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Bulls hand Tasmania heartbreaking defeat

Queensland has ruined Tasmania's hopes of a successive final appearance with a nine-wicket victory in the sides' KFC Twenty20 Big Bash encounter at the Gabba.

The Bulls triumph means Western Australia and defending champion Victoria meet in Sunday’s decider at the WACA despite the Tigers going into the final round of matches heading the table by virtue of a greater net run rate.

The Warriors defeated New South Wales by six wickets in Sydney while the Bushrangers beat to the bottom-placed Redbacks by five runs to finish with four wins apiece.

Tasmania will live to rue Tuesday's vital seven-run loss to Victoria as well as failing to build on a solid platform of 2-101 with nine overs still remaining in this match.

After three defeats and one washout a week ago against South Australia, Queensland - chasing 175 runs to win - finally showed some imperious batting in front of 10,558 local fans.

Man-of-the-match James Hopes made full use of the fielding restrictions to blast 60 in 29 balls with Shane Watson guiding Queensland home with a ferocious 69 in 32 deliveries including his seventh six to finish the game.

Bulls captain Jimmy Maher was dropped on the rope by Ben Hilfenhaus on one before going on to punish the visitors with an unbeaten 35.

Tasmania earlier won the toss and elected to bat first, the Tigers bounding past 100 thanks to a 64-run third-wicket stand between Luke Butterworth (36 off 34 balls) and Travis Birt. Opener Rhett Lockyear also scored 24 off 12.

But three wickets from off spinner Aaron Nye and two from Lee Carseldine stunted their progress from 2-101 to 7-131.

Power hitter Brett Geeves crashed 19 off 11 balls and Brendan Drew an unbeaten 19 off 10, including two sixes off Carseldine's final two deliveries, to give the Tigers' score a more respectable feel.

But the Bulls blasted out of the blocks in reply, Queensland's opening pair passing 50 in just 22 balls before Hopes reached his half-century, having accumulated 44 runs in boundaries.

Watson, who twice dropped catches in Tasmania's 8-174, fired up with two flat-batted sixes down the ground off Butterworth to put Queensland in full control, then passed 50 with his fifth six.

And he and Maher cantered home with 23 balls to spare despite Tigers skipper Dan Marsh using seven different bowlers.

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