Western Australia’s international-quality attack has fired the Warriors to a huge victory after bowling a star-studded Victorian side out for just 200 in their JLT Cup match in Melbourne.
The Warriors then chased down the target with an incredible 21 overs to spare, with Josh Philippe’s 65 complemented by a whirlwind unbeaten 47 from 26 balls by Marcus Stoinis against his former side.
While Australian ODI quicks Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye would have featured heavily in Victoria’s pre-match planning, it was Pakistani leg-spinner Usman Qadir who stunned the Vics with three wickets on his Warriors debut.
Qadir, the son of legendary Pakistan leggie Abdul Qadir, picked up the key wicket of in-form veteran Cameron White and also removed fellow debutant Mackenzie Harvey as he finished with figures of 3-50.
The 25-year-old moved to Australia several years ago and has been bullish about his chances of representing his adopted country once he’s eligible.
Impressive pace duo Coulter-Nile (1-33 from 10 overs) and Richardson (1-28 from eight) each struck an early blow to put the hosts on the back foot after electing to bat first before Qadir, Tye (3-50) and D’Arcy Short (2-21) finished the innings off inside 46 overs.
Vics skipper Peter Handscomb was the only batsman to fire, top-scoring with 57, while wicketkeeper Seb Gotch notched 43 before he was the last man out.
Philippe and Josh Inglis started well in the Warriors run chase, putting on 90 before teenage spinner Tom O’Connell got the breakthrough in the 12th over.
Philippe’s innings was undone by a peach from Glenn Maxwell who’s off-spinner caught the right-hander on the back foot and bowled him.
Ashton Turner was unlucky to be run out when Jackson Coleman dropped a return catch from Marcus Stoinis, only for it to fall on the stumps at the non-striker’s end. Stoinis made the most of his reprieve, taking a heavy toll on O’Connell in particular as he clubbed four sixes and three fours as the Warriors raced to victory.
WA are now unbeaten after three matches while the Vics were brought back to earth following their big win over NSW on Sunday.