Former Test star Shane Watson blasts 41 in Sutherland T20 victory against Newcastle.

RUNS: Shane Watson

RUNS: Shane Watson

FORMER Australian all-rounder Shane Watson gained some batting practice at Newcastle Steel’s expense in the do-or-die NSW Premier T20 Cup clash at Glenn McGrath Oval on Sunday.

Newcastle needed to beat Sutherland to reach the eight-team play-offs but fell agonisingly short, losing by eight runs.

Watson, who will captain Sydney Thunder in this season’s Big Bash League, opened for Sutherland and blasted 41 from 25 balls, with six fours and two sixes.

He was dismissed by Wests all-rounder Joey Price, who was the pick of Newcastle’s bowlers with 3-21 from four overs.

No.3 Jamie Brown topscored with 69 from 39 balls for Sutherland, who finished with 5-161.

Newcastle appeared well placed early in their chase, but after losing Jeff Goninan for 55, they feel behind the run rate.

They eventually finished with 8-153.

That left the Steel with two wins from their four qualifying-round games against Sydney’s top teams.

They beat Randwick-Petersham and Easts, and lost to Manly as well as Sutherland.