Cummins, Warner lead NSW to final
New South Wales 1 for 107 (Warner 70*) beat Tasmania 103 (Cummins 4-16) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
The New South Wales Blues have steam-rolled the Tasmania Tigers by nine wickets to charge into the Big Bash final and confirm a place in the Twenty20 Champions League for the second time.
The inaugural Champions League winners rode on Patrick Cummins' four wickets and a 49-ball 70 not out from David Warner to win a one-sided, rain-reduced preliminary final.
Play was delayed by half an hour due to Hobart's indifferent weather and the match was reduced to 17 overs a side. The coin fell George Bailey's way and the Tigers captain elected to bat with 12 of the 18 previous matches in the tournament being won by the side setting a total.
But no-one informed the 17-year-old Penrith quick Cummins about those statistics. He steamed in from the River End to take 4 for 16 in a Man-of-the-Match display that helped dismiss the Tigers for just 103.
Cummins consistently clocked 140kph and was far too quick for the Tigers' top order. He claimed Rhett Lockyear and Ed Cowan in his second over after Stuart Clark bowled Mark Cosgrove via the inside-edge off the third ball of the match. Cowan lost his off stump to a 146kph thunderbolt.
Cummins had Jonathan Wells caught at point in his third over to leave Tasmania reeling at 4 for 25.
The Tigers rallied courtesy of their two most experienced players in Bailey and Travis Birt. They put on 34 before both holed out needlessly to long-off and the innings never recovered.
Scott Coyte conjured an extraordinary back-handed run out to remove Ryan ten Doeschate after fielding in his follow-through, and then Cummins returned to deceive James Faulkner with a slower ball to show he has guile, as well as gas, in his weaponry.
David Warner gunned down the Tigers target with 25 balls to spare with a dazzling display of power-hitting. Warner's performances have been much maligned this tournament despite becoming the leading run-scorer after Tuesday's game.
But after a scratchy first six deliveries during which he a miscued a ball just beyond mid-off, and nearly lost his off stump swinging for the Derwent River, he ignited the chase with the biggest six of the tournament, launching a short ball from Ben Hilfenhaus out of the ground over square leg. It sparked a sequence of eight deliveries that yielded six more boundaries and virtually ended the Tigers' tournament.
Warner raced to 50 off 32 balls and ended the night with his third six to finish with 70 not out from just 49 balls. The only man he could not collar was part-time offspinner Lockyear, who bowled 10 dot-balls at Warner in four overs that cost just 12 runs. It was a spell the Blues' opponents in the final, the South Australia Redbacks, would no doubt have noted given the success of their own offspinner Nathan Lyon in this tournament.
Lockyear also had Phil Jaques dropped twice to rub salt into the Tigers' gaping wounds.
The Blues will go into the final with supreme confidence but with an injury concern. Usman Khawaja twinged a hamstring in the field and his fitness will be assessed ahead of Saturday's final in Adelaide.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth