NPS bowlers set up 52-run win
National Performance Squad 8 for 252 (Bancroft 66, Turner 35) beat Australia A 200 (Doolan 55, Lynn 52, Abbott 3-22) by 52 runs
Fifties from Alex Doolan and Chris Lynn were in vain as Australia A failed to chase down a 253-run target against National Performance Squad (NPS). The NPS bowlers took the last six Australia A wickets for 36 runs to set up a bonus-point victory.
NPS won the toss and opted to bat but their innings struggled for momentum as the Australia A bowlers kept chipping away. By the 38th over, the highest partnership in the innings was the opening stand of 37.
Wicketkeeper Cameron Bancroft, however, led a late rally, adding a brisk 78 runs for the eighth wicket with Sean Abbott, to ensure the score moved past 200. Forty-nine of the 78 runs came in the last four overs of their partnership after Abbott cut loose in the 44th over, hitting Ben Cutting for a four and a six. After Abbott fell for a 22-ball 33, Bancroft gave the innings a final push in the last over, hitting Mitchell Marsh for two successive sixes, to push the score to 250, before being caught for 66.
Australia A's response was confident at the start as openers Doolan and Cameron White put on 49. White and Tom Cooper, who replaced Phillip Hughes in the side, fell in quick succession but the innings stabilised with 60-run stand between Doolan and Chris Lynn. Doolan had a sedate start to the innings, scoring 6 off his first 20 balls, before he picked up the pace with boundaries off Simon Mackin and James Muirhead and brought up his second successive fifty off 79 balls.
The Australia A chase, however, stumbled soon after Doolan fell. Lynn fell immediately after getting his fifty and Sam Rainbird then struck telling blows in the next over, dismissing Calum Ferguson and Mitchell Marsh.
Unlike the NPS squad, Australia A's lower order couldn't muster a fight and the innings folded in the 46th over with the dismissal of Ben Cutting. Abbott was the best bowler for NPS with 3 for 22 in seven overs, while Rainbird, Mackin and Muirhead took two wickets apiece.