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Western Australia 6 for 474 dec and 279 (Bracken 5-38) beat New South Wales 7 for 367 dec and 260 (Angel 3-67) by 126 runs
New South Wales suffered a huge setback in the defence of their Pura Cup title, as Western Australia inflicted a comprehensive 126-run defeat at Perth. Chasing a lofty but attainable 387 for victory, NSW never got going, losing key wickets at regular intervals to slump to 260 all out.
NSW's hopes in the match had been fired on the third evening by Nathan Bracken, who swung his way to five quick wickets in the final session of the day. And NSW's bowlers were once in command when play resumed, as Matthew Nicholson ripped out the final four men to fall. But John Taylor kept his head for an important half-century, and WA's target proved to be too stiff.
NSW began their innings with gusto, racing along at nearly five an over until Greg Mail was dismissed for 16 by Jo Angel. That brought Nicholson out to the middle, with licence to play his shots and use the confidence that his bowling efforts had given him. The tactic didn't quite pay off, and it was Simon Katich who really fired the run-chase with 42 from 36 balls. But when he was one of three wickets to fall in the space of 14 runs, WA had taken control.
The Waugh twins are well used to batting Australia out of trouble, and they added 56 for the sixth wicket to provide a glimmer of hope. But then both men fell in consecutive overs, with the score stuck on 222. Steve was caught behind off Kade Harvey for 21, one of three catches to the stand-in wicketkeeper Mike Hussey, filling in for Ryan Campbell, who was suffering a groin injury. Then Mark was caught by Marcus North off Taylor for 36, and at 7 for 222, WA had the match in the bag.
Angel, already the second-highest wicket-taker in Pura Cup history, bowled Stuart MacGill for 8 to complete figures of 3 for 67, while Stuart Clark was the last man out for 20. It was WA's first outright win of the season, and ensured that NSW remained on 11 points from seven outings. They now trail second-place Tasmania by 11 points with three matches to play.