Blues get home despite North's 95
New South Wales 9 for 220 (Lambert 48*, Dorey 3-48) beat Western Australia 214 (North 95, Hauritz 3-29, Cameron 3-48) by 6 runs
Marcus North's brilliant 95 was not enough to steal victory from the so-called baby Blues, who started the season on a high with a six-run win at the WACA. In a tense finish Western Australia needed 11 from the final over with one wicket in hand but Mark Cameron bowled North with the second delivery to secure the victory.
It was a disappointing end for the Man of the Match North, who was the only one of Western Australia's top five who had not played for Australia, and also the only one of them to show any resilience. He had strong support from Brett Dorey, whose 45 was a career high, as they added 50 in the last 4.2 overs - when the batting powerplay was used - and compiled an 87-run stand that was Western Australia's highest one-day ninth-wicket partnership.
But the Blues, particularly Cameron and Nathan Hauritz, had done just enough damage to the Warriors' top order to set up the success. Western Australia were chasing what should have been a gettable 221 but the loss of their openers Luke Ronchi and Shaun Marsh in the first four overs was a blow.
Hauritz (3 for 29), keen to push himself forward as a potential ODI spinner five years after his latest outing in Australia's limited-overs team, tossed the ball up and reaped the rewards. He collected Luke Pomersbach for 15 and returned later to remove Steve Magoffin and Aaron Heal in one over, before Dorey joined North for the final attempted assault.
The New South Wales win gave them some hope in the FR Cup after they finished last season on the bottom of the table. Their younger men made contributions, particularly Steve O'Keefe with a wicket and a feisty 29, but it was the more experienced Hauritz and Grant Lambert who set up the triumph.
Lambert's focused innings of 48 not out guided New South Wales to 9 for 220, not a daunting total but a reasonable result after they stumbled to 6 for 124. Dorey's three wickets helped the Warriors but the first match of the 2008-09 season suggested the Blues are still a strong force, despite losing key men such as Simon Katich, Doug Bollinger and Brad Haddin to the national setup.