New South Wales v Western Australia, Pura Cup, Sydney, 4th day January 28, 2008

Sparkling Bollinger flattens Warriors

Cricinfo staff

New South Wales 485 and 1 for 78 (Hughes 54*) beat Western Australia 389 and 170 (Pomersbach 81, Bollinger 5-48) by nine wickets

Doug Bollinger was the matchwinner for New South Wales with his second five-wicket haul destroying Western Australia and keeping the home side well placed heading into the final exchanges. Phillip Hughes' unbeaten fifty helped the Blues knock off the 75 required for the nine-wicket victory, ending Tasmania's hopes of defending their title.

Aaron Heal fell early - he was Bollinger's first wicket of the day when caught by Beau Casson - but Marcus North (37) and Luke Pomersbach (81) held them up with a 70-run stand. Dominic Thornely finally broke through, holding a return catch to send North back, but Pomersbach lingered on. Finally Nathan Bracken bowled him and Bracken's only wicket for the innings was an important one.

Pomersbach's efforts at least forced the Blues into bat again after it had seemed likely they wouldn't have to when the Warriors resumed in the morning at 4 for 45. Before and after Pomersbach's dismissal, Bollinger found Steve Magoffin's edge and then Ben Edmondson's pad to close them out and set up a straightforward chase. Hughes duly made 54 from 67 balls with six fours and a six while Greg Mail was unseated by Magoffin.

Bollinger's purple patch is so violet (or, as the batsmen may see it, violent) that his 10 for 126 is not even his best match analysis of the season - it came with 12 for 131 against Tasmania on the same ground. His 44 first-class victims bring him level with Ashley Noffke for the leading Australian wicket-taker, although Bollinger's have come from six games rather than eight. Notwithstanding Mark Cameron's one-match five-wicket showing, Bollinger has the best first-class average of any Australian at 14.02 and the national selectors must be keeping a close eye on him.