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Bushrangers crush the Bulls

The Victorian Bushraners crushed the Queensland Bulls by 88 runs in the first Twenty20 match played at the MCG to remain undefeated.

After amassing 6-194 from 20 overs, Victoria bowled out the Bulls for 106 in 16.2 overs and returned to the top of the competition ladder.

It was the first win for the Bushrangers over Queensland in any format this summer, following a Pura Cup match and two one-dayers.

Acting Victorian captain Brad Hodge was named man of the match for his top score of 65 from 46 balls after winning the toss and Mick Lewis took 4-10 from 3.2 overs.

Opener James Hopes top scored for the Bulls with 25.

The Twenty20 match attracted a healthy crowd of about 15,000 - much more than the Bushrangers attract for their home one-day games.

Victoria won the inaugural Twenty20 domestic competition last year and remains unbeaten in the format.

It beat South Australia on New Year's Day to open this series and Friday's match in Hobart was washed out.

Victoria was well-placed in its innings at 2-118 after 12 overs when spinner Aaron Nye snared 3-1 in one over.

He was on a hat-trick after dismissing David Hussey (14) and Rob Quiney (0) with consecutive balls and also picked up Hodge's wicket at the end of the over.

Craig Philipson only conceded one run off the following over and suddenly Victoria was in trouble at 5-120 from 14.

But Adam Crosthwaite and Andrew McDonald smashed 67 from 41 balls to steady the innings.

Crosthwaite belted 18 off James Hopes in the 17th over, including two sixes, and was dropped in the deep by Clint Perren.

The ball then rolled over the boundary rope for four.

Crosthwaite was also dropped on 27 and was eventually out for 39, with two fours and three sixes off 23 balls.

McDonald made an unbeaten 36 from 22 balls, including a four and two sixes.

Nye took 3-26 from four overs.

Apart from setting up the Victorian innings, Hodge's knock was also timely given he was named this week in the preliminary squad for the World Cup.

"I'm in really good form, I have been all summer, and the position I'm in personally, I can't have any respite," he said.

"If I can find an opportunity somewhere, hopefully I can take it."

Hodge was captain in place of Cameron White, who is on national Twenty20 duty, and praised Victoria for a strong effort.

"It was a quality performance....our bowling was outstanding, it's always good to have a good total here at the MCG," he said.

"It's difficult to chase down a large total (here), par on this ground for Twenty20 is probably 165-170."

Queensland had to make a strong start to have any chance of chasing down its target, a fact acting captain James Hopes acknowledged.

"Once they got 190, we were either going to get the runs or we were going to fall well short - I don't think we were ever going to make 150-160," he said.

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