Finch and Hussey steer Bushrangers to victory
Aaron Finch and David Hussey steered the Victorian Bushrangers to a crushing 8 wicket victory over the Wayamba Elevens to keep their hopes of reaching the Twenty20 Champions League semi finals alive.
Despite losing Brad Hodge (8) and Matthew Wade (5) early on the Bushrangers cruised to victory with the inform Finch and skipper Hussey sharing a match winning 3rd wicket partnership of 77.
Faced with a total of just 107 the Bushrangers made light work of their run chase claiming victory with 6 overs to spare; boosting their net run rate which will be such an important factor in the final outcome of Group B.
Victory inside 8 overs would have secured the Bushrangers a place in the semi finals but they’ll now have to wait for the out come of the Highveld Lions game against the Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday night.
A win for the Lions will allow the Bushrangers to sneak through by virtue of having more points then the Super Kings; alternatively a heavy victory for MS Dhoni’s side could see the Australian’s pip the Lions thanks to a better run rate.
The outcome of the game was never in doubt after Wayamba were bowled out for just 107 but Finch (38) and Hussey (47) ensured there would be no upsets to end the Bushrangers semi final hopes.
Having lost the toss the Bushrangers came out firing with the ball; taking two early wickets to leave Wayamba 9-2 after Jeevantha Kulatunga (0) and Mahela Udawatte (0) had both departed inside the first 2 overs.
Kulatunga was the first to go after he was bowled by James Pattinson before Clint McKay doubled the Bushrangers advantage two deliveries later when he ran out Udawatte with a direct hit from mid-on.
With their faint hopes of reaching the knock out stages hanging by a thread Wayamba skipper Mubarak came to the crease to join Jayawardene with his team deep in trouble.
Despite the precarious position; Jayawardene threw caution to the wind dispatching Peter Siddle for three boundaries in the 4th over to get Wayamba’s recovery under way.
Having both disappointed with the bat so far in the tournament Jayawardene and Mubarak played an encouraging innings; building a 2nd wicket partnership of 72 to put the pressure on the Bushrangers.
The pair peppered the boundary with 10 fours during a 52 ball partnership which was ended by Andrew McDonald at the start of the 11th over after Mubarak tamely chiped the ball to David Hussey at short extra cover.
Kushal Janith Perera (2) quickly followed after he was caught by Hussey, this time off the bowling of Pattinson to leave Wayamba 90-4 with just over 8 overs remaining.
After the positive response by Jayawardene and Mubarak to losing the early wickets; Wayamba lost their way completely with Shalika Karunanayake (0), Thisara Perera (0) and Isuru Udana (0) all departing in the space of 4 deliveries to leave the Sri Lankan’s 95-7.
Having watched on as 5 wickets fell in the space of 22 deliveries Jayawardene completed a well deserved half century at the start of the 16th over with a boundary through point before his off stump was knocked out of the ground by Peter Siddle’s next delivery.
The 25 year old completed his spell by dismissing Rangana Herath (2) to leave Wayamba 106-9 after Herath became his 4th victim of the night to complete a career best spell of 4-29.
Dirk Nannes completed the slump by removing Ajantha Mendis (1) 3 deliveries later to leave the Bushrangers chasing a total of just 107 after Wayamba had lost 8 wickets in the space of just 41 deliveries.
The Sri Lankan’s collapsed from 81-2 losing their final 8 wickets adding just 25 runs with Mahela Jayawardene (51) Jehan Mubarak (44) scoring all but 5 of their teams runs.