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New South Wales 225 for 8 (Macdonald 81, Gilkes 43, Tye 3-43) beat Western Australia 216 (Philippe 61, Whiteman 41, Salzmann 4-48) by two wickets (DLS method)
WA had not lost in the 50-over format since November 2021, but in the absence of Aaron Hardie, Lance Morris and Jhye Richardson, NSW took full advantage at Cricket Central, bowling WA out for 216 in 42.2 overs after the game had been reduced to a 43-over affair thanks to a short burst of rain.
Macdonald then controlled the chase superbly in a Player-of-the-Match performance, but his dismissal almost caused the Blues to give away the game. They slumped from 206 for 4 to 217 for 8 with some poor shot selection. But Ollie Davies held firm before Salzmann struck two boundaries to end the match.
Salzmann was the star with the ball in just his third List A game, taking 4 for 48. He removed D'Arcy Short for a duck - Short's third of the season - and also picked up the wicket of the dangerous Josh Philippe, who top-scored with 61 to halt WA's charge after they had rebuilt to 127 for 3 following two early wickets.
Salzmann later picked up two more after WA's much-vaunted middle order failed to capitalise on starts. Sam Whiteman made 41 while Ashton Turner made 25, but both fell to Chris Green. Nick Hobson was left with an inexperienced tail, and the innings collapsed as Salzmann got Charlie Stobo and debutant Hamish McKenzie in quick succession before Hobson miscued to midwicket for 36.
Blues had the chase under control, as Macdonald and the top order scored freely against WA's inexperienced attack. However, Macdonald was fortunate to survive an outside edge off McKenzie's first over of left-arm wrist spin as it flew past a stunned Turner at slip.
Matthew Gilkes made 43 in a 75-run stand with Macdonald before Moises Henriques also combined with him in a 53-run partnership. Henriques was horribly unlucky to fall for 19 when he drilled a drive off WA's other debutant Mahli Beardman straight at Macdonald who tried to evade it, but the ball bounced off his back and into the hands of McKenzie at mid-on.
Jason Behrendorff was the only WA bowler to cause the Blues top order some trouble, as he picked up both Hughes and Macdonald. McKenzie finally got some reward as he completely bamboozled Jason Sangha. That sparked the collapse as AJ Tye picked up Hayden Kerr, Green and Ben Dwarshuis in quick succession, leaving Blues needing five to win with two wickets in hand.
Davies had watched it unfold helplessly at the other end having looked untroubled for his unbeaten 30, and Salzmann held his nerve to hit the winning runs.