Lee and O'Keefe set up New South Wales victory
New South Wales 5 for 228 (O'Keefe 70*, Haddin 70) beat Western Australia 6 for 224 (Davis 116*, Swart 56, Lee 2-37) by 5 wickets
Brett Lee made a promising comeback from a long injury lay-off as his tight bowling helped New South Wales to a five-wicket win at Hurstville Oval. Western Australia's Liam Davis made his maiden one-day century but it wasn't enough for the Warriors, whose 225 was comfortably overhauled by Steve O'Keefe and his batting colleagues.
Brad Haddin, who is on his way back from an elbow injury, set the chase off strongly for the Blues with 70 before O'Keefe and Peter Forrest (35 not out) finished the task. O'Keefe's unbeaten 70 - his first limited-overs half-century - came off 50 balls and confirmed the result with 16 deliveries to spare.
The Blues ended up needing 130 from 25 overs in their second block, after they took the advantage at the halfway mark by reaching 2 for 95 compared to Western Australia's 1 for 79. Davis and Michael Swart (56) were the only major contributors for the Warriors, who had won the toss but struggled against Lee and Stuart Clark.
Lee picked up 2 for 37 from his 11 overs and both of the victims came from his slower delivery, which could become a more important weapon for the fast man as he becomes accustomed to the limitations of his body. It was Lee's first game for New South Wales in nearly 12 months, after a year in which he has battled a serious elbow problem and injuries to his thumb and arm.
He is aiming for a place in Australia's World Cup defence and on the evidence of his first match back for the Blues, he might be seen in Australian colours as early as the series against Sri Lanka in November. The win was the first success in the new competition for New South Wales, while Mickey Arthur is still searching for a maiden victory as coach of Western Australia.