Cricket Australia XI break through for maiden win
Cricket Australia XI 7 for 241 (Harris 84, Bosisto 64, Faulkner 3-40) beat Tasmania 9 for 238 (Paine 56, Bailey 51, Dixon 3-40, Wildermuth 3-46) by 3 runs
After two of the heaviest defeats imaginable, the Cricket Australia XI broke through for an unexpected maiden victory in their third match of the Matador Cup campaign, against Tasmania at Bankstown Oval. Marcus Harris and William Bosisto both scored half-centuries before Matt Dixon and Jack Wildermuth each claimed three wickets as Tasmania fell four runs short of their target of 242.
The youth team was added to this year's tournament in an effort to provide exposure for fringe players but after being bowled out for 59 by New South Wales and 79 by Victoria, the value of the CA XI's inclusion was unclear. However, in their third outing the batting clicked; Harris and Jimmy Peirson put on 70 for the opening wicket before Harris and Bosisto added a further 95.
Tasmania's attack boasted three men with international experience, plus the recent Test call-up Andrew Fekete, but they were unable to run through the CA XI in the way New South Wales and Victoria both had earlier this week. Harris, the young opener from Western Australia, was the most experienced man in the CA XI line-up and he took on the responsibility of ensuring a competitive total was reached.
He finished with 84 from 94 balls when he was lbw to James Faulkner, and Bosisto had 64 from 91 when he was bowled by Jackson Bird. The Victorian allrounder Matt Short struck some valuable late runs - 41 from 32 deliveries - and when the CA XI reached 7 for 241 from their 50 overs, Tasmania were still the favourites but at least a game had been made of it.
The loss of Ben Dunk for 1 in the second over of the chase made things interesting, and although Tim Paine (56) and George Bailey (51) steadied with an 83-run stand for the third wicket, the youth side refused to give up. Legspinner Mitch Swepson bowled Paine and Wildermuth trapped Bailey lbw, and when Dixon had Faulkner, renowned for his finishing ability, lbw for 17 it was game on.
Evan Gulbis appeared the key man and when he was bowled by Dixon for 33 in the penultimate over, an upset was on the cards. With only one wicket in hand Tasmania needed 16 off the final over, bowled by Wildermuth, and the Nos. 10 and 11, Fekete and Bird, managed only 12.