Bushrangers secure Big Bash Final place
The Victorian Bushrangers has survived an early scare to make 4-113 in reply to Queensland's 6-112 to win the KFC Big Bash preliminary final at the Gabba.
The win qualifies the Bushrangers not only for Saturday's final against New South Wales but also for the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 in India.
In a bowler-dominated contest, the Bushrangers looked home at the halfway mark after restricting the Bulls to 6-112, but they quickly fell to 3-7 in reply with Brad Hodge injuring a hamstring and needing a runner.
However, it didnít effect his shot-making as he led his side that was without David Hussey and Cameron White to victory with his man-of-the-match innings of 59 off 54 balls. Adam Crosthwaite provided good support in an 83-run partnership to guide the Bushrangers home.
Victoria looked in the box seat needing just 113 for victory, but that changed in the blink of an eye with superb opening spells from Ryan Harris and Nathan Rimmington.
The Bushrangers fell to 3-7 early in its innings with Aiden Blizzard (four), Rob Quiney (0) and Aaron Finch (0) back in the pavilion.
Andrew McDonald joined Hodge and tried to get things rolling for the Bushrangers, but he soon fell for 10 to become Rimmington's second victim. That left the Vics 4-30 in the sixth over.
Hodge and Crosthwaite then ensured Victoria would not miss the first Champions League with a comfortable partnership of 83 runs from 73 balls.
To begin the match, Queensland captain Chris Simpson won the toss and elected to bat, but would have been terribly disappointed to only have 112 to defend.
The Bulls never got going with wickets falling at regular intervals. Lee Carseldine (52) and Chris Hartley (27 not out) tried to restore things, but could at no stage get on top of the tremendous Bushrangers bowling.
The pick of the bowlers was once again Dirk Nannes, who finished with 2-20 off his four overs, with Damien Wright (1-18), Shane Harwood (1-19) and Bryce McGain (1-21) all doing well.
Nannes got the Bushrangers off to the perfect start, clean bowling Simpson for one in the first over.
Townsend and Carseldine progressed the score to 24 before Townsend was run out brilliantly for 15 by Hodge. The youngster dropped it near his feet and took off for a dicey single, but Hodge picked it up, flicked it at the stumps and hit directly.
Nannes then made sure the dangerous Nathan Reardon was unable to get going with some big hitting, having him caught by McGain at mid-on for a duck. His fall left the Bulls struggling at 3-29 in the fifth over.
It didnít take long for the Bulls to be in further trouble when Glen Batticciotto was caught behind off leg spinner McGain's first delivery. Batticciotto made just one and Queensland was in big trouble at 4-33 as Craig Philipson joined Carseldine.
Philipson only managed six before being bowled when playing on to Wright. Carseldine and Hartley then put on a partnership of 56, but it was at less than a run a ball as the Bushrangers bowlers dominated.
Carseldine was out caught and bowled for 52 off 55 balls in the final over, leaving Hartley and Harris to crawl to 112.