Marsh One-Day Cup 2021
Champions! Blues cruise past WA to win 12th one-day title
Jack Edwards shows maturity beyond his years with the bat before NSW's star-studded attack rips through WA in Sydney
Louis Cameron at Bankstown Oval
11 April 2021, 10:30 PM AEST
Twenty-year-old Jack Edwards filled in for NSW's missing stars with aplomb before a Sean Abbott-led attack strangled Western Australia's loaded top-order to see the Blues cruise to their 12th men's domestic one-day title.
Edwards, playing in just his third game of the season for NSW after the recent departures of three first-choice batters to the IPL, anchored the Blues' innings after an early stumble as he scored a composed 108 in the Marsh One-Day Cup final at Bankstown Oval.
Chasing 252 to defend their 50-over crown, WA's exciting batting group then came unstuck against the hosts' international-calibre attack, with Abbott (4-23 from seven overs) returning from a hand injury to upstage Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon.
The Blues ran out comfortable winners by 102 runs, the fourth largest victory margin by runs in a final, and they could complete the domestic double with victory over Queensland in the Marsh Sheffield Shield final, which starts on Thursday.
Edwards' second List A ton came two-and-a-half years after his first, which, at 18, had seen him become the youngest ever Australian man to score a ton in a domestic one-dayer.
Now 20, he is the youngest to make a ton in a men’s domestic one-day final.
Edwards batted cleverly and largely without risk, though he did clear the rope three times including a bullet cut shot off Lance Morris and a monster blow out of the ground off Mitch Marsh after he had reached his century.
The right-hander's 122-ball knock was vital given the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, who had accounted for close to half of NSW's runs in the Marsh Cup coming into the decider.
Only opener Dan Hughes provided solid support, scoring a sedate 102-ball 58 that proved crucial on a sluggish pitch that made fast run-scoring difficult.
"I had a feeling I was going to be playing with the Aussie guys away," said Edwards.
"It was probably a little bit of a blessing that I hadn't played too many games (this season) because I just felt like I was coming out and just batting. I felt pretty relaxed out there.
"I'm still reasonably inexperienced at this level so just getting to play was great. Even with those games I wasn’t playing, I was around the group and watching how they went about setting up an innings."
Cameron Green (35) was the only member of WA’s star-studded top seven to pass 30 and when Jason Sangha ran him out coming back for a second run, it left the visitors 8-146 and all but sealed NSW's victory.
D'Arcy Short (26), Josh Inglis (29) had battled hard to drag the visitors back into the game, but the required run-rate spiralled out to above seven from the final 20 overs.
WA lost 7-64 in the face of some classy NSW bowling, with Lyon (3-38 from 10 overs), Starc (2-32 off 7.3) and Hazlewood (0-29 off 10 overs) all proving a handful.
But it was Abbott – back in the side after splitting the webbing between the fingers on his bowling hand – who did the most damage, while he also took a terrific catch running back from mid-on to dismiss Short.
"They're a world-class bowling attack and we were outplayed ... It certainly hurts," said WA skipper Mitch Marsh.
"The toss (which Marsh lost) was definitely huge today in those conditions. Ultimately I thought we bowled pretty well and 250 was probably par on that wicket. We just didn’t bat well and they executed with the ball unbelievably well.
"We actually just spoke in the change rooms – I think we're a very good one-day team at the moment, but to become a great one-day team, in conditions like that we need to win.
"That will be a learning curve for us."
NSW had made a bright start after Kurtis Patterson elected to bat first on a blustery morning, with Matthew Gilkes in particular looking imperious with a string of boundaries before he was inexplicably run out attempting what had appeared to be a straightforward second run.
Patterson and Sangha were then out for single-figure scores in consecutive overs to leave the Blues reeling at 3-50.
It took a measured 118-run partnership between Hughes, who was given a life on two when skipper Mitch Marsh dropped a simple catch at slip off the luckless Green, and Edwards to drag their side back into the contest.
Rather than launching a late assault, Edwards carefully guided NSW through the closing overs and earnt a rousing acknowledgement from the enthusiastic home crowd when he reached triple figures from 117 balls.
Jason Behrendorff finished as the pick of the WA bowlers with 3-46 from his 10 overs.
Sam Whiteman's excellent one-day season ended with a golden duck after he was trapped lbw during a wild first over from Starc, who bowled six wides but was challenging with the older ball.
Abbott then struck twice to leave WA 3-50, a similar position NSW had been in a few hours earlier, except the visitors failed to find someone to stick with Green.
Both Inglis and Ashton Turner were caught on the leg-side trying to up the tempo against Abbott, while Ashton Agar was visibly upset at being given out caught behind sweeping off Lyon.
Starc ended the match with a trademark yorker that bowled No.11 Lance Morris to secure yet another piece of silverware for the Blues.
NSW Blues: Daniel Hughes, Matt Gilkes (wk), Kurtis Patterson (c), Jason Sangha, Jack Edwards, Oliver Davies, Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Western Australia: Josh Philippe, Sam Whiteman, D'Arcy Short, Mitch Marsh (c), Josh Inglis (wk), Cameron Green, Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Liam Guthrie, Lance Morris