Bushrangers crush Warriors by 78 runs
The Bushrangers has one foot in the Twenty20 Big Bash final after crushing Western Australia by 78 runs in a one-sided match at the MCG on Thursday night.
Overlooked by national selectors earlier in the day, Brad Hodge clubbed 73 off only 54 balls to steer Victoria to a competitive 7-183 from their 20 overs.
Shane Harwood rocked the Warriors' top order with two wickets in successive overs before Cameron White cleaned up the tail, taking 4-10 with four wickets as the Warriors lost their final seven wickets for 37 runs to be dismissed for a meek 105.
Victoria remains on top of the table with six points from four games and can book a berth in the final on January 24, and a ticket to the Champions League Twenty20, with victory against New South Wales in Sydney on Saturday.
The Warriors must beat Queensland to have any hope of making the preliminary final.
Hodge was again the cornerstone of the Bushrangers' innings before being bowled in the 19th over by Umar Gul.
He shared in partnerships of 36 with Aiden Blizzard, 43 with Rob Quiney but it was his 78-run stand off only 43 balls with David Hussey which was the highlight for the Bushrangers.
Hodge was exceptional against the new ball, striking two consecutive boundaries off Gul in the third over, and even better once the shine was taken off, as seen in 16th over when he carved 15 off Brett Dorey.
Hussey was at his explosive best, blitzing 37 off only 22 deliveries.
The Bushrangers had hit a lull against the spin of Marcus North and Aaron Heal before Hussey broke the shackles with a six and four off the latter in the 12th over.
A total in excess of 200 was on the cards until Hussey was bowled in the 17th over by Gul, who bowled straight and full at the death.
Ben Edmondson pegged the Bushrangers back further, claiming the wickets of White, Adam Crosthwaite and Andrew McDonald to finish with the exceptional figures of 4-25 from his four overs.
Hamstrung by two wickets in as many overs from Harwood, the Warriors' middle order then surrendered against the spin of Hussey and White.
Hussey removed Marsh in the ninth over as the required run rate ballooned above 11 an over.
North lasted just one ball before being run out and the game was all but over when White claimed Adam Voges and Craig Simmons with successive balls in the 15th over.