Tasmania humble big-name Blues
Tasmania 4 for 272 (Bailey 81, Birt 71*) beat New South Wales 8 for 271 (Smith 81, Drew 3-56) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
New South Wales' star-studded line-up suffered a surprise defeat by Tasmania in a disastrous afternoon for the state at North Sydney Oval. Michael Clarke and Brett Lee got through their first games following injury without making much of an impact and Phillip Hughes picked up a hand problem as the Blues slumped to a six-wicket loss.
The hosts boasted eight internationals in their line-up next to Tasmania's two, but the big names failed with the bat before George Bailey, the visiting captain, set up the win with 81 from 76 deliveries and Travis Birt joined in with 71 off 51.
Lee had two catches dropped by Hughes in his first spell, and the opener soon left the field for x-rays. That injury may have an impact on Australia's first Test squad to face West Indies next week and followed a similar scare on Saturday for Marcus North, who escaped with a bruised wrist from a fielding mishap.
Lee was coming back from an elbow complaint and went wicket-less in a nine-over tune-up for Tuesday's Sheffield Shield game against the Tigers at the SCG. Stuart Clark removed Ed Cowan (36) and Bailey after Josh Hazlewood earned his first wicket on debut when he gained Michael Dighton's edge on 40. The opener Rhett Lockyear was unlucky to drop his bat just as Simon Katich's throw from mid-off hit the stumps, but the dismissal was not costly.
Bailey and Birt joined forces at 3 for 138 and soon gained control during an aggressive stand of 97 in 13.1 overs before Bailey miscued. Both batsmen cleared the fence of the small ground, with Bailey lifting Steven Smith and Clark for clean sixes. Birt showed his strength with five sixes and also had to receive treatment for a cut finger when hit by a throw going back to his crease.
It took a brutal innings from a 20-year-old to revive New South Wales after their A-list order failed to fire. Smith launched five sixes and seven fours - five of which came in the same Brendan Drew over - as he was responsible for improving his team's position from 5 for 108 with 81 from 58 deliveries.
David Warner (36) and Hughes (30) did not really recover from the sight of the offspinner Jason Krejza opening the bowling and Clarke's return from a lengthy lay-off due to a back injury lasted 23 balls. He struggled for touch and on 8 was too eager in taking a single to mid-off and was just beaten by Cowan's direct hit.
"The back is okay," Clarke said during the game. "I didn't do it too much harm today. Fingers crossed I can play in the four-dayer on Tuesday. I'd also like to play in the Twenty20 all-stars match [on Sunday] to lead into the Test match. I feel very short on batting, I'm a little bit scratchy at the moment."
After Phil Jaques glided behind to Birt, Brad Haddin chose a poor time to chase a six off Xavier Doherty and his short stay was ended by Cowan's stunning leap for a one-handed take at long-off. Katich (34), who entered at the unfamiliar position of No. 6, looked up to see an inexperienced team-mate walking out and they saved the side from a mediocre total during an 83-run stand from 76 balls.
At the start of the batting Powerplay Smith, who picked up his maiden half-century, swiped Luke Butterworth for two sixes to midwicket in the same over, with one landing on a grandstand roof. Another ball from Doherty had suffered the same fate and Smith really lifted when he took the previously impressive Drew (3 for 56) for 21 in an over. Smith's mistake was to premeditate a sweep off Brett Geeves and glide the ball on to his stumps, but by then he had given his side a chance that they didn't take.