Country lose thriller at national titles

CRICKET

NSW Country stumbled to a gripping one-run loss in their second-round clash with Western Australia at the national championships in Canberra yesterday.

WA won the toss and elected to bat but had posted just 15 runs before NSW quick Scott Burkinshaw got an early breakthrough by knocking over Clint Hewson's (6) wicket.

Dapto's Dale Scifleet also claimed a wicket when he removed Mark Foreman for 15.

The dismissals brought Tim Hutchison to the crease and he steadied the innings.

Hutchison struggled for partners as he compiled his 59 runs as Jacob Evans (19), Garrick Yandle (1) and Jamie Miller (8) fell.

A 48 not out off 34 balls from Shayne Bidwill lifted the WA total to 9-215 after 50 overs.

Burkinshaw ended with 2-46 while Keira's Jono Cook (2-28) and Lindsay Blair (2-13) chipped in with doubles.

In reply NSW skipper and Cook's Keira clubmate Graeme Batty posted a 72-run opening stand with Jeff Goninan before Batty fell to Ross Knoll for 37.

Goninan (34) followed soon after. Despite a need to up the ante, Greg Hunt laboured to 26 off 52 balls before he was caught off Mark Foreman.

Mark Littlewood managed 13 off 24 deliveries before Blair Lindsay anchored the innings with an unbeaten 59.

After Pat Rosser fell for one, Scifleet's rapid-fire knock (33no) hauled NSW within reach of victory before falling one run short. NSW will begin a two-day match with South Australia today.

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