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Bulls bash the Tigers

Queensland paceman Nathan Rimmington made it a memorable day at Heritage Oval by killing off Tasmania with the first hat-trick recorded in interstate Twenty20 cricket.

Rimmington (5-27) stunned the sell-out Toowoomba crowd of 4,602 by dismissing top-scorer George Bailey (41) and then Damien Wright and Luke Butterworth in a match-clinching 17th over.

The Tigers, needing 50 off the last four overs, remained some hope of reeling in Queensland's challenging total of 9-202 on the small country ground before the 24-year-old struck in the 'Big Bash' opener.

Tasmania could manage just 11 more runs (164 in 18.1 overs) as the Bulls drew first blood in the 20-over tournament in their first trip up the Great Dividing Range since Andrew Symonds belted a century against the touring English 12 seasons ago.

Rimmington's heroics came after Toowoomba-born Michael Dighton recorded the first Australian domestic five-wicket haul by reaping an amazing 6-25 in three overs of his part-time spin.

Dighton almost also beat Rimmington to the first hat-trick after twice taking wickets off successive balls to curtail the Bulls' charge.

Clinton Perren (82 off 37 balls) and Nathan Reardon (54 off 31) peppered the small country ground with 21 boundaries in a freewheeling 126-run fourth-wicket stand after coming together at 3-38.

Dighton ended the blitzkrieg by dismissing the pair and Michael Buchanan in his first over, and then went on to take three more scalps.

Rimmington first set the Tigers back on their heels in their chase by dismissing rampant duo Michael Di Venuto (36) and Travis Birt (34) in the ninth over as they raced along to 1-74.

It overcame the disappointment of just 12 months ago when he missed out on a bowl in his state debut due to a wash-out against Tasmania at the Gabba.

"I didn't get them last year but I did this time," he said.

"It was a massive disappointment then because I had 20 family and friends and then the hail came.".

Queensland suffered a major injury blow with skipper Jimmy Maher ruled out of Friday's match against NSW after straining his hamstring while making 10 as Brendan Drew (3-24) ripped through the Bulls top-order.

Officials had to shut the gates after just five minutes of play as Toowoomba got into the spirit of the occasion, which included irrigation piping for the boundary rope and a local curtain-raiser.

source - theage.com.au
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