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Watson falls cheaply as WA thrash Blues
By Joe Barton
22:27 AEST Wed Jan 30 2013

Western Australia made Shane Watson's NSW comeback from injury an unhappy one as the Australian vice-captain fell cheaply and his team was crushed by 112 runs in a one day match at the SCG on Wednesday.

Watson, continuing his comeback from a calf injury suffered during the Boxing Day Test, scratched his way to six from 23 deliveries before he fell victim to debutant left-arm quick Joel Paris (1-35).

It was a disappointing night for the 31-year-old, who was struck on the arm by a short ball from Nathan Coulter-Nile (1-31) before Paris had him caught and bowled when an inside edge ricocheted off Watson's pad back to the bowler.

The Blues' top order crumbled around Watson's all-too-brief stay at the crease, slumping to 3-15 as Scott Henry (3) and David Dawson (4) also stumbled chasing WA's target of 267.

NSW were eventually bowled out for a measly 155 with 29 balls remaining - giving the Warriors a bonus point victory, and their first SCG win since 1996.

After being sent in to bat, the Warriors total was built around a quickfire 77 from skipper Adam Voges, who combined with recently retired Test champion Michael Hussey (30 off 21) to boost the visitors' total and capitalise on the patient work of wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman (74 off 103).

Just as he did countless times for Australia, Hussey immediately lifted the tempo, adding 61 with Voges at a run rate of 7.3.

Earlier, Whiteman put on 73 with opener Liam Davis (39) and 87 with Voges as the Warriors built their match-winning total, which secured just their second victory of the season.

The win lifts WA out of last place, with NSW now owning that spot on the ladder following their fourth-straight defeat.

In one of the few bright spots for the home team, former Test paceman Doug Bollinger came close to picking up his second domestic hattrick after bowling Hussey and then watching as Nic Maddinson took a diving catch to remove John Rogers (0) in successive balls.

But his hat-trick ball, a well-placed yorker, sailed harmlessly past the off-stump.

Steve Smith, considered a bolter for the Indian tour squad to be announced on Thursday, looked the most assured of the Blues batsman, scoring 30 off 33 balls before he top-edged a Michael Hogan short ball straight to Voges at short mid on.

Blues captain Stephen O'Keefe top-scored with 34 before holing out to mid off, chasing quick runs off Hogan (3-29).

WA's 19-year-old left-arm offspinner Ashton Agar continued the impressive start to his state career, following on from his Sheffield Shield debut last week, taking 2-43 from 13 overs.

Hussey said the win was a monumental boost for the struggling Warriors, who fielded three debutants against the Blues.

"It was an outstanding performance," he said.

"It's always a great feeling beating NSW but to put in such a good performance with three debutants, who I thought all did a great job, I can't ask for a better performance than that."

NSW captain Stephen O'Keefe said it was a disappointing performance and conceded the Blues' remote chance of making the final was extinguished.


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