Masterclass from Richardson and Mennie skittles New South Wales
South Australia 5 for 177 (Cooper 52*, Nair 2-42) beat New South Wales 173 (Nevill 40, Richardson 3-25, Mennie 3-39) by five wickets
Incisive opening spells from Kane Richardson and Joe Mennie helped South Australia to a bonus-point five-wicket win over New South Wales at Allan Border Field.
The new-ball duo made the most of the helpful bowling conditions early after captain Jake Lehmann won the toss, taking three wickets each to dismantle the New South Wales top order.
They slumped to 5 for 27 in the seventh over and could only manage to post 173. South Australia veteran Tom Cooper steered the chase with a patient, unbeaten half-century to ensure they never lost wickets in clumps. They won with 11 overs to spare to secure the bonus point and leave New South Wales winless after two matches.
The toss was vital given the overhead conditions and the ball duly darted around in the first hour of play and made life difficult for the batsmen. But four of the first five players dismissed were guilty of pushing with hard hands well in front of their front pads.
Jack Edwards and Daniel Hughes both inside-edged booming drives, Moises Henriques was pinned lbw by a hooping inswinger, Kurtis Patterson nicked a peach from Mennie and Nick Bertus chopped on defending off the back foot.
Peter Nevill and Daniel Sams were forced to rebuild and produced 54-run stand, but scoring with fluency was difficult. Arjun Nair and Sean Abbott provided handy contributions down the order however New South Wales were bowled out inside 39 overs.
The chase was not as simple as it appeared as the sideways movement gave way to some variable pace and bounce.
Callum Ferguson got away to a brisk start striking four boundaries in 22 before edging Abbott to slip. Alex Carey, promoted to open in the absence of the injured Jake Weatherald, looked in complete control cruising to 36 before feathering an under edge flailing at a wide delivery.
Lehmann and Cooper broke the back of the chase from there before Lehmann was undone by some extra bounce from Nair to be caught behind for 37. There were some late wobbles with miscues from Harry Nielsen and Alex Ross keeping, but Cooper closed out the contest by reaching his second straight half-century.