New South Wales has lost its first game in the Matador Cup this season, thanks to a four wicket haul from John Hastings.

Already assured of a place in next Sunday’s final after five successive victories, NSW lost to Victoria by 21 runs at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.

With captain Steve Smith resting because of minor knee soreness NSW was bowled out for 223 in reply to Victoria’s modest 244.

The first six NSW batsmen were out lbw on a North Sydney pitch that played increasingly low.

Mitchell Starc finished with 4-58 from 9.5 overs to give him 23 wickets from just five games, the most by a NSW bowler during a season in state one-day cricket.

However Starc’s bowling was overshadowed by Victorian paceman John Hastings, who finished with 4-30 from his 10 overs, to hand Victoria an unlikely victory.