New South Wales 5 for 238 (Maddinson 86, Cowan 63) beat Victoria 242 (Finch 51, Cummins 3-46) by 31 runs by D/L method
Daniel Hughes retired hurt after being struck on the helmet by a bouncer © Getty Images
Nic Maddinson produced a mature and patient innings to steer New South Wales into the Matador Cup final on an evening when history was made by the use of cricket’s first concussion substitute. Set 243 for victory against Victoria, the Blues were only five runs from their target when heavy rain forced play to be called off, their winning margin thus ending up as 31 runs via Duckworth-Lewis.
The chase had started well for New South Wales, whose openers Daniel Hughes and Ed Cowan put on 38 before Hughes was struck on the helmet when he tried to pull a bouncer from Peter Siddle. Hughes was accompanied from the field by Dr John Orchard and after undergoing concussion tests, he was ruled out of the match and New South Wales activated their concussion substitute.
Under Cricket Australia’s playing conditions this summer, a concussion substitute is available in men’s and women’s domestic one-day and T20 games, but not in Sheffield Shield games after the ICC rejected the idea for first-class cricket. Once a concussed player has been ruled out the team can make a “like-for-like” replacement, and the substitute can bat, bowl and field as if he started in the XI.
New South Wales named Nick Larkin as the mid-match replacement for Hughes, and Larkin was just walking to the crease to begin what would have been a historic innings when the rain arrived at Drummoyne Oval and play was called off. The Blues had just lost 3 for 2 in ten deliveries to give Victoria the faintest sliver of hope, but the weather had the final say.
Cowan made 64 from 87 deliveries before he was caught behind off the gloves trying to hook Scott Boland, but Moises Henriques then joined Maddinson for a 46-run stand. Henriques was bowled by Jon Holland for 27 and Kurtis Patterson added 28 before he chopped on off the bowling of Siddle to begin the late mini-collapse.
But Maddinson and his batting colleagues had done enough to book a place in Sunday’s final with Queensland. Maddinson played a restrained innings by his standards, striking just four fours and two sixes on his way to 86 from 98 deliveries, turning the strike over and ensuring New South Wales did not falter in their chase.
Maddinson eventually fell, bowled by Glenn Maxwell as the rain started, and four balls later Maxwell trapped Ryan Carters lbw for a duck, which would have brought Larkin to the crease. But New South Wales were saved from having to find the final five runs – and from any potential further wobbles – by the rain.
Earlier, Henriques had won the toss and sent Victoria in to bat, and Pat Cummins began well by bowling Cameron White for 4. But Aaron Finch was in ominous form, striking seven fours and two sixes on his way to 51 from 36 deliveries when Doug Bollinger made the key breakthrough, bowling Finch and preventing a possible blowout.
Victoria had contributions from Daniel Christian (38), Maxwell (38) and Matthew Wade (41), but did not quite manage to bat out their overs as they were dismissed for 242 in the 50th over. Cummins finished with 3 for 46, while Bollinger and Trent Copeland each claimed two wickets, but the Man of the Match was Josh Hazlewood for his miserly 10-over spell of 2 for 35.
The Victorians were without fast bowler John Hastings, who has been sidelined for four to six weeks after breaking his left index finger during catching practice on Thursday.
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