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Blues on the board at last

Brad Haddin’s sagacious half century has helped New South Wales to their first Twenty20 victory in two years following an eight-wicket drubbing of South Australia in Adelaide.

Set a modest victory target of 135 following a substandard Redbacks batting display, the Blues cruised to victory with 18 balls to spare without facing any significant road bumps along the way.

Haddin’s controlled innings of 54 came in only 44 balls, and included two massive sixes over mid-wicket, while Simon Katich (37 not out) and Dominic Thornely (37 not out) guided the visitors home.

The pair’s unconquered 53-run partnership was compiled in only 33 balls, and Thornely lofted SA skipper Nathan Adcock over the long on rope with a huge six for the winning runs.

Jason Gillespie (1-16 off 3) was the pick of the bowlers, while Dan Cullen (0-46 off 4) was feasted on with the short square-of-the-wicket boundaries.

This result brought up New South Wales’ first win in this competition since its maiden season in 2005/06, and had been on a five-match losing streak until tonight.

Earlier, South Australia lost wickets at regular intervals after winning the toss and electing to bat first on a strip resoundingly considered perfect for batting.

Both openers began their scoring with threes, but the Redbacks were 1-6 by the completion of the first over when Matthew Elliott (three) tried to hit across the line to a fuller ball and was trapped lbw to Mark Cameron.

Dan Harris made a brisk 22 off only 11 balls before departing at 2-39, which commenced a collapse of 3-5 that saw Callum Ferguson fall for a second-ball duck and Mark Cosgrove (16) dismissed cheaply.

The wickets were evenly shared, and the opening five bowlers had wickets to their names, including a run out, when the home side fell to 6-67 before the half way mark.

Ryan Harris (31 off 38) installed some stability to the line-up, while Graham Manou (12 off 11) and Jason Gillespie (15 not out off 12) helped SA avoid embarrassment to pass three figures and ultimately reach 9-134.

Moises Henriques (2-19 off 4) returned to the scene where he took a devastating 10 wickets in a CA Cup match last month against the second XI, supported by a clever spell by Nathan Bracken (2-32 off 4).

Off-spinner Nathan Hauritz finished with exceptional figures of 2-21 off four overs.

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