ING Cup: New South Wales v Victoria at Sydney, 7 Oct 2001

Victoria innings: 25 overs,
New South Wales innings: 25 overs, 50 overs, NSW wins by 123 runs,


It's debatable if major implications can be extracted from the first game of a season that spans close to six months. But, if there are any clues to be gleaned from New South Wales' crushing 123-run win over Victoria at the Bankstown Oval today, then they might point to the possibility of the onset of déjà vu.

This was last season's Australian domestic one-day champion against last season's wooden spooner. And, it has to be said, it looked a reflection of those respective standings all over again.

In fairness, Victoria's head-to-head record against the Blues has not been at all shabby in recent times. Before today, four wins had come in the sides' last five meetings.

But, as they did many times last season, the Bushrangers simply did not look sufficiently equipped to make an imposing score in a one-day innings.

After a disappointing start - when they conceded 44 runs inside the first six overs of the match - the visitors' bowlers and fielders performed their job stoutly enough in limiting New South Wales to a total of 9/256 in the opening session.

But, on a ground that offered a true pitch, a fast outfield and short boundaries, their top and middle order batsmen soon became the subjects of a dismal collapse. Moreover, it was one that left them embarking on another familiar custom from last season - namely, handing over a bonus point to their opposition.

Undone by pace bowling trio Don Nash (3/31), Stuart Clark (2/30) and Glenn McGrath (1/22), the visitors succumbed to scores of 3/38 and then 6/69 at different stages of a chase that never seemed to move beyond first gear.

The state's new one-day captain, Matthew Elliott (4), has signalled there will be a more proactive approach in Victoria's limited-overs cricket this summer, but was instead forced to play reactively as he edged a ball of impeccable length from Nash low to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin's left. The rot soon set in.

Disconcerted by the early disappearance of their leader, Jason Arnberger (21) then flailed wildly at a Nash outswinger to balloon a catch to third man; Brad Hodge (8) was the victim of a brilliant low catch at first slip by Shane Lee off McGrath; and Michael Klinger (4) picked the wrong ball from Nash to seek to drive off the back foot.

Clark's accuracy ensured there remained little respite even after the new ball pairing had been parted.

A breezy cameo from Ian Harvey (24) ended when he spooned a slower ball to cover and Ben Oliver (0) was defeated by a classical yorker just two deliveries later.

Jon Moss (25), Shane Warne (25) and Darren Berry (17) prolonged the life of the match but there was no doubting the identity of its winner by then.

Earlier, New South Wales adopted something of a wasteful approach after the blazing start to its own innings, frittering wickets away at regular intervals.

The pattern was established when openers Haddin (21) and Mark Waugh (21) each fell to miscued attacking strokes in the space of three deliveries.

Lee (83) later mistimed a swipe at a waist-high full toss from Harvey (3/38); Michael Slater (35) lost patience after a watchful innings and hammered a catch to mid on; Michael Clarke (11) fished at a ball that seamed away; and Nash (10) dragged his back foot out of his crease in attempting to drive. To compound the spendthrift trend, there were also three run outs.

In Lee, though, they had a player capable of producing a sparkling and sustained innings. From early in his hand, the New South Wales captain was in command: he timed the ball sweetly into and over the boundaries on both sides of the wicket. His effort was a study in concentration too, given that he was forced to devote himself to the task of holding the innings together from an early point in his stay.

Though he activated the possibility on two separate occasions by clubbing sixes early in an over, not even the lure of the competition's new million dollar jackpot (on offer to a batsman capable of swinging an accompanying six into one of four signs on the ground's square boundaries) swayed him from the job at hand.

That was one area in which Victoria did assume dominance.

The Bushrangers' chances of winning the match had long gone, but Warne raised the prospect of a big finish to the match nonetheless when he pummelled a Stuart MacGill (2/32) full toss only a few metres over a sign at square leg that would have delivered the million dollar bounty.

ING's directors might, at that moment, have been excused for experiencing a collective heart tremor as they considered the prospect of giving away the prize in the very first match of the season.

Ultimately, though, they were spared a bad end to their day. The Bushrangers, by contrast, were not nearly so fortunate.


Pacemen Don Nash, Stuart Clark and Glenn McGrath have struck decisively at the start of the afternoon session to help put New South Wales in a near-impregnable position as the 2001-02 ING Cup opener continues at the Bankstown Oval today. Twenty-five overs into its innings, Victoria is in desperate trouble at a score of 7/96 as it chases a target of 257 to win.

Nash, in particular, has produced an eye-catching performance. Utilising increasing signs of variable bounce from the Northern End, the ruggedly built right armer was on song from early in a seven-over spell that netted him three vital wickets.

Victorian captain Matthew Elliott (4) was the first to go, making an inauspicious exit in his first innings as the state's one-day captain when he drove loosely at a delivery holding its line just outside the off stump.

An overly aggressive Jason Arnberger (21) then lost his wicket two overs later after flailing wildly at a Nash outswinger and ballooning a catch to Michael Clarke at third man.

