Blues reinforcements vanquish Redbacks
New South Wales 8 for 261 (Warner 86, Katich 61, Christian 3-59) beat South Australia 238 (Crosthwaite 72, Bollinger 4-62, Starc 3-59) by 23 runs
International reinforcements benefited New South Wales as David Warner, Steve Smith and Doug Bollinger took the Blues to a 23-run victory over South Australia in the domestic limited overs match at the SCG.
Warner, demonstrating the growth evident in his increasingly measured batting, and Simon Katich made the key contributions with the bat to lift the hosts to 8 for 261, before Smith, Bollinger and Mitchell Starc did the bulk of the damage with the ball.
In SA's pursuit the former Victorian wicketkeeper Adam Crosthwaite played creditably as an opening batsman to cover for Daniel Harris, and Daniel Christian provided impact with both bat and ball. But the Redbacks never looked likely to challenge the total after the early losses of the captain Michael Klinger and his deputy Callum Ferguson.
Klinger snicked a Starc delivery angled intelligently across him towards the slips, and Ferguson failed to maintain his so far imposing limited overs form by edging a flat-footed swing at Josh Hazlewood, making another small step towards his best after long injury absence.
Crosthwaite alternated conservative strokes and outlandish ones in a useful contribution as the makeshift opener, and was aided in his efforts to stabilise the innings by the former NSW under-age batsman Tom Cooper.
They took SA to a decent platform before Steve Smith lured Cooper into a drive to mid off. Borgas hinted at a dangerous innings with his flashes of invention but then cut unwisely to backward point, and Crosthwaite's stay was ended when Starc bowled him behind his pads after an episode of verbals between the pair.
At 6 for 172 Christian mounted a brazen counter-attack, crashing four sixes in the space of five overs but his exit, bowled by Bollinger attempting to flick the ball over the 'keeper, effectively signalled the end of the contest.
The Blues had won a good toss, and were given a rapid start by Warner, returned from South Africa, and Daniel Smith, he of the blistering 183 not out to beat Victoria in the hosts' previous match.
Smith's pyrotechnics could not be sustained this time, as he skied a catch to fine leg having made only 12, but Warner played with nicely controlled aggression. Twice he coshed sixes, a hook from the bowling of Gary Putland particularly striking, but otherwise chose his shots judiciously and hustled intelligently between the wickets.
His downfall arrived at the hands of the legspinner Cullen Bailey, who was hammered for six by Warner first ball and gave up 16 from his first over, but regathered himself to tease the batsman into an ill-advised paddle-sweep to short fine leg.
Steve Smith, steady at No. 3 though a little less fluent than Warner, had already been run out after a mix-up with his partner, and the Blues' middle order would slip from 1 for 140 to 6 for 193 when Christian defeated Moises Henriques and Peter Nevill with consecutive well-directed deliveries.
The remainder of the innings was more a case of salvage than savage for the hosts, as Katich and his captain Steve O'Keefe ensured a competitive total with sensible placement.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo