Agar fireworks lift WA to win over CA XI
Photo Source: PAA
Western Australia have set up a do-or-die one-day cup clash against New South Wales after edging out the Cricket Australia XI in a rain-affected 15-over-a-side slog-fest at Hurstville Oval on Monday.
WA, who enjoyed the more favourable batting conditions, endured some nervous moments before reaching 5-159 to win by five wickets with just eight balls to spare.
The victory saw WA jump to third on the ladder, and leaving the winner of their match against NSW on Wednesday assured of a berth in the preliminary final two days later.
WA had one-time Australian Test spinner Ashton Agar to thank after his breezy innings of 47 from just 19 balls was the spark for a run-chase that was starting to look shaky.
Earlier, the CA XI batted for 5.5 overs and had reached 0-25 before persistent showers kept the sides from the field for the best part of five hours.
Play resumed just prior to the cut-off time for an abandonment and the CA XI threw the bat at everything to post 8-147, with the victory target adjusted to 156 under the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Opener Sam Harper top-scored with 48 off 28 balls for the CA XI, while Jake Carder crashed 43 off just 18 deliveries.
Amid the carnage WA medium-pacer AJ Tye managed to return figures of 4-23 and earn player of the match honours.
"We were glad to get the match in and get the win, which is very handy for us at this stage of the comp," said Tye.
"They got off to a flier so I was just trying to restrict runs, but managed to pick up a few wickets along the way.
"Hopefully we can take the momentum into that game (against NSW) and really build on it, try and get ourselves into the semi-final and have a crack at the cup."
Openers Hilton Cartwright (32 off 14) and Michael Klinger (29 off 20) also made important contributions for WA.
But it was a low-key return to WA colours for Mitch Marsh who made three with the bat and didn't bowl at all, with the allrounder seeking selection in the first Test next month against South Africa.
Marsh came into the side in place of elder brother Shaun - another hoping to earn a Test call - with the veteran batsman to miss the remainder of the one-day cup due to a low-level hamstring strain.
The CA XI - a mix of young players from around the country who failed to earn state selection - completed a competitive second season without any wins.