Casson stars as New South Wales finish on top
A strong all-round display from Beau Casson ensured New South Wales will stage the Pura Cup final against Victoria following a comprehensive defeat of South Australia. Needing 366 to make the hosts bat again, the Redbacks fell for 203 with only Daniel Harris and Graham Manou offering any lasting resistance in the innings and 162-run loss.
It was a busy day for Casson, who departed one short of a first-class century in the morning before finishing with 4 for 48 in the afternoon. Mark Cameron was the main early danger for South Australia and his three initial strikes ended their chances of hanging on. The opener Jake Brown was caught off his glove for 7 before Callum Ferguson, who took a hit on his back from a bouncer, was dismissed from another short delivery and Daniel Christian was bowled for 1.
Unfortunately for Cameron, who gained 4 for 34 off 18 overs, the performance is unlikely to keep him in the team for Saturday's final as the Blues will have Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Nathan Bracken available. New South Wales will also welcome back Michael Clarke from his international duties.
South Australia were 4 for 63 when Shane Deitz hit a full toss to mid-off, but Manou registered a half-century to offer support to Harris. Manou went lbw to Cameron and then Casson broke through with four wickets, including Harris for 71, to ensure a quick end to the match. Dan Cullen could not bat due to a hand problem and the innings finished at nine wickets down.
Casson's caught-behind dismissal led to New South Wales' declaration at 7 for 493 and Dominic Thornely was left unbeaten on 169. He added 23 on the third morning and his concerns about gaining a place in the team for Saturday should have evaporated. Cameron and Casson, who will battle with Stuart MacGill for the spin duties, will not be so sure.