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December 30, 2009
New South Wales 4 for 194 (Hughes 71, Warner 67) beat Tasmania 163 (Paine 48, Smith 4-13) by 31 runs
Defending champions New South Wales have begun their title defence with a clinical 31-run victory over Tasmania at the Bellerive Oval. While the star-studded imports stole the headlines in the early matches, the Australian trio of David Warner, Phillip Hughes and Steve Smith took the honours in Hobart.
After Moises Henriques chose to bat on a belter, Warner (67 off 24 balls) and Hughes (71 not out off 50 balls) set the win up with a brutal display of power-hitting to propel the Blues to 4 for 194 from their 20 overs.
Their opening stand of 97 came from just 40 deliveries, with Warner producing the fastest fifty in the competition's history - off 18 balls - eclipsing Tasmanian captain George Bailey's old mark, with an enormous six over midwicket.
Ironically, it was Bailey who ran Warner out, after a poorly judged single from Hughes, to stall the Blues' progress. Hughes anchored the innings that stuttered after Warner's loss, with James Faulkner and Xavier Doherty bowling good spells to tie him down.
The target of 195 looked well within reach for the Tigers after the start provided by opener Tim Paine, who crunched 48 off 18 balls, which included 22 from one Henriques over. But an ill-fated scoop shot ended his night and the chase went downhill from there, with the Tigers bowled out with an over to spare.
Steven Smith, fresh from a private master-class with Shane Warne in Melbourne, was the chief destroyer, bowling with remarkable confidence and control to claim four wickets and give the hosts a bad case of the Blues.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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