Warriors stun Twenty20 kings
Western Australia has ended Victoria's stunning KFC Twenty20 Big Bash winning run with a gutsy five-wicket victory at the WACA Ground on Friday night.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Victoria reached 9-186 from its 20 overs with captain Brad Hodge (43 runs from 30 deliveries) leading the way and Aiden Blizzard (29 from 16) and David Hussey (25) contributing handy scores.
The Bushrangers entered the match having never lost a Big Bash contest but that reputation was left in tatters following a superb recovery mission from Sean Ervine (56 not out from 33 balls) and an earlier brutal batting display from Luke Pomersbach (39 runs from 22 balls).
Ervine proved crucial in the victory after WA was reduced to 4-84 in the eighth over following Pomersbach's disastrous run-out.
The former Zimbabwean international, nicknamed 'Slug', smashed eight fours and one six to help guide the Warriors to victory with nine balls to spare.
Warriors spinner Aaron Heal (2-18 from four overs) starred with the ball earlier in the night to help restrict Victoria's innings after the visitors' flying start.
WA's run chase got off to a terrible start with opener Liam 'Buffa' Davis trapped lbw for a duck, leaving the home side at 1-1 in the first over.
Luke Ronchi (26 from 11) didn't let the early setback slow him down, bludgeoning consecutive sixes off Clint McKay as the Warriors cranked 16 runs from the second over.
Pomersbach struck three big sixes off the one McKay over, including a straight one that almost left the ground, as the Warriors moved to 3-68 after six overs.
McKay was left looking for a hole to crawl in to after conceding an amazing 36 runs from his first two overs.
But the Bushrangers were celebrating hard when Pomersbach was run out attempting a second run, reducing the Warriors to 4-84 with their two best hitters - Ronchi and Pomersbach - back in the shed.
Ervine and Shaun Marsh (35 off 26) steadied the ship with an invaluable 69-run stand as the Warriors moved to 4-147 after 15 overs, needing 40 runs off the final five overs to secure victory.
But Marsh's bizarre run-out, which occurred when paceman Andrew McDonald dropped a catch off his own bowling only for the ball to rebound into the stumps at the non-striker's end, gave the visitors some hope.
But Ervine kept a cool head, smashing his eighth boundary to bring up his half-century (off just 33 balls) before leading WA to its first Twenty20 victory of the summer.