New South Wales v South Australia, Ryobi Cup, Sydney December 12, 2010

Khawaja hundred sets up New South Wales victory

ESPNcricinfo staff

New South Wales 6 for 317 (Khawaja 121, Maddinson 65, Edmondson 3-70) beat South Australia 8 for 314 (Klinger 103, Christian 85, O'Brien 52, Bollinger 3-59) by 3 runs

Usman Khawaja's maiden one-day century set up a dramatic three-run victory for New South Wales over South Australia at North Sydney Oval. Michael Klinger's century and a late blitz from Daniel Christian looked set to ensure the Redbacks would pass their target of 318, but the Blues held on thanks to a terrific final over bowled by Brett Lee.

South Australia needed eight from the last over, and it began with the key wicket of Aaron O'Brien, who was caught behind for 52. With the established man gone, Tim Ludeman and Gary Putland couldn't manufacture a win for the visitors, who had also had to contend with Doug Bollinger (3 for 59), fired up by his axing from the Test team.

The narrow victory almost mirrored the difference at the halfway mark, when the Redbacks at 3 for 105 fell just short of claiming one point, taken by New South Wales, who had made 1 for 110. The star was Khawaja, who missed out on a Test call-up on Friday but made sure he will remain in the selectors' thoughts with 121 from 105 deliveries.

It was only Khawaja's eighth one-day match, as he has mainly been used in the longer formats by the Blues. He was ably supported by another young batting star on the rise, Nic Maddinson, who made 65 from 56 balls to help New South Wales to their strong total of 6 for 317.

Klinger's patient 103 set up South Australia's chase, which was given a monstrous boost by the in-form Christian, who enjoyed the small dimensions of the ground and slammed 85 from 40 balls, including six sixes. But in the end it wasn't enough, and New South Wales have jumped to the top of the Ryobi Cup table.