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Bushrangers chase down large target

Redback's Daniel Harris hit a blistering 98 but it was not enough to prevent Victoria from recording a thrilling eight-wicket victory at the MCG on Friday night.

In pursuit of South Australia's 5-183, the Bushrangers, aided by half-centuries from Brad Hodge and Cameron White, scraped home with just one ball to spare.

The Bushrangers needed eight off the final over, bowled by Gary Putland, but were helped by some costly fielding errors by the Redbacks.

Hussey, who hit the winning runs, claimed five from the first three balls of the over then after Hodge stole a single from a misfield from Christian, another mistake the following ball saw the Bushrangers home.

"Maybe we were five or 10 runs short but we could have done things better in the field and with our bowling," Harris said.

The win sees Victoria, a game clear of four sides on one win, as the only unbeaten team in the competition after the opening two rounds.

Hodge was the star for the Bushrangers, hitting a mature 75 off only 61 balls.

One of the most experienced Twenty20 players in the world, Hodge shared an opening stand of 79 with Aiden Blizzard and 87 with White.

Bogged down by Dan Cullen and Aaron O'Brien, White took 11 balls to get to 10 but consecutive sixes off the former provided the impetus he needed.

He clubbed 23 off his next five balls, taking Victoria within 48 runs of victory with six overs remaining.

But the Vics could take only 30 off the next four overs, leaving 18 from the final two.

A four off Sohail Tanvir by Hodge with seven balls left in the game calmed the Vics' nerves before Hussey's heroics in the last over finished the job.

"I had great confidence we could get eight off six, particularly the way Huss hits the ball," Hodge said.

"They were probably four of the worse shots he played but they were good enough to get us home."

Earlier, Harris fell two runs short of becoming only the fourth player to strike a century in this competition.

He also combined with Tom Cooper for a 116-run stand off 73 deliveries which formed the cornerstone for the Redbacks' innings.

His contribution, which included nine fours and four sixes, was a record for a Redback in this competition, surpassing the previous best of 78 set by Ken Skewes three years ago.

Given a life on one by Aaron Finch, Harris made the Bushrangers pay dearly.

He cut Dirk Nannes for six behind point and was also brutal in front of the wicket, particularly on Clinton McKay - who he clipped for sixes through mid-wicket and straight down the ground.

A total around 200 seemed on the cards for the Redbacks when they clubbed 17 off White to reach 1-141 after 15 overs.

But the loss of Cooper, quickly followed by Callum Ferguson and Christian, slowed the run rate.

Shane Harwood was the best of the Bushrangers bowlers, claiming 3-27 from his four overs.

source - sportal.com.au
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