The New South Wales Blues have suffered their second straight outright loss in the JLT Sheffield Shield this season defeated by Western Australia inside three days at the WACA Ground.
The Warriors won the round six fixture by four wickets late on day three after the Blues were earlier dismissed for 179 to leave the hosts 169 for victory. Ed Cowan yet again showed his expertise against the Dukes ball during the second innings. He made 55 from 110 deliveries.
Simon Mackin finished the innings with 6-43 and match figures of 7-85.
The target would otherwise have seemed like a comfortable task for Western Australia, but a seaming WACA pitch which saw 36 wickets fall within three days, was always going to make things interesting.
In the end, the Warriors took an aggressive approach to the run chase and claimed its second win of the season.
NSW resumed today at 3/77, with Kurtis Patterson and Cowan at the crease, and it didn’t take long for the first wicket to fall.
Patterson (16) added just another four runs to his overnight total before he was caught at second slip by Ashton Turner off the bowling of Matt Kelly.
Kelly (4-25) had his second shortly after when Peter Nevill (4) was removed with the score on 89 and New South Wales was teetering on the brink of a collapse.
The predicament was made even more difficult when Trent Copeland was struck on the elbow by Western Australian fast bowler Jhye Richardson which forced him from the field.
A valuable 47-run partnership between Cowan and Gurinder Sandhu kept the Blues in the contest, but when Mackin picked up Sandhu (14) for his fourth scalp of the second innings, the visitors were again on the back foot.
At the dismissal of Charlie Stobo (8) it was all downhill for the Blues. NSW lost its last four wickets for 17 runs.
Cowan (55) brought up his third half-century of the season and was a shining light for the Blues. He was the second last wicket to fall caught out in the deep.
Despite the loss of six wickets, the Warriors maintained a very swift run-rate of five runs per over throughout most of the chase. Hilton Cartwright, in particular, showed some superb timing and power in his innings of 32 from as many balls. All but four of his runs came from boundaries.
There were some nervous moments for the home side when top-scorer Shaun Marsh (39) was claimed by Gurinder Sandhu (2-22), caught at first slip by Copeland. Although, the Warriors looked destined for victory on the bowler friendly pitch.
Nathan Lyon (1-15) gave the Blues the slightest glimmer of hope when he picked up the wicket of the dangerous Ashton Turner (22) with nine runs required, but it was to no avail.
Western Australian wicketkeeper Josh Inglis cutting a ball past point in the 35th over to secure the win.