NSW steam-roll Victoria to cruise into final
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
Scorecard:New South Wales v Victoria
Player:NM Hauritz, CL White, SM Katich, DA Warner
Event:Champions League 2009/10

DateLine: 21st October 2009


A clinical performance from New South Wales sunk an undercooked Victorian side by 79 runs to cruise into the final off Champions League 2009/10. It was widely anticipated that the all Australian semi-final would be a closely fought affair but the contest turned out to be a farce as New South Wales was easily the better side on view. Their batsmen came up trumps and their bowlers made best use of the conditions on offer while Victoria faltered from the outset whether it was with the ball or bat.


On a pitch that was the topic of debate during the tournament, Katich had little hesitation in electing to bat first. With the odd ball keeping low the opening duo Hughes and Warner were cautious in the beginning. Hughes had an early reprieve when McDonald could not hold onto a full-blooded pull at mid-wicket and Warner realising that the pitch held no demons began to unfurl some thunderous shots to stun the Victorian bowlers. Harwood was pulled with contempt and then a streaky edge produced a couple of boundaries to kick-start the NSW innings. Warner pulled and flicked Siddle to collect two boundaries and then thumped him over mid-off for a massive six. Hughes ended an ill-fated over for Siddle as he inside-edged the last ball past the keeper to collect 19 runs of the over to boost NSW's innings.


Warner continued to hit out the Victorian bowlers as he deported McKay over long-off. Siddle continued to get flogged as he was clouted back over his head and driven through mid-off and when the powerplay ended NSW were sitting pretty at 56 for no loss. With the fielding restrictions over White employed the services of Brad Hodge's off-spinners to pull back NSW. Warner undeterred by the introduction of spin continued his riotous run as he swatted the off-spinner through covers. But when he was on verge of a well-deserved fifty a dreadful mix-up between the two openers saw Warner miles out of his crease when the keeper whipped off the bails.


Hughes marked spinner Holland for special treatment as he send him to the long-off boundary and heaved him over mid-wicket to help himself to 13 runs. McKay took out Hughes with a slower one to put brakes on NSW's scoring. Daniel Smith, along with skipper Katich kept the impetus up with regular boundaries. Once the duo was dismissed the Victorian team managed to keep the NSW batsmen quiet in the later overs with some restrictive bowling. Rohrer managed to get a couple of as NSW muscled their way to 169 in their 20 overs.


NSW skipper Katich gambled by introducing Hauritz in the second over and he struck immediately by cleaning up an advancing Quiney round his legs. Couple of balls later Hodge was trapped leg before with a massive turning off-spinner and Victoria were in trouble as the scorecard read 2 for 2 in two overs. Blizzard fell next when he spooned a simple catch to Katich to mid-off as Victoria slipped further into mire.


Hussey and White held out for some time before trying to turn the heat on the rival bowlers. The pair added 26 runs in 5.2 overs to resurrect the derailed innings but Henriques put paid to any hopes as he coaxed Hussey to slam a loose ball straight to Katich at extra cover. White running out of overs and partners decided to take the matters into his hand but could just loft another Henriques delivery straight to Smith's throat at long-off to end any faint hopes that Victorians fans might have harboured. The interest remained as to whether the Victorians would cross the 100 run mark but could only finish with 90 in their 20 overs.


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