Waugh again steers NSW home
NSW's ageless veteran Steve Waugh produced a match-winning century to deny Western Australia a notable victory in their ING Cup cricket clash at North Sydney Oval today.
Waugh scored 101 as NSW successfully chased a revised target of 246 from 41 overs following a 56 minute mid-afternoon rain delay.
The NSW captain became only the second NSW player after Michael Bevan to score 2,000 one-day runs for the Blues.
The 38-year-old veteran struck 13 fours and a six in his 94-ball innings.
WA scored 5-280 off its 50 overs with Michael Hussey (106 off 94 balls) and Chris Rogers (75 off 100) providing the substance of the innings.
It was Hussey's third domestic one-day hundred and Rogers' highest limited overs score for WA.
"It was a pretty good pitch, once you get in, it wasn't that difficult really, it was a place you'd expect to get runs although chasing that total was never easy," Waugh said.
"I thought it was a good team win, a lot of guys chipped in with 20 and 30 off not many balls and it needed someone to anchor the innings and that was me today."
A dashing cameo of 34 from 15 balls by Murray Goodwin, who blasted four sixes in his brief but explosive innings, lifted the Warriors to their final total.
NSW required a further 147 from 23 overs after the rain delay with Phil Jaques (27 off 23 balls) and Michael Slater (27 off 20) assisting Waugh in the chase.
With the competition's all-time leading wicket taker Jo Angel declared unfit to play because of a stomach strain, the Warriors fielded a novice attack with none of their frontline bowlers having played ten or more one-day games.
WA captain Justin Langer turned to part-timers Hussey and Marcus North, with the former supplementing his batting efforts with the wickets of Mark Waugh (7) and Brad Haddin (18) as the occasional medium-pacer took 2-38 from 5.3 overs.
Debutant John Taylor finished with 2-48 off nine overs.
The Blues were struggling at 5-171, but Waugh and Brad Haddin (18 off 12) added a quick-fire 37 for the sixth wicket.
Waugh and young allrounder Aaron O'Brien knocked off the remaining runs with the latter securing the victory in style with a six.
"Stephen is a champion player and he showed it once again today. Our bowlers have to learn from that," Langer said.
"There's no doubt the facts and figures show we lacked experience in our bowling and hopefully these young guys have learnt something from today and will be better players for it.
"He (Waugh) is a joy to watch when you are playing with him, but unfortunately over the last probably three or four times I've played against him, I've felt how the other international captains around the world must feel, he's hard work."
Waugh said he felt very relaxed and was enjoying playing for NSW and said the first 15 overs in which the Blues conceded only 44 runs with paceman Don Nash giving up just 11 from his first seven was critical.
"We kept WA down to about three an over for the first 15, 20 overs and once you do that on a small ground and on such a good pitch we knew that the game was heading in our direction," Waugh said.
Searching for its fourth straight title, NSW made it two wins out of two while the Warriors suffered their first loss in two outings.