The Northern Territory Men’s team have been handed a resounding defeat by reigning champions NSW in their opening match of the National Indigenous Cricket Championships in Alice Springs.

NSW elected to make first use of the Albrecht Oval wicket, and the Territorians were greeted by an aggressive Tyran Liddiard and Pat Rosser. NT skipper Brandon King gave himself the tough task of bowling spin in the Powerplay, his three overs in said period seeing Liddiard chance his arm against the offspin. He was ably supported by left-arm quick Kayden Deverell, who stepped up against the experienced Pat Rosser to bowl two overs for only 10 runs to leave NSW 0/38 after six.

King removed himself from the attack to be replaced by Queensland offspinner Brad Ilott, whose first five balls to Liddiard saw only the solitary single. The introduction of Ben Stares’ outswingers at the other end immediately drew a false shot as Liddiard’s impatience grew, the mistimed drive creating a simple return catch for the bowler.

Rosser and Ilott engaged in a fantastic battle across the spinner’s next three overs, a couple of sixes punctuated by plenty of dot balls and some plays and misses. Unfortunately for the Territorians, Rosser survived the offspinner’s best efforts and attempted to cash in against the returning quicks on his way to 52 from 46. He was joined by Ben Patterson, who contributed an unbeaten 36 from just 11 balls (five sixes).

The Blues scored 72 from the NT’s final five overs as the bowlers missed their lengths, feeding Patterson’s strength through the leg side as the ball started to resemble infrequent Scud missiles. The returning Dylan Fuller responded to being tasked with some death overs by taking two late wickets and reducing the damage, NSW finishing their 20 overs at 4/183.

In reply, the chase never looked like getting going after some good bowling in the Powerplay from NSW. Cameron Moodie was smartly stumped in the first over before a brilliant catch and run-out in the fourth over snuffed out any Territory hopes, as the scoreboard read 3/8.

It wasn’t until Stares and King joined forces that the intent lifted from survival mode, some good running and cavalier strokeplay providing a late (and much-needed) boost to team morale. However, once Stares was run out comfortably attempting a risky second run, NSW quickly rolled through the rest of the lower order and tail to bowl the NT out for 46.

NT Coach Greg Aldam said he’d seen some positive things from the team’s opening performance, noting that all team members would be better for the hit.

“They [NSW] are obviously the benchmark in this competition, and I’m glad we played them first up so we can have a look at where we’re at,” he said.

“We’ll have a look at a few little things and change what we need to for tomorrow night’s game against Western Australia.”

The Northern Territory now look to that fixture on Tuesday, which starts at 7pm at Traeger Park.

Match Scores: New South Wales 4/183 (Pat Rosser 52, Tyran Liddiard 42, Ben Patterson 36*, Jack Hartigan 30. Dylan Fuller 2/50) d. Northern Territory 46 (Djali Bloomfield 2/5, Ben Mitchell 2/6, Blake Smith 2/6) by 137 runs.