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WA claim Marsh Cup title



A stunning Hilton Cartwright catch was the catalyst for Western Australia’s memorable 18 run triumph over New South Wales at the Junction Oval on Friday.


Having only posted a modest 9-225 batting first Western Australia looked headed for defeat with New South Wales pair Moises Henriques (43) and Ben Dwarshius (31* off 33) at the crease before Cartwright took one of the most spectacular catches in Australian domestic history, diving horizontal to his left at long on to dismiss Henriques and turn the match decisively his team’s way.


WA won the toss and chose to bat first but lost openers Josh Philippe and D’Arcy Short early to Daniel Sams, slumping to 2-15.


Cameron Bancroft (39) and Shaun Marsh (29) recovered the innings in adding 61 runs for the third wicket, before Adam Zampa stuck a triple blow, dismissing Marsh and Turner in consecutive balls and taking a one handed caught and bowled to dismiss Cartwright himself for only six.


When Bancroft was adjudged LBW to Tanveer Sangha Western Australia had lost 4-13, on the back foot at 6-89.


Jhye Richardson (44) top scored with a gutsy knock batting at number eight, Aaron Hardie making 27 and last pair Matt Kelly (27*) and Jason Behrendorff (24*) adding what proved to be a crucial 52 for the last wicket to take the score to a modest but defendable 225.


Zampa claimed 3-40 and Sams 3-45 to help restrict WA, the Blues left with the task of chasing 226 to win back to back 50 over titles.


Aaron Hardie struck in back to back overs, sending back left handed opening duo Matthew Gilkes and Daniel Hughes having both made 20.


AJ Tye was on a hat trick as he claimed wickets with each of his first two deliveries, Kurtis Patterson driving loosely to point before new man Jack Edwards clipped his first ball straight to short midwicket.


Tye had three victims when he bowled Hayden Kerr for 16, a misjudgement from new man Baxter Holt seeing him cleaned up by the reintroduced Richardson for a duck bowled not offering a shot.


At 6-108 WA was on top in the match only for Daniel Sams to counterattack, striking 42 from 41 balls that put his team back on course.


Ashton Turner’s side was dealt a savage blow when spearhead Jhye Richardson exited the game with a left hamstring injury, leaving their side a key bowler short for the final 20 overs of the match.


Hardie had Sams caught at fine leg to open the door again for Western Australia, but Henriques and Drawshius seemingly had the chase under control at 7-204.


Enter Cartwright with a sensational catch at long on from the bowling of Short to end Henriques stay, Josh Philippe with a sharp catch behind the stumps in the following over to send Zampa on his way for a duck.


It was all over when last man Sangha was caught attempting a pull shot from the bowling of Matt Kelly, a steepled top edge ending in the hands of substitute fielder Sam Whiteman at cover point.


The last three wickets fell for just three runs with the Blues all out for 208, Tye awarded player of the match for his 4/30 while Hardie showcased his rising star in the domestic game with 3/41 as Western Australia claimed it’s record extending 15th domestic 50 over title.


The result gives WA cricket a chance at a clean sweep of domestic titles in the summer of 2021/22, having also won the BBL in January.


However the side will sweat on hamstring injuries for both Richardson and Shaun Marsh ahead of their return to Sheffield Shield cricket on Tuesday, a return date with New South Wales at Bankstown Oval.


IMAGE: WA Cricket.