A returning Pat Cummins took eight wickets as New South Wales (NSW) went second in the Sheffield Shield ladder by beating South Australia (SA) by eight wickets at the SCG.
SA skipper Travis Head won the toss and decided to bat – his side went on to make 229 in their first innings as Callum Ferguson top scored with 75. Wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey continued his form to make 56, while Cummins was the pick for NSW taking 4-57 as he played his first Shield match for ten years.
Trent Copeland also impressed taking 2-60, while English leg-spinner Mason Crane took 2-50, as he became the first overseas player to represent NSW in the Shield since Imran Khan in 1984.
NSW responded to SA’s 229 by making 434 as Ed Cowan scored his second century in as many Shield games –making 125 – to further strengthen his claims for a Test return. Nic Maddinson, Moises Henriques and Kurtis Patterson also chipped in with half-centuries to bump up the total.
Dan Worrall was the pick of the bowlers for SA as he took 5-85 from 25 overs, as Adam Zampa took three wickets and Kane Richardson and Head took one apiece.
SA battled back in their second innings to make 304 and give them a lead of 100 exactly. Ferguson again impressed to make 103, while Head made 55 and Jake Lehmann weighed in with 46.
Cummins was again on form, taking 4-47, while Copeland took two more and Crane proved his selection by taking 3-66.
Needing just 100 to win then, NSW got off to the worst possible start as they lost Daniel Hughes for a golden duck, before Maddinson was out after slogging his way to 18 off nine balls. Cowan steadied the ship to finish on 48* and Patterson batted smartly to make 33* off 30 balls – and see NSW home.
The win puts NSW in second place – in a strong position with just one round of fixtures left, while SA sit fourth, needing all the round 10 results to go their way if they are to make it into the finals.
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