Nesser ton in vain as WA prevail in rain-curtailed thriller



Klinger made 128 to take WA past 300. © Getty

Michael Nesser’s fighting maiden century went in vain as Western Australia prevailed by 11 runs in a rain-curtailed clash in the One-Day Cup at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney on Wednesday (October 11). The table-toppers put on an impressive 301, on the board after the game was reduced to a 41-overs-a-side affair, courtesy Michael Klinger’s ton and half-centuries from both Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft.

Matthew Kelly turned the heat on Queensland with his four-wicket haul upfront but Nesser produced a stunning assault on the WA bowlers to keep his side in the hunt. His final-over dismissal, however, dashed Queensland’s hopes of jumping to the fourth spot with the win.

Put in to bat first, Marsh and Klinger got WA off to a solid start by putting on 40 in six overs before rain made an appearance, forcing players off the field. With substantial time lost due to rain, the game was cut short to 41 overs per side. On a driving spree, Marsh continued his rich vein of form to raise a half-century off just 43 deliveries – his fourth consecutive fifty-plus score for WA. Though more subdued, Klinger reached the milestone shortly afterwards, off 64 deliveries.

The duo were marching towards a 150-run opening stand when Nesser struck with the ball to finally give his side the breakthrough. WA lost Marsh completely against the run of play, but Bancroft continued to support Klinger as he raised his maiden hundred of the season in the 34th over, off 108 balls. The pair then switched gears, adding 91 runs in their final seven overs to deflate Queensland’s morale. They were particularly severe on Cameron Gannon and Ben Cutting, but the latter had his revenge as he prised out both the big-hitting batsmen off successive deliveries to finish with figures of 2 for 64 from his eight overs.

Set to chase 302, Queensland were off to the worst possible start with Jhye Richardson and Joe Burns striking in their first over to dismiss Matt Renshaw and Kelly for a first-ball duck respectively. Kelly bowled an extended eight-over spell upfront but made it a memorable one by adding three more victims to his tally to finish with figures of 8-2-25-4.

At 63 for 5 after 16 overs, despite a solid-looking Usman Khawaja at one end, Queensland’s hopes were fast diminishing. But Nesser turned the tables on WA, giving them a mighty scare. He put on a quick 81-run stand with Khawaja before the opener was caught off D’Arcy Short, 19 away from a hundred.

Unperturbed, Nesser carried on and hammered seven sixes and eight boundaries in his 81-ball assault to keep WA on their toes. He was well supported by brief cameos from Gannon and Mitchell Swepson at the fag end of the innings. Nesser then brought up his first-ever century with a boundary off Mackin in the 39th over. The penultimate over of the chase – from Richardson – went for another 20, leaving Queensland with a difficult but not impossible 24 to get off the final over. However, Nesser’s run out off the second ball of the over effectively dashed all hopes of a stunning, come-from-behind win.

Courtesy their fourth successive win, WA have consolidated their position at the top of the points table with a total of 17 points, while Queensland are placed fifth in the seven-team table with eight points after four games.

Brief scores: Western Australia 301/3 in 41 overs (Michael Klinger 128, Cameron Bancroft 73, Shaun Marsh 69; Ben Cutting 2-64) beat Queensland 292/9 in 41 overs (Michael Nesser 122, Usman Khwaja 81; Matthew Kelly 4-25) by 11 runs on DLS method (match reduced to 41 overs per side).

© Cricbuzz


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