New South Wales cruise to ten-wicket win
New South Wales 6 for 529 dec and 0 for 6 beat South Australia 255 and 279 (Duval 87, Smith 63, O'Brien 57, O'Keefe 4-90, Clark 3-26) by 10 wickets
New South Wales cruised to a ten-wicket win in their first Sheffield Shield match of the season, despite some fighting lower-order runs from South Australia's Chris Duval. The Redbacks just managed to make the Blues bat a second time, but Nic Maddinson and Phil Jaques knocked off the six runs required within the first over.
South Australia did well to avoid an innings loss following their disappointing first effort of 255. The lack of runs from their specialist batsmen was a serious concern, especially given the ease with which the bowler Duval compiled a career-best 87 on the final morning, with good support from Aaron O'Brien.
Duval struck 13 fours and two sixes in his counter-attacking effort, before he edged to slip to become the maiden first-class wicket for Usman Khawaja, who had set up the Blues' win with his first-innings double-century. The captain Stuart Clark (3 for 26) then grabbed the last two wickets to leave O'Brien unbeaten on 57.
The match will leave South Australia pondering some of their off-season recruiting, after the strike-bowling imports Ben Edmondson and Rob Cassell combined for match figures of 1 for 190. In contrast, New South Wales would be thrilled with the efforts of three of their home-grown young talents, the centurions Khawaja and Nic Maddinson, and the spinner Steve O'Keefe, who collected seven wickets for the match.