Marsh and Gayle blast Warriors to win
Western Australia 5 for 205 (Marsh 85, Gayle 61, Clark 2-27) beat New South Wales 4 for 104 (Warner 49, Johnston 2-23) by 19 runs (D/L method)
A Twenty20 masterclass from Western Australian openers Shaun Marsh and Chris Gayle blasted the Warriors to a 19-run victory over the Blues in a rain-interrupted match in Sydney. A quick start saw the visitors reach 0 for 62 off the first six overs but it was the seventh over that proved to be match-defining. The laconic Gayle took to medium-pacer Scott Coyte, smashing 32 runs off the over (6, 6, 6, 4, 4, 6) - a KFC Big Bash record.
The Blues' skipper Stuart Clark combined with David Warner to get the vital wicket of Gayle for 61, but when the dust settled, Man of the Match Marsh also emerged swinging. He pummelled the midwicket and mid-on boundary on his way to the highest individual score for this season's Big Bash, 85 off 45 balls, as the Warriors chalked up a massive total of 5 for 205.
The hosts' run-chase got off to a disastrous start as they lost Daniel Smith for a duck in the first over before Brad Haddin was dismissed softly in the third over, lofting a weak drive to Marcus North at cover. Warner started firing in the fifth over before a rain delay halted any momentum the Blues had begun to gather. The revised total of 189 off 18 overs looked unlikely but with Warner and Phil Hughes at the crease, anything was still possible.
It was a run-out that ultimately proved costly, Hughes involved again just days after his mix-up with Shane Watson in the fifth Test, although this time it was more a case of Warner and the Blues' desperation, rather than poor calling. Saj Mahmood struck shortly after the runout, dismissing Hughes for 24 before rain ended the match - the Warriors deserved victors.
It was confirmed after the match that New South Wales batsman Nic Maddinson, who had been part of the Prime Minister's XI side to take on England in Canberra on Monday, would no longer play any part in that match after injuring his thumb in the field against the Warriors.
Maddinson will have scans on Monday to determine the extent of his injury, and has been replaced in the Prime Minister's XI by local Australian Capital Territory top order batsman, Sam Miller. Miller, 22, moved from country Victoria in 2009 to play with ACT in the Futures League, this year scoring a breakthrough 102 against Tasmania.
The points table is now interestingly poised, with all six teams sitting on one win after two rounds, the Warriors still in last place due to their poor net run rate. Western Australia will host South Australia on Thursday while New South Wales travel to play Queensland next Saturday.