Jaques makes 75 as Blues win easily
New South Wales 3 for 167 (Jaques 75, Haddin 42*) beat Tasmania 166 (Bevan 39, Hauritz 3-25) by 7 wickets
Phil Jaques ensured his name would remain in the Australia selectors' minds with 75 from 57 balls as New South Wales scored an easy win over Tasmania in their Ford Ranger Cup match at Bellerive Oval. The Blues reached their target of 167 with seven wickets in hand and 93 balls to spare, after the Tigers were dismissed for 166 from 41 overs.
Jaques let fly right from the start, hitting 10 fours and two sixes - both of which went out of the ground and on to the practice pitches - to set up the crushing win that gave New South Wales a bonus point. It was his first half-century in the FR Cup this season but runs have not been eluding Jaques, who scored two centuries against England in tour matches in the space of a week.
He scored freely in all directions until he got a thick edge to the diving Xavier Doherty at third man when he attempted to hit Brett Geeves over mid-on. Michael Clarke failed to make the most of his chance to play a lengthy innings and was caught at mid-on for 28 from 50 deliveries but Brad Haddin guided the Blues home with 42 not out.
Tasmania captain Dan Marsh elected to bat after morning rain reduced the match to 43 overs per side. Wickets fell at regular intervals for the Tigers, with Michael Bevan's 39 the highlight of a disappointing innings. Nathan Hauritz was the pick of the New South Wales bowlers, finishing with 3 for 25 from his eight overs, but all of the Blues' fast men claimed wickets as well.
The New South Wales captain Simon Katich said Jaques' performance was no surprise. "Whatever form of the game he's playing in he's going to get runs," said Katich. "Whether it's club cricket, state cricket or when he gets the chance for Australia."
The Blues, who came into the match with one win from three games, now sit in third place on the table and Tasmania are fourth. "We knew it was a big game but we've got a big month coming up and we can really go up the ladder if we keep playing like this."