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Twenty20 match at the Gabba abandoned


Queensland captain Jimmy Maher rated the shortened Twenty20 format as a key to the future of Australian cricket despite a severe thunderstorm washing out the Bulls' clash with Tasmania at the Gabba.

Queensland captain Jimmy Maher rated the shortened Twenty20 format as a key to the future of Australian cricket despite a severe thunderstorm washing out the Bulls' clash with Tasmania at the Gabba.

The storm lashed the ground and surrounding areas with heavy rain and hail shortly after the Tigers set off in pursuit of the victory target of 137 from their 20 overs.

Tasmania lost skipper Michael Di Venuto (5) early and was 1-15 in the fourth over when umpires ushered the players into the change rooms as the storm struck.

They waited less than an hour to officially abandon the game with parts of the ground under water.

Maher, who top scored with 59 from 51 balls during the Bulls innings, praised the concept of Twenty20 cricket and urged the game's administrators to stick with it.

"Australian cricket has been crying out for it," Maher said.

"It's a great innovation. To get a result in three hours is fantastic. The game can change in a fraction, is great fun and is great for the crowd."

However, Maher warned that if the shortened game became the main form of cricket, it could be to the detriment of the development of junior players, and stressed that balance was needed.

"My only concern down the track is that you could be losing some vital things needed to play in the longer forms of the game," he said.

10,083 fans witnessed Friday night's spectacle - the inaugural first-class Twenty20 game played in Queensland - but were left disappointed by the lack of balls clearing the rope during the Bulls' innings.

Queensland rookie Steve Paulsen (45 off 46 balls) blasted his side's sole six with a glorious strike that just cleared the rope over mid-on.

Radio presenters did their best to keep the crowd's energy levels at a maximum with a spicy blow-by-blow commentary, while players raced security guards for the rights to stray beach balls and balloons.

The Bulls looked set to crumble early after Tigers seamer Ben Hilfenhaus ripped through the top-order.

Hilfenhaus took 3-17 off his four overs - including two wickets in the game's opening four overs - and looked set for more before Maher and Paulsen rescued the hosts.

Queensland lost James Hopes (1), Craig Philipson (14), Nathan Reardon (0), and Chris Simpson (0) to be struggling at 4-32 in the fifth over.

Maher and Paulsen combined for a 79-run fifth-wicket stand that steered the Bulls to 7-136 after their 20 overs.

Adam Polkinghorne took 2-27 from four overs for the Tigers who picked up one point for the no result ahead of Tuesday's bout against NSW at Bellerive Oval.

The Bulls now travel to Sydney to face the Blues at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.

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