Ed Cowan produced his second dominant innings of the game to lead New South Wales to an eight-wicket victory over South Australia in the Sheffield Shield match at the SCG today.
South Australia was dismissed for 304 in its second innings this morning, leaving NSW with a target of 100 for full points. There was a momentary hiccup when Daniel Hughes was bowled by the first ball of the innings, and Nic Maddinson fell soon afterwards, but Cowan and Kurtis Patterson then added 67 runs in nine overs to clinch the result. Relishing the opportunity to bat with freedom, Cowan hit an unbeaten 48 from only 39 deliveries. He hit his fourth and fifth deliveries, from Daniel Worrall, to the fence and was equally harsh on the spinners, Tim Head and Adam Zampa, reaching the boundary nine times in his short stay at the crease.
Cowan's double of 125 and 48 not out has helped to keep the Blues in contention for the Shield final: they're now in second place but may still need to defeat Western Australia in Perth next week. Cowan's superb run of form has made him the leading run-scorer in this season's competition: he now has 810 runs at an average of 73.63, moving ahead of his former Tasmanian team-mate, George Bailey, who has 790 at 65.83. It's a shame that Cowan doesn't have 172 runs at 15.63, or he might be in the frame to bat at six for Australia.