WA In Hunt For Imparja Cup Final Spot
21 February 2013  

Western Australia's perfect start to the 2013 Imparja Cup has come to an end after an eight-wicket defeat to Queensland in Alice Springs on Thursday but they remain in the hunt for a spot in Saturday's decider.

The Sandgropers, who had won their opening five games including a five-wicket triumph over Victoria earlier on Thursday, were brought back to earth by Queensland in Thursday's late game at Traeger Park.

WA captain Michael Bailey won the toss and elected to bat, but the Sandgropers were rolled for 67.

After Gosnells opener Bailey departed for 16, WA lost 5-12, to slump to 5-30 and they never managed to recover despite useful knocks from Willy Nona (20) and Trent Davies (10).

The total was never enough to defend despite Bailey and Nona taking early wickets as Queensland reached the score in less than 12 overs, with eight wickets in the shed.

Earlier in the day, Jaye Collard took 3-25 and Ronan Maher 2-16 as WA restricted Victoria to just 8-94 from their 20 overs.

In reply, Bailey was in fine form, smashing 56 runs off 41 deliveries, including eight fours and two sixes. The WA skipper received good support from Alistair Bivens who contributed 24 as they reached the target with 13 balls to spare and five wickets in hand.

WA defeated South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and ACT earlier in the week, with Bailey staring in the opening game with a sparkling 96 off 48 balls, which included eight sixes. Nona claimed 6-18 in the same match.

Bailey is currently the competition's top scorer, while Bivens and youngster Hugh Sando have contributed with the bat. Nona, Jaye Collard, Hayden Collard and Yagan Walley have been WA's best bowlers.

The West Australians will face New South Wales at Albrecht Oval on Friday as they chase a spot in Saturday's final, with a win enough to book their place in the decider.

Meanwhile, the WA women's team are finding the going tough in their first-ever Imparja Cup, suffering three heavy defeats.

Samara Williams has been WA's leading performer with a handful of wickets, but the side has struggled with the bat against strong opposition.