Noffke sees off big fright on opening night
Western Australia 8 for 162 (Noffke 42, Laughlin 3-33) beat Queensland 9 for 161 (Carseldine 54, Dorey 3-29) by 2 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Ashley Noffke moved from Queensland because he wasn't a first-choice limited-overs player, but he was responsible for defeating them on his Western Australia debut. Noffke, the Man of the Match, stayed calm following a mid-innings collapse that left the hosts 6 for 83 chasing 161 in the FR Cup season-opener and steered them home with 43.
Western Australia started with thoughts of a bonus point against the defending champions, but were held back by the first-gamers Ben Cutting and Alister McDermott, who gained two wickets each. The Warriors lost 5 for 33 before Noffke arrived for safe partnerships with Theo Doropoulos and Brett Dorey, who added 15 not out.
Noffke and Dorey, who had already caused problems with the ball, backed up with a stand of 49 which ended with three to win. Noffke clipped Ben Laughlin to square leg, but Brad Knowles ensured the celebrations with three balls to go.
The chase was looking easy until Marcus North (19) was unlucky to be McDermott's first wicket on debut - the bowler didn't appeal for the catch behind, with the ball hitting the pad - and it sparked a highly worrying period. Adam Voges hadn't scored when he miscued a pull off Laughlin to leave the hosts at 3 for 55 and a further blow came six runs later with McDermott's inswinger to David Bandy. Cutting followed up by removing Wes Robinson for 24 and it seemed to be Queensland's game.
Shortly after Laughlin was called up and was hit for consecutive boundaries by Luke Ronchi, but by the end of the over he had edged behind to leave Western Australia at 6 for 83. Noffke would not give up and with Dorey benefitted from two Powerplays, while Craig Philipson, diving at midwicket, dropped Noffke with 20 runs to win. McDermott was impressive with 2 for 21 from 10 while Cutting collected 2 for 26 and Laughlin led with 3 for 33.
Western Australia's mix of new and old bowlers was guided by Dorey, the only local fast man in the attack, as he gained 3 for 29 and was well supported by Noffke and Knowles (3 for 53). Noffke was virtually impossible to hit and returned 1 for 19 after giving up only seven runs in his first seven overs, including four consecutive maidens. Both Dorey and Noffke, the opening bowlers, enjoyed the friendly conditions and having a new ball at each end as part of a change in the one-day regulations.
Nathan Reardon played across the line to Dorey and was lbw in the fifth over before Noffke struck in the next with one coming back into Ryan Broad (4), leaving them at 2 for 11. Lee Carseldine, the No. 3, was the only batsman to make a mark with an important half-century, but his partners fell too quickly to allow a big total.
Carseldine went for a well-made 54 when Voges took a fine catch at backward point to give Knowles, formerly of Victoria, his first wicket and add to Queensland's troubles by having them 5 for 86. By then Michael Hogan (1 for 31), who was recruited from New South Wales in the off-season, had struck his first blow by picking up Philipson (0) and Dorey had forced Glen Batticciotto (10) to play on. Dorey's 10 overs ended with Chris Simpson's lbw and North's offspin was also suffocating. Hartley chipped in with 36 to ensure the Bulls had something to defend.