Smith and Bollinger help NSW win season opener
New South Wales 5 for 281 (Smith 99*, Henriques 78, Henry 66) beat Western Australia 254 (M Marsh 78, Bollinger 4-67) by 27 runs
Steven Smith and Doug Bollinger helped New South Wales claim the first victory of the Australian domestic season, a 27-run win over Western Australia at the WACA. Smith made an unbeaten 99 to set up a strong total of 5 for 281 before Bollinger collected 4 for 67 from 13 overs to ensure the Warriors did not chase down the target, despite the best efforts of Mitchell Marsh with 78.
In what was the earliest start to an Australian domestic season, the Warriors won the toss and sent the Blues in, and the debutant opener Scott Henry provided a steady hand with 66 from 105 balls. Mitchell Johnson, playing his first domestic one-day game for Western Australia, claimed two wickets, including that of the national captain Michael Clarke caught at slip for 1, but Smith and Moises Henriques proved the keys.
Smith must have been close to being part of Australia's squad in Sri Lanka for the World Twenty20, but instead found himself in Perth trying to prove his value to the national selectors once again. He blasted 11 fours and one six in his innings and was left one short of his maiden one-day century, while Henriques was even brisker in his scoring.
He made 78 from 45 balls including five sixes, and the Blues took 50 runs off Johnson's final four overs. Nathan Coulter-Nile also struggled to contain Henriques and Smith in the dying stages, conceding three sixes in his final over to finish with 2 for 69 from 12 overs. In reply, Western Australia needed a strong start but lost Liam Davis and Adam Voges to Bollinger in the early stages.
Shaun Marsh (37) and the debutant Sam Whiteman (31) provided something for the Warriors to build on but too much was left for the end, and despite Mitchell Marsh's 78 from 65 deliveries, the target was too tall for the Warriors. Bollinger collected another two wickets later in the innings and Western Australia were dismissed for 254 in the 50th over.