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Bushrangers claim a hat-trick of titles

The Bushrangers have surged to its third straight KFC Big Bash title with a comprehensive 32-run victory over the Warriors.

After being sent in to bat, Victoria reached 8-203 courtesy of a brutal display from opener Aiden Blizzard (47 off 20) and cameo roles from David Hussey (38 off 24), Brad Hodge (23 off 17) and Shane Harwood (20 off 8).

WA spinner Aaron Heal starred with the ball once again, claiming figures of 2-25 from his four overs, while paceman Ben Edmondson (2-42) and all-rounder David Bandy (2-37, plus a run-out and a spectacular catch) also did their part.

In reply, WA crashed to 5-59 in the eighth over before Shaun Marsh (86 off 55) and Theo Doropoulos (43 off 27) reignited the run chase with a blistering 92-run stand.

But needing 49 runs off the final three overs, the task proved too great as WA lost a flurry of wickets to finish all out for 172 with three balls remaining in the innings.

Bushrangers paceman Dirk Nannes proved the difference with the ball, claiming figures of 4-23 to help guide his side to victory.

WA's run chase got off to a disastrous start, losing Luke Ronchi for a golden duck.

But it wasn't without controversy, with replays showing the ball may have bounced before wicketkeeper Adam Crosthwaite claimed the catch.

Adam Voges momentarily steadied the ship with a quick-fire 22, but his departure left the Warriors in early trouble at 2-36 in the fifth over.

The Warriors' hopes of victory rested on the broad shoulders of power-hitter Luke Pomersbach, but the 23-year-old failed to deliver with Victorian spinner Bryce McGain sneaking through his defences and crashing the stumps to leave WA reeling at 3-49 in the seventh over.

But things only went from bad to worse for the Warriors, who slumped to 5-59 following David Bandy's run out and Sean Ervine's dismissal for a duck.

Doropoulos and Marsh refused to give up the fight, lifting WA to 5-151 in the 17th over as the Warriors climbed back into the contest.

But Hussey (2-25) stepped up to the mark to claim a clever return catch off his own bowling to end Doropoulos' brave knock.

And needing 42 runs off the final two overs, the Warriors lost wickets left, right and centre as Bushrangers claimed 4-4 to secure victory in front of 16,589 fans.

Victoria collects a cool $32,000 for claiming the title, while WA collects $16,000. But, more importantly, both sides qualify for the Indian Champions League in October, in which almost $6 million in prize money will be up for grabs.

source - sportal.com.au
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