Matador BBQs One-Day Cup 2016

Young Redbacks stun NSW to stay alive

South Australia's bowlers set the trend as the Redbacks stun a powerful NSW side in the Matador Cup

Sam Ferris, at Drummoyne Oval

12 October 2016, 05:08 PM

Extended highlights: Redbacks stun NSW

The West End Redbacks have kept their Matador BBQs One-Day Cup title hopes alive with a bonus-point-win over defending champions NSW Blues on Wednesday.

It was South Australia's rookies who outclassed their star-studded opponents, first by bowling the Blues out for a below-par 208 before chasing it down in the 39th over to win by six wickets at Drummoyne Oval.

The win moves the Redbacks into fifth spot, equal on seven points with Western Australia but back one place due to an inferior net run rate.

Ferguson clatters match-winning 72no

NSW, on the other hand, are in trouble in second-last position, sitting in sixth with only one win, and will likely need to win their three remaining matches against Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia to make the semi-finals.

"We’re not playing well enough at the top of the order and guys aren’t batting deep enough – Moises the exclusion there – we’re not bowling well enough, certainly not fielding well enough and as a group not playing the cricket we expect of ourselves," Cowan said after the match.

"There’s an opportunity to turn it around and hopefully we’ll dig deep to do that."

The run chase was perfectly timed by the Redbacks, who went hard in the opening 10-over powerplay, consolidated in the middle overs and charged at the back-end with skipper Callum Ferguson (73no) and Tom Cooper (47) guiding them home.

While the batting was impressive, it was the bowling display from the Redbacks young guns that set up the triumph.

With an average age of just 20.5, the quartet of Cameron Valente, Tom Andrews, Michael Cormack and Wes Agar suffocated the Blues seasoned batting line-up, which featured four internationals in the top six.

Agar, the younger brother of Western Australia’s Ashton, was the pick of the youngsters, snaring 3-38 with the scalps of Blues openers Daniel Hughes (13), Ed Cowan (50) and then Trent Copeland (23).

Cowan top scores for the Blues

The lanky right-armer, who has an uncanny resemblance to injured WA quick Nathan Coulter-Nile, was rotated in and out of the attack throughout the innings and bowled with pace and purpose.

Valente, the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 10 wickets in four matches, captured 3-40, bowling tight medium-pace with the wicketkeeper up to the stumps.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Andrews was the most expensive but perhaps the most threatening of the foursome, collecting 2-49 and bowling deep into the final ten overs of the innings.

And Cormack, in his debut game, was thrown into the deep end by skipper Callum Ferguson, ordered to open the bowling after the Blues won the toss and elected to bat first on a slow surface.

The 19-year-old claimed 1-42 from 10 overs with his right-arm off-spin, capturing the big wicket of the in-form NSW skipper Moises Henriques for 26.

No Blues batsman could break the shackles of the well-drilled Redbacks bowling attack, which is without the services of first-choice trio Joe Mennie, Dan Worrall and Adam Zampa (international duties) and paceman Kane Richardson (hamstring).

Sandhu caught napping by Redbacks

In reply, opening batsmen Alex Carey (43) and Jake Weatherald (37) got off to a flyer, crashing the new ball to all parts of the Drummoyne outfield.

The duo raced to 54 from six overs, taking Test spinner Nathan Lyon for 24 runs from 12 balls at one stage.

Doug Bollinger’s introduction began with a brace of boundaries, but shortly after the bustling speedster bowled Weatherald to end the opening stand at 72.

Copeland repeated Bollinger’s efforts to castle Carey and bring together the match-winning partnership between Ferguson and Cooper.

Singles and safety were the orders when the middle-order pair united, knocking the ball into the gaps and hitting the odd bad ball for four.

To earn a bonus point the batting side must reach the target inside 40 overs, and after 34 overs SA’s assignment was 57 off 36 balls.

Eleven runs off the 35th signalled their intent, and 19 runs off the next over from Copeland put them in the box seat for a five-point victory.

Bollinger returned to snap the 95-run third-wicket stand by taking the edge of Cooper through to ‘keeper Peter Nevill who made no mistake.

Tim Ludeman came and went without scoring, leaving Lehmann to ice the game in the 40th over.

"I think we had it (the bonus point) in the back of our minds all the way through," Ferguson told reporters after play.

"Jamie (Siddons, Redbacks coach) and I had a chat before I went out there at the start of the innings and certainly if we got a good start we’d be targeting it.

"Coops and I, once we got settled, decided with probably about 10 to go that we’d certainly have a crack at it." 

Meg Lanning Steve Smith