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March 7, 2004
Western Australia 335 and 302 beat South Australia 300 and 250 (Cosgrove 88, Cameron 81, Edmondson 5-90) by 87 runs
Mike Hussey, Western Australia's captain, said his team was left pondering what might have been after bowling South Australia out for 250 to achieve a remarkable 87-run victory at Adelaide Oval today in their final Pura Cup game. Though Western Australia stormed to resounding victories in their last four games, they had begun poorly in their first six games, and this left them short of a berth in the Pura Cup final.
"It's a bit of a hollow feeling really," Hussey said. "You start thinking back to all the games you just missed out on getting points and how close we really came to making the final. We were very disappointing before Christmas, and we really need to start better next season to give ourselves a chance to play off in the final."
South Australia finished with the wooden spoon, but when they were 1 for 178 in the morning session with only 160 more runs to get, their opponents were on the rack. Kade Harvey, though, crashed through with three quick wickets, including Andy Flower's for a golden duck, to swing the game back on even terms. Ben Edmondson took over then, cleaning up five of the last six wickets to finish with career-best figures of 5 for 90, as South Australia crashed out for 250.
Hussey said the promise shown by Edmondson was important, given the side's bowling had been its weakness. Incidentally, Edmondson had made his debut after not being mentioned on the state's rookie list at the start of the season. "He's still raw and inexperienced, but he's got a lot to work with," Hussey said. "[There are] some very good attributes and he's been a good asset to our team and hopefully he'll get better and better as his career goes forward."
South Australia had a few bright spots of their own. Mark Cosgrove, who made 88 to go with his first innings' 144, and Ben Cameron, who made 81, performed well. But the batting crash summed up a season where the team had regularly lost games from good positions. Flower spoke about the missed opportunities. "We had a number of chances there to win the game and we never put the nail in the coffin, so it is the story of our season."
The team's season mirrored Flower's unsuccessful first year with South Australia. He managed two fifties in 14 innings at an average of 24.43.