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Tenacious Tigers upset the Warriors

Tasmania has kicked off their 2007/08 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash campaign with a huge bang, upsetting Western Australia to claim a valuable five-wicket victory in Perth.

Tigers’ captain and middle-order batsman George Bailey, along with Jason Krejza, ensured the visitors reached the 189-run victory target with eight balls to spare.

Bailey smashed two fours’ and three sixes’ in a stylish and unbeaten 30-ball knock which yielded 51 runs, coming in at the fall of the third wicket –Travis Birt for a quick-fire 27- late in the ninth over.

Only Mark Divin, who came in following Dane Anderson’s demise, failed to reach 10 –freakishly run out by David Bandy at the top of the 16th over for just seven.

Michael Dighton and Rhett Lockyear saw the Tigers sprint out of the blocks –blazing a 28-ball opening stand of 47 before Brett Dorey tempted Dighton to again take on the fielders only for Trent Kelly to dive at mid-off.

Kelly in the process landed awkwardly on his right shoulder and subsequently was forced from the field. The news for the former Redbacks’ paceman is not good however with the early diagnosis being an AC injury and a six-week stint on the sidelines.

Bandy made the first of two strikes with a sandshoe crusher. Lockyear shuffled across his crease and despite setting off for a leg bye he was given out on appeal from the in-close fielders and bowler.

It was a slight stumble, though the home side wished there were more as Birt and Anderson thundered 49 off only 21 balls, guiding the Tigers’ past 100 in only the ninth over.

Bandy hit back and ended the third-wicket stand when Birt swung lustily straight to Danny McLauchlan behind square-leg.

With their heads above the required rate, the middle-order of Anderson and Bailey could afford to go easy on the spin bowling of Aaron Heal for a couple of overs.

With the game slipping, and one bowler down, Warriors’ captain Adam Voges put himself into the bowling attack with immediate results as Anderson attempted to hit out only to chip up for McLauchlan to stroll over for the simplest of catches.

Bandy was the pick of the bowlers with 2-41 off his four overs, while Dorey and Voges both finished with one wicket each.

Earlier, Western Australia won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch rated as offering lots for the batsmen. The crowd, though down slightly on anticipated were entertained nonetheless as Luke Ronchi and Liam Davis opened the innings.

Naturally, the short-format of the game is catered for big hitting and explosive keeper-batsman Ronchi didn’t waste time in cracking the willow with a barnstorming 15 off 10 balls and opening stand of 30 from 23 balls.

Down on the par-rate though that was soon elevated as Luke Pomersbach found bat on ball, delighting the masses with 13 shots reaching the rope and four of these over the fence.

Pomersbach blasted 79 off 45 balls before Divin struck late in the 18th over. Voges had a total of 200-plus, and a half-century of his own, within his sights but fell to Brett Geeves an over later for 39 as Brendon Drew claimed his third catch of the innings.

The home side finished on 4-188 off its 20 overs with Shaun Marsh charging at Divin on the last ball and just clearing the mid-wicket fielder.

The wickets were spread amongst four different bowlers, Geeves finished with 1-24 off four overs, conceding just six runs per over, while Divin, Drew and Xavier Doherty all collected one each.

The victorious Tigers return home to Hobart for a clash with the New South Wales Blues on Thursday afternoon, while the Western Australians hosts the unbeaten Victoria Bushrangers on Friday night.

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