Victoria was 2/31 at that stage, and worse was to come for the visitors when star batsman Brad Hodge (8) was the victim of a brilliant low catch from Shane Lee at first slip. His sin was to defend down the wrong line at McGrath and send the ball spearing to Lee off a thick outside edge.

Michael Klinger (4) played one neat stroke behind point early in his stay but never really looked comfortable either. And the end for him, against a rampant Nash, duly came when an attempt at an off drive resulted in a second catch in the innings for wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

All-rounder Ian Harvey (24), clearly Victoria's best player to this stage of the match, sustained flickering ambitions of a recovery by producing a lovely cameo amid the crisis. His off driving, in particular, was a treat in a brisk stay that produced five stylish boundaries. But, from the moment he left the scene - after driving a slower ball from Clark uppishly to Lee at cover - all hopes of a Victorian win seem to have disappeared.

It was a prospect powerfully confirmed when all-rounder Ben Oliver (0) was comprehensively defeated by a classical yorker from Clark just two balls after Harvey's exit.

A side in particular need of good fortune, Victoria then suffered another grievous blow in the twenty-fifth over when Jonathan Moss (25) was shown the red light after an excruciatingly close run out decision. Third umpire David Brandon ruled that Moss had not beaten home a throw from point fieldsman Shawn Bradstreet to the bowler's end, but a brace of television replays suggested that he could consider himself unlucky to have met his demise in such a fashion.

From a position of apparent-parity at halfway, the wheels have come rapidly off the Victorian cart. Dubbed the 'bonus-point bunnies' at various times last summer, the Bushrangers will hand yet another one over at the start of a new season if they fail to muster the now distant-looking total of 204.


The platform has been laid for an exciting run chase from Victoria this afternoon in this ING Cup clash at the Bankstown Oval in Sydney.

After winning the toss and batting under predominantly blue skies, New South Wales has ended the opening 50 overs of Australia's new domestic season at a total of 9/256 - a score which appears to leave the match evenly balanced on a ground possessing a true pitch, a fast outfield and relatively short boundaries.

The Blues made a blazing start to their innings - reaching a total of 44 in the sixth over - but adopted something of a wasteful approach thereafter and continued to fritter wickets away both regularly and needlessly.

The pattern was established when openers Brad Haddin (21) and Mark Waugh (21) each fell to mistimed attacking strokes inside the space of three deliveries.

Shane Lee (83) later miscued a swipe at an ugly Ian Harvey (3/38 off ten overs) full toss; Michael Slater (35) lost patience and impetuously hammered a catch to mid on; Michael Clarke (11) fished at a ball that seamed away; and, Don Nash (10) dragged his back foot out of his crease in attempting to drive. And, to make matters worse, there were as many as three run outs.

In short, if it had not been for a fine captain's innings from Lee, New South Wales would have been in desperate trouble. From very early in his hand, Lee was in command; timing the ball sweetly into and over the boundaries on both sides of the wicket. It was a study in concentration, too, given that he was forced to devote himself to the task of holding the innings together from an early point in his stay.

Not even the lure of a million dollar prize - which he activated on two separate occasions by hitting sixes in the early part of an over - swayed him from the job at hand.

For Victoria, there were positives aplenty after the poor start. Matthew Elliott's captaincy was efficient - and his bowling changes and field settings generally proved effective. The Bushrangers' fielding was also far more impressive than in a number of games last summer.

And, aside from a performance from Damien Fleming (0/50 from nine overs) that probably fell some distance short of his own expectations, the bowling was also tight for the most part. Harvey's trademark variation and concentration to bowling deliveries of full length, in particular, was excellently applied.


Before a big crowd, New South Wales and Victoria are turning on a tight contest this morning to mark the start of the 2001-02 domestic season in Australia. Following the opening 25 overs of the teams' ING Cup clash at the Bankstown Oval in Sydney, the home team is placed at 3/106.

Through the early moments of the game, New South Wales looked intent on posting a huge total: openers Mark Waugh (21) and Brad Haddin (21) taking blazing toll of some loose bowling from Damien Fleming and Mick Lewis respectively.

The total had already reached 44 - in just the sixth over - before the Blues' first setback came in the form of a spooned on drive at Lewis that cost Haddin his wicket. Waugh followed him back to the pavilion that bears his name just two deliveries later, after chasing an Ian Harvey oustwinger and hitting it straight to Brad Hodge at point.

A further calamity arrived when Michael Bevan (7) chopped a delivery to point four overs later and decided to set off for a run that always looked suicidal. He was sent back urgently by partner Michael Slater (25*), but failed to beat Hodge's throw home.

Slater and captain Shane Lee (25*) have since joined forces in an unbroken half-century stand for the fourth wicket that has stabilised the cause. But their rate of progress has remained no better than leisurely for the most part.

Having won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch that has generally played quite truly, the Blues won't be totally contented with their start. For the Victorians by contrast, the last 20 overs in particular will have been reasonably satisfying.

© CricInfo

Date-stamped : 07 Oct2001 - 14:24