Western Australia 5 for 292 (Stoinis 93*, Short 63, Philippe 50) beat Tasmania 8 for 290 (Bailey 79, McDermott 76, Qadir 2-40) by five wickets
A blistering display of power hitting from Marcus Stoinis helped Western Australia to a commanding win over Tasmania and ensured the Warriors remained undefeated heading in the JLT Cup finals. Stoinis had not scored when WA lost their fourth wicket, captain Ashton Turner, with 123 runs still needed from 25.1 overs. He took four deliveries to get off the mark and scored just 10 runs from his first 16 deliveries.
But just as he did against Victoria last week, he unleashed a ball-striking masterclass that very few current Australian players can produce in the second half of limited-overs matches at present. He struck seven fours and as many sixes from his next 33 balls to finish on an unbeaten 93 from just 49 deliveries to ice the game with 9.3 overs to spare.
He was superbly supported by Jhye Richardson (29*) in an unbeaten stand of 124 from just 88 balls. As good as Stoinis and Richardson were, the platform laid by in-form duo Josh Philippe and D'Arcy Short certainly aided the chase. Philippe continued his rare touch, making 50 from 33 deliveries with seven fours and three sixes in an exhilarating 11 overs against the new balls. Short backed up his record-breaking 257 at the same venue last Friday with 63 at better than a run a ball. Although he was fortunate to make that many as the Tigers gave him multiple reprieves in the field.
Earlier, Tasmania set an underwhelming total, failing to capitalise on a rollicking opening stand. Ben McDermott (76) and Matthew Wade (33) made enterprising starts but would feel they left a lot of runs on the table as Jason Behrendorff forced mistakes from both of them.
Legspinner Usman Qadir continued to bamboozle opponents taking 2 for 40 from 10 overs, on what has been a spin bowler's graveyard, to grind the Tigers to a halt. George Bailey made a terrific 79 and was well supported by Tom Rogers and Clive Rose (32 each) to edge the total towards 300. But in the end, it was nowhere good enough to trouble Stoinis and the undefeated Warriors.
However, their staggering 10-point advantage at the top of the table and incredible net run rate counts for only a semi-final berth at an away venue, as all six teams will still play finals under the new JLT Cup format.