Moises Henriques began his innings on a low and slow Feroz Shah Kotla pitch with New South Wales on 40 for 2 in the ninth over. The pitch was sluggish, timing was hard to find and, though the outfield was quick, playing attacking shots was fraught with risk. Henriques, however, had success on such a surface a few days ago when he smacked 27 off 19 balls against the Eagles. He combined watchfulness with aggression against Sussex today and produced a match-winning performance.
Henriques didn't take long to find the boundary, cutting his third ball off Chad Keegan to the boundary. He was dropped off Piyush Chawla a few balls later - to be fair to the fielder the ball was struck ferociously towards short cover - and made the reprieve count, launching a slog sweep over the deep midwicket boundary the very next ball. He continued to lift the run-rate, blasting Rory Hamilton-Brown for a flat four over extra cover, and steering Dwayne Smith to the sweeper boundary. He hit one more six, launching James Kirtley high over long on, after which the boundaries dried up.
The lack of big hits didn't prevent Henriques from picking up ones and twos and he ensured a frequent rotation of strike with Phillip Hughes during a 90-run association for the third wicket. He reached his 50 off only 32 balls and his contribution was instrumental in NSW reaching a total of 130.
Henriques wasn't done though and he was an effective first-change bowling option for his captain Simon Katich. He went for nine in his first over but came back to take two consecutive wickets in his second, reducing Sussex's chase to 64 for 5. He added another to his haul and finished with 3 for 23, making him a certainty for the Man-of-the-Match award.