Ollie Davies marked his debut with a 35-ball half-century while Cummins put in an impressive all-round display
New South Wales 9 for 318 (Smith 127, Davies 57) beat Victoria 259 (Short 67, Pattinson 54, Cummins 3-38) by 59 runs
A masterful century from Steven Smith, a sparkling debut from Ollie Davies and a fine all-round display from new captain Pat Cummins propelled New South Wales to a convincing victory in the opening match of the Marsh Cup against Victoria.
The home side struggled in the early stages of their innings having been put into bat at North Sydney Oval when Cummins lost his first toss with both openers falling for single figures. However, from 4 for 73 after 20 overs they added a further 245, the innings first brought to life by Davies’ 35-ball half-century then finished off in style by Smith who struck 76 off his last 47 deliveries and Cummins who swung his way to 49 off 30 before adding three wickets.
“I was pretty relaxed,” Cummins said afterwards. “The thing I was most nervous about was stuffing up my overs, getting my maths wrong. My mum is a maths teacher, so I wouldn’t have lived that one down if I got it wrong.”
Smith’s century, his third in one-day cricket for New South Wales, came from 115 balls and in total he struck six sixes to equal the most he had hit in a one-day innings. His last two came in consecutive deliveries off James Pattinson, the first of them clearing the ground over deep midwicket to carry the total past 300.
However, it was debutant Davies, who had briefly shown his talent in the BBL with Sydney Thunder, who initially revived the innings with a superb counterattacking display. After starting with a couple of punchy drives, he responded to Victoria’s attempt to bowl short – which included having a short leg in place – by twice pulling Xavier Crone over the leg side for six.
Another six to the same area, this time off Zak Evans, took him to 49 before he tucked a single to bring up his fifty off 35 deliveries. The fun ended a short while later when he was very well held by a back-tracking mid-on but he had left his mark.
Sean Abbott added further impetus, including an extraordinary scooped six off Crone, but when he was acrobatically caught by Peter Handscomb, New South Wales were six down with 10 overs remaining.
Smith and Cummins took charge of the latter stages with the captain dominating a seventh-wicket stand of 79 in eight overs before falling one short of a maiden one-day fifty. Crone ended with the painful figures of 1 for 94. Smith’s hundred made it three centuries in four one-day innings this season following his back-to-back hundreds against India.
Cummins struck twice in his fourth over, during an exemplary five-over opening spell, firstly when Sam Harper found that trying to scoop the world’s No. 1 bowler is a tough ask and then with a rapid delivery which nipped back to take Nic Maddinson’s inside edge.
The innings was steadied by a 59-run stand between Marcus Harris and Peter Handscomb but was ended when Harris chopped on against Sean Abbott which then became 5 for 111 in the 26th over when Jake Fraser-McGurk, another of the youngsters Victoria will give exposure to in the latter part of the season, was run out.
Matt Short’s half-century kept Victoria’s hopes flickering and Pattinson’s maiden one-day fifty provided some late entertainment, but an asking rate of approaching ten-an-over for the lower order was always a tall order. The game never got close enough to really test Cummins’ tactical acumen, but for now at least he has a 100% record as captain.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo