013 10:35PM AEST