NSW steal ING Cup despite Tait brilliance
New South Wales 9 for 155 (Richards 35, Thornely 25, Tait 6-41) beat South Australia 154 (Cosgrove 49, Bird 3-30) by one wicket
Stuart MacGill hit the trophy-winning run for the second time in two seasons as New South Wales clung on for a one-wicket victory over South Australia at Adelaide. The Blues almost didn't make it as Shaun Tait produced a stunning performance of 6 for 41 - he took the first five wickets as the Redbacks tried valiantly to defend only 154 - but MacGill's leg glance off Darren Lehmann earned them the final ING Cup prize in a similar manner to last season's Pura Cup success.
Corey Richards and Phil Jaques made a comfortable start after Tait had knocked over Craig Simmons for 1, but Tait returned with a brutal over that included the wickets of Richards (35), Jaques (21) and Matthew Phelps (0). Brad Haddin and Dominic Thornely combined for a 44-run partnership to steer the side away from the trouble of 4 for 67 before Tait struck again.
Thornely edged him off the back foot to Mark Cosgrove at first slip, Haddin was run out by Callum Ferguson and when Tait struck his sixth wicket, a fierce short ball for the caught-behind of Jason Krejza, New South Wales were 20 runs short with three batsmen remaining. Moises Henriques, who captained Australia to the semi-finals of the Under-19 World Cup this month, walked out to meet Aaron O'Brien and remained composed with an unbeaten 5 off 21 balls as O'Brien departed seven runs short of the total and Aaron Bird left with six still needed.
However, MacGill again showed his batting capabilities under extreme pressure and heaved his team to victory, just as he did against Queensland at the Gabba in 2004-05. "We just keep coming up with the goods in the finals," Haddin said before collecting the trophy, which his state has won in four of the past six seasons. Tait was an easy choice as Man of the Match and Lehmann hoped the result would help his young team in the future. "To my players: so close yet so far, a great experience," he said.
The Blues were set for a strolling chase once they dismissed South Australia for 154 in only 43.5 overs. Bird created problems with 3 for 30 after the home side had cruised to 1 for 66. However, they quickly lost 5 for 24, including Mark Cosgrove for 49, and relied on Graham Manou (28) and Mark Cleary (26) to drag them towards 150. Doug Bollinger was also effective and Stuart MacGill and O'Brien matched his two wickets.
New Wales collected Au$75,000 for the win that ended ING's 14-year involvement with the competition. David Hussey, the Victoria batsman, won the Fastest Fifty award for his 36-ball effort against the Warriors while the Best New Talent was Western Australia's Brett Dorey, who was rewarded earlier in the season with an Australia one-day cap.