Western Australia 6 for 210 (Marsh 101*, Steketee 2-32) beat Queensland 205 (Peirson 79, Richardson 3-35) by four wickets
It really was Shaun Marsh's Cup.
Australia's one-day domestic competition's title sponsor has nothing to do with Shaun or his famous cricketing family, for as much mirth as the possible link has provided. But the 36-year-old proved why he is still one of Australia's premier domestic players carrying Western Australia to their 14th title with a magnificent unbeaten century to sneak past Queensland in the final at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.
WA's star bowlers Jhye Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile had set the game up claiming three wickets each to bowl Queensland out for 205 after winning the toss. Richardson, it was revealed, incredibly bowled under duress having hurt his previously injured right shoulder at training on Monday. The hosts were fortunate to make that many thanks to a brilliant 79 from Jimmy Peirson.
Chasing 206, WA were 3 for 23 at one stage but Marsh guided his side home with an unbeaten 101 from 132 with 13 boundaries. It was Marsh at his sublime best, driving, cutting, and pulling with textbook assuredness on a surface where only two players passed 37 on either side.
He got good support initially from Marcus Stoinis who made 37. Although the allrounder absorbed 62 deliveries and at one stage was 10 off 37 balls, Marsh kept the scoreboard moving. Stoinis eventually got going against the part-time spin of Matt Renshaw, but after clubbing a four and six he holed out in the deep. WA wobbled again slumping to 6 for 151 with 15 overs left when Cam Green fell to a stunning catch from Max Bryant diving to his left at backward point. But Marsh and Ashton Agar didn't panic. They had to withstand a probing spell from Billy Stanlake who bowled sensationally without reward, finishing with 0 for 30 after beating the bat endlessly.
Marsh cruised to his 9th one-day domestic century before Agar smashed a six to bring up the winning runs with two overs to spare.
Earlier, Peirson salvaged the Queensland innings after Richardson and Coulter-Nile ripped through their top order.
The quicks made the most of a surface with plenty of live grass after WA captain Ashton Turner won the toss. Richardson pinned Bryant lbw with a ball that nipped back sharply off the seam before Sam Heazlett chopped on off Coulter-Nile to leave the Queensland 2 for 8. Usman Khawaja weathered the storm and looked in sublime touch racing to 26 with two boundaries and a six. He looked untroubled, and every bit the joint player of the tournament alongside absent Queensland teammate Marnus Labuschagne, until Coulter-Nile found some extra bounce and nip to catch his outside edge. Richardson sucked Renshaw into driving on the up to have him caught at second slip before trapping Jack Wildermuth flush on the shin in front of middle stump.
But from 5 for 56 after 14 overs Peirson and Bryce Street rebuilt. Street struggled for fluency scoring 29 from 72 balls with just one boundary but Peirson controlled the scoring with sharp footwork and good placement. Stoinis was particularly effective in tying up Street, delivering his 10 overs for just 30 runs. They shared a 46-run stand until Street fell to a stunning one-handed return catch by Agar. He dived to his right, his non-dominant hand, past the ducking non-striker Peirson to pluck the chipped drive.
Peirson found allies in Mark Steketee and Matt Kuhnemann to lift the total up over 200. He fell for 79 in the final over, caught at deep fine leg hooking Coulter-Nile.
Queensland had WA under enormous pressure at 3 for 23. Cameron Bancroft was out hooking Steketee, having replaced Josh Philippe at the top of the order and as the wicketkeeper, while D'Arcy Short was caught at mid-off failing to stay on top of a drive off Michael Neser. Turner was Neser's second victim adjudged lbw to a delivery that seamed a long way back into the right-hander.
But they couldn't get Marsh. It was WA's third title in seven years, and their first under coach Adam Voges in his second year.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne