Heal heroics take WA to last ball win
Western Australia have kept in touch with runaway Twenty20 front runners Tasmania, with a thrilling last ball, four wicket win over Queensland at the WACA ground.
A breathless finale saw spinner Aaron Heal needing to score a single off the last ball of the innings - the first ball he faced - to force a tie and a bowl off.
But the 24-year-old instead slashed Ashley Noffke through gully for four to give WA two wins out of their three home games played this week, and huge boost to travel to Adelaide on Monday.
After scoring 9-154, thanks largely to Shane Watson's 51, WA were in the driving seat needing 40 off the last five overs and Shaun Marsh motoring on 70.
But after Lee Carseldine sent Marsh packing and James Hopes put the brakes on, WA looked out of it needing 28 off the last two overs.
However, Daniel Bandy stepped up to smack successive sixes and two fours to swing the pendulum back to the home side.
But when Noffke prevented a boundary and took Theo Doropoulos' wicket after five balls of the final over, a bowl off looked the likeliest outcome - until Heal's heroics.
Earlier, Watson batting at three was the Bulls' guiding light, blasting seven fours and a six in his orthodox but highly effective 30-ball knock.
But the loss of both openers in the opening over of Brett Dorey's (3-19), meant the Bulls were always up against it - and fell well short of the 187.5 average racked up in WA's two other home games.
Both of those have been won by the team batting second - but that did not deter Jimmy Maher from having a bat after winning the toss.
He was soon regretting that decision after a sensational start saw Dorey take two wickets in his first three legitimate balls - after starting with a wide.
First Hopes was caught behind for a duck a wild slash, then Maher followed suit edging his first ball to Luke Pomersbach at slip.
Despite the carnage around him, Watson's straight drives and square cuts again showed why Australian selectors have consistently stuck by the 26 year-old despite his injury woes.
But after falling to a sensation leg side catch by Doropoulos, the Bulls late order fell away which was to prove fatal in the dramatic denouement.