Tasmania v Western Australia, Ryobi Cup, Hobart December 22, 2010

Cowan and Bailey give Tasmania victory

ESPNcricinfo staff

Tasmania 6 for 246 (Cowan 82, Bailey 79*, Coulter-Nile 2-48) beat Western Australia 6 for 245 (Marsh 52, Voges 50, Doherty 2-46) by four wickets

A 134-run stand between Ed Cowan and George Bailey steered Tasmania to a four-wicket victory over Western Australia and ensured that Test-reject Xavier Doherty's fine spell of 2 for 46 from 12 overs did not go to waste.

Cowan stroked 82 at better than a run a ball while Bailey finished unbeaten on 79 to guide his team home with four balls remaining despite a flurry of late wickets.

Doherty had opened the bowling after Bailey chose to field first and despite his accuracy the visitors got off to a steady start with Shaun Marsh and Liam Davis. The pair reached 70 before Davis was trapped in front aiming a sweep at offspinner Jason Krejza for 35 but Marsh and Luke Pomersbach ensured further slip-ups before the 20-over suspension.

In the second stint Marsh went on to make 52 before becoming the first of two victims for Doherty. Adam Voges contributed a quick-fire half-century, striking seven boundaries in the process but it was a 62-run sixth-wicket stand at the end of the innings that carried the total towards 245.

The brisk opening stand between Mark Cosgrove and Rhett Lockyear was in stark contrast to the approach adopted by Western Australia and ensured the home side were in good shape responding to Western Australia's 20-over score. The openers fell in quick succession, however, just before the break to give the visitors an opening before Cowan and Bailey's steadied the ship.

Tasmania needed a further 150 to win when Cowan and Bailey resumed their stand. While neither battered the boundary boards with expansive shots both ran well between the wickets and picked up runs smartly to build a perfect foundation to the victory. Cowan had reached 82 before he offered a catch to Marsh and Travis Birt was run out for 1 an over later. Jonathan Wells kept Bailey company in an important 35-run stand and despite two more wickets, Bailey held firm to give his team victory.