Cooper hundred earns Redbacks victory
South Australia 3 for 262 (Cooper 100*, Klinger 75, Ferguson 53) beat New South Wales 3 for 261 (Khawaja 116, Hughes 96) by seven wickets
A superbly-paced century from Tom Cooper delivered victory to South Australia in their first match of the domestic season as New South Wales were left to regret a sluggish finish to their innings. Usman Khawaja made his second one-day hundred and Phillip Hughes posted 96 to give the Blues a dream start, but they needed more than their 3 for 261 to prevent the Redbacks succeeding in their chase.
Cooper struck the winning runs with an over to spare, timing his dash to triple-figures perfectly, as the final drive past mid-on from the bowling of Trent Copeland brought up his century and the victory. It was his second hundred in one-day cricket for the Redbacks, and he had solid support in the end from Cameron Borgas, who ended up unbeaten on 30.
Callum Ferguson made 53 at better than a run a ball, until he was caught at deep midwicket trying to smash Moises Henriques out of the ground, and the captain Michael Klinger set the chase off to a bright start with 75. Mitchell Starc began perfectly, with Daniel Harris lbw first ball to a beautiful inswinger, but the young New South Wales fast men struggled to contain South Australia.
Josh Hazlewood, in his first match for his state since February 2010, following a long lay-off due to a stress fracture in his back, battled to find his rhythm. However, the real problem for the Blues was that the target should have been closer to 300 after Hughes and Khawaja put on 212 for the first wicket.
Hughes started slowly and while he lifted his tempo later, he still finished at well below a run a ball, with 96 from 129 deliveries, while Khawaja's 116 used up 137 balls. The Blues passed their 200 with nearly ten overs to go and ten wickets in hand, but some good bowling at the death from Gary Putland and Kane Richardson was crucial in preventing a blowout.
Khawaja fell from the final ball of the innings, when he flicked Putland in the air to deep square leg, the second wicket for Putland. But while Khawaja was the star of the first half of the game, Cooper was Man of the Match for his match-winning effort.