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WA win 2014 Imparja Cup in a thriller over NSW

WA celebrate winning the 2014 Imparja Cup


WA 3/96 def. NSW 7/95.

A single ball remained in the 2014 Imparja Cup when Bevan Bennell slid through the dust of the Traeger Park centre square to complete the winning run that sent the title West.

His side looked to be doing it comfortably at 1-42 before an experienced New South Wales bowling line-up put the squeeze on, forcing the run chase into the last allotted over of the week.

Earlier, New South Wales assumed its familiar place on field at Traeger on the final day of the Imparja Cup. A position the Blueys have filled for the past four years.

The unlikely but highly successful opening bowling duo of Michael Bailey (1-6) and Hayden Collard (3-23) choked the New South Wales top order on a pitch being used for the first time in the tournament.

Bailey with his darting left-armers from around the wicket; Collard with accurate, good length seam bowling.

When hard-hitting opener Pat Rosser fell to Dane Ugle, New South Wales slumped to 4-23. Enter Jeff Cook. Intent on doing what he always does when his team is in a dire position: withstand and then attack.

Cook and leg-spinning allrounder Jonte Pattison built a temporary breakwater against the waves of Western Australia’s attack.

The pair put on 38. A modest partnership, but in the context of a low scoring game, it provided stability and badly needed respite.

In age, experience and stature, the pair could not be more disparate. The tall, domineering Cook leading the ever-powerful New South Wales side for nearly a decade.

Pattison, 17, making his Imparja Cup debut in a week of national recognition, following his selection for the under-18 National Development Squad.

A swipe outside the off-stump and a fine lunging catch by Keren Ugle ended Pattison’s innings. For Cook, it was time to initiate attack mode, launching consecutive sixes.

Balance of the final was inexorably attached to the swinging blade of Cook. A patented rescue mission was in effect.

However, a Ugle double act dismissed the New South Wales skipper. Dane the bowler, Keren  the catcher on the wide long-on boundary rope. The wicket curtailed New South Wales’ renaissance, limiting them to 7-95.

A solitary run more than the total Western Australia chased down in its final preliminary round win against New South Wales.

The silhouette of the McDonnell Ranges cut its way into the crimson sky, tufts of white cloud adding to the contrasts of the Alice Springs backdrop as Western Australia commenced their innings.

Bailey assumed the second part of his dual opening duties. His contribution with the bat just four.

Liam and Dane Ugle, two thirds of the trio of brothers in the Western Australian side, steadied the innings after the early wicket of their captain.

Their controlled partnership of 38 littered with singles and just the one boundary. When Liam departed on 15, the foundation that Western Australia would use to cruise to victory appeared set.

Barely a handful of deliveries beyond the halfway mark with eight wickets in hand, Western Australia sat comfortably insight of the target as Aaron Muir joined Dane Ugle.

Then the experience of the New South Wales bowlers kicked in. Dot balls became common, anything more than a single all of a sudden a challenge. The wicket of Dane Ugle soon followed.

Yet, at 3-72, there was still little need for concern. But on went the miserly bowling. Suddenly a run a ball was required with four overs remaining.

Nine runs from the second last over, including an audacious flick around the corner by Bennell, left three needed from the final over.

Cook, channeling Colin Miller, resorted to his medium pacers for the final over, having earlier opted for off-spin.

Muir took two off the second delivery. On strike, the wicket-keeper batsman who made the shift from New South Wales to Western Australia last year, was presented with a cliché narrative: former player returns to clinch victory against his old side.

A full Cook delivery rewrote the script. Muir out LBW for 29.

The third of the Ugle brothers, Keren, strode to the centre, needing one of the three balls remaining to register a run.
His first was a crude swipe in the direction of mid-wicket. Dot ball.

The rescue mission Cook had launched with the bat could be completed with two dot balls. Ugle again swiped hard at a full delivery, scuffing it to the edge of the centre square.
 
Bennell set off. Scampering 20 yards of the pitch, the final two covered in a face-down despairing dive as Nathan Price returned the ball low to the Damien Duroux behind the stumps.

With a face full of dust, the Imparja Cup was Western Australia’s.

Commonwealth Bank has had a longstanding commitment to supporting cricket clubs across Australia, and is once again proud to be the Principal Partner of the Imparja Cup. To find out about how we may be able to support your local cricket club, search CommBank Cricket Club online.



Last updated: Saturday February 15, 2014 6:31PM

Author: Matt Woodbridge




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