Hussey bashes Vics to victory
A man-of-the-match performance from David Hussey saw Victoria score an entertaining 12-run victory over New South Wales in the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash at the MCG on Sunday night.
Hussey starred with both bat and ball, scoring a whirlwind unbeaten 70 before claiming 2-20, as the reigning champion restricted the Blues to 8-142 to return to the winner's list.
After losing three wickets from their opening four overs, the Blues did not threaten Victoria's total until a 28-run stand off 15 balls for the eighth wicket between David Warner and Matthew Nicholson left them requiring 27 off the final two overs.
But, with Dirk Nannes and Clinton McKay holding their nerve, it proved a task which the visitors' tail was not up to.
After not overly impressing with the bat in amassing a competitive but by no means unattainable 6-154, the Bushrangers atoned with an outstanding display in the field.
Adam Crosthwaite, who was hampered by a knee complaint when batting, was in the thick of the action, snaring two stumpings and playing a key role in a run out.
The fielding in the deep was equally damaging. Aidan Blizzard threw down the stumps from third man to have Aaron O'Brien metres short of his ground, and Michael Klinger possessed a safe pair of hands.
But they were all reduced to support acts by Hussey.
If not for the native Western Australian landing some late lusty hits, Victoria may not have reached 150, which is not considered an imposing total in this form of the game.
Aided by four sixes, Hussey crashed 70 off only 40 deliveries to show yet again why he is one of the country's most destructive batsmen in the shortest form of the game.
Apart from some early blows from Brad Hodge, who made 44 off 41 balls, Hussey was the only Bushranger to get on top of a New South Wales attack which varied its pace and length with good effect.
In particular, the slower bowlers proved hard to plunder. Off-spinner Nathan Hauritz, a surprising choice to open the bowling, O'Brien and Steven Smith kept things relatively tidy for the Blues during the middle stages of Victoria's innings.
Only Matthew Nicholson and Moises Henriques copped significant stick from the Bushrangers, the pair conceding 68 runs from their seven overs.
The Blues' run chase began in disastrous fashion, losing the key wickets of Brad Haddin and Simon Katich in the first four overs.
Henriques and Dominic Thornely offered useful contributions but were brought undone by the spin of Bryce McGain and Hussey.
McGain effectively sealed the match for Victoria when he removed Warner for 24 in the 18th over.