Blues dazzle crowd, end Bulls chances
The New South Wales Blues have defeated the Queensland Bulls by five wickets in Sydney’s first ever Twenty20 match at North Sydney Oval.
The New South Wales Blues have defeated the Queensland Bulls by five wickets in Sydney’s first ever Twenty20 match at North Sydney Oval this evening.
Dominic Thornely was the star for the Blues with an unbeaten 57 (off 38 balls), an innings that included four fours’ and three sixes.
The crowd was greeted to a carnival atmosphere, which included jazz bands, face painting and a sky diver. This was more than enough of an incentive to drag the strong crowd of 10,470 through the gates.
Queensland won the toss and elected to bat first, and raced to 4/135 after just 10 overs. Rookie batsmen Steven Paulsen and Michael Buchanan revived the innings with a fourth wicket partnership of 72.
Buchanan, son of the national coach John, top scored for Queensland with 48 (off 27 balls), while opener Craig Philipson smashed 39 runs in only 18 balls.
But the Bulls batting line-up fell apart, losing their last six wickets for only 32 runs in eight overs, bundled out for 167.
Debutant fast bowler Ian Moran took 3/21, and spinner Aaron O’Brien took two crucial wickets late in the innings to give the Blues the upper hand.
Blues openers Phil Jacques and Jarrad Burke both made 30 in quick time.
Despite a middle-order collapse of their own, the Blues reached the 168-run target with two overs to spare courtesy of a 59-run sixth wicket stand between Thornely and Moran.
Rookie bowler Derek Tate nabbed two wickets in his four-over spell, while Nathan Hauritz snared the only other wicket taken by the bowlers.
New South Wales now meet Tasmania on Tuesday, with the winner through to the final against Victoria in a couple of weeks.