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Ross, Patterson lead NSW to fifth-consecutive National Indigenous Cricket Championships men’s final appearance

Callan Morse -

Strong individual performances from Kobe Ross and Ben Patterson have kept New South Wales' quest for an unprecedented fifth-straight National Indigenous Cricket Championships men's title alive after the reigning champions defeated Tasmania in the tournament's semi-final stage on Monday.

After being sent in to bat and slumping to 4-22, Ross was instrumental in New South Wales posting a defendable total of 7-113.

Batting at six, the first Torres Strait Islander to represent New South Wales at NICC level top scored with 38 (41), striking three boundaries whilst anchoring his side's innings at Mparntwe's Albrecht Oval.

Resurrecting NSW's batting innings after Tasmanian quick Brandon Kopper struck twice early, Ross partnered with NSW veteran Pat Rosser (19 from 28) in an innings-high 39-run fifth wicket stand.

Ben Patterson took three wickets after scoring a quick-fire 27* (16) in New South Wales' semi-final victory over Tasmania at the National Indigenous Cricket Championships. (Image: Albert Perez - Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

Following the loss of Rosser, he put on an additional 29 with hard-hitting allrounder Ben Patterson (27* from 16), whose flurry of late boundaries boosted NSW's score heading into the innings break.

Kopper (3-10) was the pick of the Tasmanian attack, with Rhys French (2-25) also picking up multiple wickets.

In response, Tasmania struggled against the new ball, falling to 3-3 after the early loss off Brayden DeVries (0 from 2), Lachlan Nicholls (1 from 7) and Rhys French (2 from 3).

A 30-run stand between patient opener Jack Pearce (10 from 36) and innings top-scorer Toby Hutton (36 from 35) steadied the Tasmanian innings, and after Hutton and Kopper (24 from 15) put on 40 for the fifth wicket, the match was in the balance.

However following the loss of Kopper, Tasmania lost 5-116 to be bowled out 25 runs short of the target score with nine balls to spare.

Patterson (3-12) was the pick of NSW's bowlers with Evan Pitt (2-8) and Austyn Nugent (2-19) also amongst the wickets.

Their victory will see NSW face Western Australia in Tuesday afternoon's final after WA comfortably accounted for Victoria on Monday.

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