South Australia v New South Wales, Pura Cup, Adelaide, 4th day November 21, 2003

Blewett takes South Australia to the top


Greg Blewett ackwnowledges his half-century in South Australia's win
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South Australia 400 and 137 for 5 beat New South Wales 267 and 267 by five wickets

Greg Blewett, South Australia's captain, is confident they can retain top spot in the table after a deserved five-wicket win against New South Wales at the Adelaide Oval.

Chasing 135 for victory, SA finished on 5 for 137, with Blewett hitting the winning runs to reach 65 not out. The win took them to 12 points, with two outright victories from three matches, and ahead of NSW and Tasmania, who are both on eight points.

"We're travelling beautifully," Blewett said about his side's progress under new coach Wayne Phillips. "We're undefeated at this stage of the year, with two games away and one at home, and we've got Queensland here next week, who we've played pretty well against here. So we're sitting well, and as long as we keep doing what we're doing and not get too far ahead of ourselves, we can set ourselves up nicely for the latter half of the season."

SA started the day on 2 for 38, needing a further 97 runs to win, potentially a tricky target on a wearing last-day pitch, with Blewett and nightwatchman Jason Gillespie at the crease. But the pair put on a fifty partnership to take the score to 85 before Gillespie was caught driving at point off Stuart Clark.

Gillespie's 32 went with his 5 for 54 yesterday to complete a good allround match for him in his comeback from a side injury which had kept him out for five weeks. SA then lost Andy Flower, caught behind off Clark for two, and Mark Higgs, caught in the deep off Stuart MacGill for 23 off 20 balls, while attempting to finish the match with a six. MacGill had 1 for 28 from three overs today.

Mark Cosgrove, 19, was named Man of the Match after making 118 in SA's first innings. He was nought not out at the close, which came well before the scheduled lunch break, although he did not face a ball.

Blewett said Cosgrove, who made his debut late last season, was an exceptional talent. "I remember when I first started out, I wasn't that young, but I wouldn't have dreamt of playing like he did," Blewett said. "It's very exciting for us to have a junior Boof [Darren Lehmann] in the making, hopefully."

Steve Waugh, NSW captain, also praised Cosgrove, who took a sharp catch at backward square leg to dismiss him for a golden duck in their first innings. "I think it was probably the best catch I've ever seen taken off myself when I'm batting, it was a freakish catch," Waugh said. "Batting-wise, he looks an exceptional talent for 19, he hits the ball very nicely. He's very similar to Darren Lehmann at the same age and that's a big rap to put on a young kid."

Waugh said that SA had showed more desire to win than NSW, and had shown better concentration with the bat and sharper work in the field.