NSW Blues win Matador Cup

Sydney, Oct 25 (IANS) The New South Wales (NSW) Blues have won their first domestic one-day title in 10 years, capping off a series of dominant performances throughout the tournament with a crushing nine-wicket victory over the West End Redbacks in the Matador Cup final at the North Sydney Oval here on Sunday.

The giant-killing Redbacks were sent in to bat by Blues skipper Steve Smith and were in complete control when Tom Cooper (105) and Callum Ferguson (61) steered them to 2/166 in the 37th over.

But as is so often the case, one wicket brought another and then several more as the all international Blues bowling attack stormed back into the game to end the innings at 221 with 21 balls still remaining, reported cricket.com.au.

The Blues then breezed through the run chase, with Nic Maddinson (44 from 29 balls), Ed Cowan (88 not out from 78) and Smith (84 not out from 72) securing the nine-wicket win with more than 20 overs to spare, the latter pair combining for an unbroken stand of 165 from 139 balls.

The Redbacks slumped to 7/30 and then 8/55 in a stunning collapse as pace spearhead Mitchell Starc grabbed 3/39 to break the record for the most one-day wickets in a single domestic season, finishing his campaign with 26 in six matches.

Pacer Josh Hazlewood’s 3/28 earned him man of the match but it was his counterpart Starc who took man of the series honours, his record-breaking feats making the decision a simple one for the judges.

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