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Praise as duo trades courtroom for pitch

Doug Bollinger, Tom Cooper lauded for efforts on return to cricket field as Hughes Inquest continues

Tom Cooper and Doug Bollinger have been praised for their resilience after they returned to the cricket field on Wednesday following their appearances in court at the coronial inquest into the death of Phillip Hughes.

West End Redbacks skipper Callum Ferguson praised the performance of players from both New South Wales and South Australia as they put the courthouse issues to one side and returned to action in the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup clash at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney.

Extended highlights: Redbacks stun NSW


"Fantastic, I can't speak highly enough of him. Real resilience," Ferguson said when asked about Cooper after play.

"And that goes for the guys in the New South Wales side as well.

"It's obviously a difficult time but everyone bounced back and got out here today, and Coops in particular was fantastic.

Report & Highlights: Redbacks upset powerful NSW side

"He put it to the back of his mind, put the team first and played an unselfish knock at the end to help us get that bonus point."

Cooper hit 47 from 57 balls in the clash before, in a twist of cricketing fate, he fell to the bowling of Bollinger, edging a delivery from the pace bowler to be caught behind.

Bollinger has Cooper caught behind


Cooper was one of three wickets for Bollinger, who finished his 9.2 overs with figures of 3-35.

Both players had been subject to an intense grilling on the witness stand earlier this week by Greg Melick SC, counsel representing the Hughes family at the inquest into the batsman's tragic death in November 2014.

The NSW Coroner's Court heard claims on Monday that Bollinger had sledged Cooper and Hughes with "I'm going to kill you" on the first day of the fateful Sheffield Shield match. Bollinger denied uttering the alleged sledge, while Cooper denied hearing it.

Read more: Hughes inquest takes new sledging twist

There was a twist when new evidence submitted to the court today alleged Bollinger had admitted saying "I am going to kill you" as players, family and friends gathered at the SCG for drinks after Hughes passed away.

Cooper and Bollinger came off the field after the Redbacks' six-wicket victory to learn of the latest developments.

Cooper walks off the field after being dismissed by Bollinger // Getty
Cooper walks off the field after being dismissed by Bollinger // Getty


Earlier Cooper had been playing "with a smile on his face".

"He bowled a couple of overs as well, which he always enjoys," Ferguson said.

"It was good to see him out there with a smile on his face.

"It's a difficult period. However, to everyone's credit that was involved they certainly put their best foot forward and got on with the game and certainly put some good cricket out on the park.

"A difficult period but everyone got through it well."

The Hughes Inquest continues in Sydney's NSW Coroner's Court until Friday, while NSW are back at Drummoyne Oval on Friday afternoon for their next match against Queensland, while the Redbacks play the CA XI on Saturday at Hurstville.