NSW and Western Australia agree individual batting brilliance may well decide the domestic one-day cricket cup final at the SCG.
NSW captain Peter Nevill says individual batting brilliance is the key to winning Sunday’s domestic one-day cricket cup final against Western Australia in Sydney.
The two sides collectively boast this season’s five top wicket-takers but neither team will line up at the SCG with a century-maker in the competition.
Only Moises Henriques has hit a ton this season, however the Blues’ skipper is out for at least a month with a calf injury.
The Blues, however, are again boosted by the availability of Test allrounder Shane Watson who made 34 in Friday’s two-run preliminary final win over Victoria, on his return from a five-month injury absence.
“If we can get a top-order player making a big score, that will go a long way towards us winning the game,” said Nevill.
“Our quicks are our big strength. I reckon a lot of other states would be envious of the guys we are able to put on the park at the moment, and that is probably our major strength.
“I think it will be a very close contest. They (WA) have every department ticked, but I like to think we do too.”
Experienced WA batsman Michael Klinger agrees bowling is the strength of the respective sides.
WA’s Joel Paris and Nathan Rimmington are among the leading wicket-takers, while Australian Test aspirant Nathan Coulter-Nile has claimed 13 scalps in four games at a remarkable average of 8.15.
“Our bowling has been strong throughout the tournament, as is theirs,” said Klinger.
“Our batting has done the job, without being 100 per cent convincing. But, as a whole, I think we are finding (batting) touch at the right end of the tournament.
“Perhaps their (NSW) batting hasn’t fired fully in the tournament, a little bit like us. It would be nice to get some quick wickets and put them under early pressure.”
NSW and WA – who met in last season’s Sheffield Shield final when the Blues comfortably claimed the draw they needed to win the competition – are seeking to end a lengthy drought in the domestic limited-overs cup.
The Blues lost last year’s one-day cup decider in the final over against Queensland and, with numerous players away on Test duty in Dubai, NSW will go into the match short on headline names.
“We pride ourselves on having a strong squad,” said Nevill. “There is an opportunity for someone to stamp their authority on the game and put their name up in lights.”