Cooper was tasked with rebuilding the Redbacks’ innings after the early departures of Jake Weatherald and Alex Carey, and the experienced batsman delivered.

He and partner Callum Ferguson (68) coolly stopped the fall of wickets as they began to chase down the 8/258 posted by the NPS, and contributed a 150-run partnership off 132.

After winning the toss, NPS captain Jake Doran elected to bat and proved hard work for the bowlers, top-scoring for his side with 88.

Redbacks rookie and NPS allrounder Ben Pengelley also proved troublesome for his state side, scoring an impressive 64 off 70 before his teammate Nick Winter defied him with a slower ball.

The left-arm swing bowler picked up three wickets in his first competitive return for the Redbacks, finishing with figures of 3-57.

After the 21st over, Cooper exploded in typical Tom Cooper fashion, picking up the strike rate at a run-a-ball and finding the boundary on multiple occasions before retiring at 100 (100).

It wasn’t so simple after both Cooper and Ferguson retired however; a middle-order collapse which saw the Redbacks lose three wickets for eight runs had them at 7/203, with 56 runs required.

But the big-hitting Joe Mennie contributed a rapid 16 alongside Jake Lehmann who drove the Redbacks forward.  

When Mennie was trapped LBW, it was left to Tom Andrews to enter and hit consecutive maximums to bring the Redbacks their first pre-season victory by two wickets.

The Redbacks next face the first of their two matches against Tasmania on Sunday.

 

Redbacks XIII:

Carey

Weatherald

Ferguson

Cooper

Ross

Lehmann

Drew

Dalton

Mennie

Andrews

Sayers

Worrall

Winter

 

NPS XIII:

Uppal

Inglis

Doran

Gibson

Gauci

Pengelley

Maladay

Wright

Cormack

O’Donnell

Fallins

Coleman

Johnson