Dighton blasts 111 for Tigers
Michael Dighton has blasted a remarkable 111 to lead Tasmania to a 37-run victory in Wednesday night's Twenty20 match against NSW at Telstra Stadium.
NSW made a bold bid to chase down Tasmania's massive score of 7-202 but could manage only 165 in 19.5 overs.
The victory puts Tasmania in Saturday's final at the MCG against Victoria, after Queensland lost to South Australia in Adelaide on Wednesday night.
Dighton's innings included 13 fours and five sixes and he faced just 56 balls, one less than Adam Gilchrist needed to reach his amazing ton in the third Ashes Test in Perth last month.
It was the highest score and only the second century in the two-year history of domestic Twenty20 cricket in Australia, alongside Victorian Brad Hodge's 106 last summer.
Dighton reached his hundred from just 52 balls and was eventually caught on the long-on boundary.
The right-handed opener added 113 for the third wicket with captain Daniel Marsh (30) after the visitors lost two early wickets for 25 runs.
George Bailey scored an unbeaten 41.
"It was a great innings from Michael Dighton. You won't see one better than that, I don't think," said Marsh, who took 3-18 with his spinners.
Skipper Simon Katich hit three fours and three sixes in his 48 off 26 balls in a lone hand for the Blues.
Newcastle NRL rugby league star Andrew Johns, in his second match for NSW, thrilled the crowd of 18,464 with his knock of nine runs from 10 balls at No.9.
However, Johns was almost timed out for not getting to the crease within the required 90-second maximum after NSW lost two wickets in two balls with the score on 133.
Johns looked a relieved man to get a single off Australia paceman Ben Hilfenhaus then advanced to five in the next over from Marsh.
Growing in confidence, he played a delicate late cut off Hilfenhaus through slips but he soon became Marsh's third victim.
"It just frightens me when the fast bowlers come on, but I survived mate," Johns said.
"I said to him (Hilfenhaus) 'you are not going to bounce me are you?' and he said 'well, you've hit the ball and you've tried to slog me'.
"I haven't taken him down mate, no. I was very lucky."
Dighton, 30, said his century had been "very sweet" after being in and out of the side.
"The wicket was a bit slow so I just tried to wait for the ball and hit them as far as I could," he said.