Bushrangers cruise into Big Bash finals
The Victorian Bushrangers cruised to a 9 wicket victory over the Tasmanian Tigers in front of over 43,000 at the MCG to claim a place in this years KFC Big Bash Preliminary Final on Tuesday.
The Bushrangers batted in style with Brad Hodge (90) and Aaron Finch (58*) treating the record Big Bash crowd at the MCG to some big hitting as both batsmen scored brisk fifties on route to victory.
Faced with a target of 160 for victory the hosts never looked in trouble as Hodge and Finch punished some poor bowling by the Tigers to race to victory.
By the time the Tigers had made a breakthrough the game was almost over. Hodge, who was aiming to become the first person to score two KFC Big Bash centuries fell 10 runs short of his target after skying a catch to Brett Geeves at long off.
After such an entertaining knock Hodge walked off to a standing ovation from the MCG crowd with victory within sight for the Vics to leave them one win away from a return to the Champions League.
Earlier, after winning the toss and electing to bat the Tigers got off to a flying start despite losing Rhett Lockyear (4) at the end of the first over. Tim Paine smashed 61 from just 32 balls to give the Tassie's a strong foundation to build on.
Paine was dismissed by Jon Holland LBW at the start of the 10th over to leave the Tigers well positioned at 98-3 and looking at a total of around 180-190.
With Paine back in the dugout the Bushrangers started to put pressure on the Tigers slowing the run rate and picking up wickets at regular intervals.
George Bailey (12), Travis Brit (9) and John Rogers (16) all failed to build on the Tigers impressive start and it was left to Naved-ul-Hasan and Brett Geeves to gain some momentum back with a partnership of 24 to leave the Bushrangers chasing 161 for victory.