Redbacks seal KFC t20 Big Bash finals spot
The West End Redbacks sealed their place in the KFC t20 Big Bash final thanks to a 5 wicket victory over the DEC Bushrangers at the MCG in Melbourne.
The Redbacks easily chased down their victory target of 145 to secure a place in the t20 Champions League and the rights to host next weekends Big Bash final.
The Bushrangers meanwhile ended their disappointing tournament with back to back losses at the MCG as they failed to qualify for the final for the first time in the 6 year history of the tournament.
Despite losing Michael Klinger (11) and Aiden Blizzard (16) during the power play overs the Redbacks ended the first six overs of the fielding restrictions well placed having reached 53-2.
Although the Redbacks had got off to a good start they were still struggerling to judge the pace of the wicket and this was best illustrated by Callum Ferguson who cut the ball back onto his stumps to give Jon Holland a wicket with his first ball of the 7th over.
With three wickets already down, the Redbacks could have panicked with so much riding on the result but Daniel Harris remained calm to steer the visitors towards victory with a valuable 41 before he was caught by Even Gulbis out on the long on boundary.
With Harris gone the Redbacks still needed 42 from 38 balls by Daniel Christian (28) and Cameron Borgas (41) remained at the crease to seal the victory for the Redbacks.
Having won the toss the Bushrangers decided to bat first but they struggle to get their innings under way with any sort of urgency as spinner Adil Rashid and Kane Richardson utilised the slow wicket to great effect.
The home side lost Ryan Carters early on after the 20 year old made a pedestrian 5 from 14 deliveries before he was bowled by Richardson at the end of the 4th.
Veteran Brad Hodge arrived at the crease and immediately dispatched Nathan Lyon for a boundary to become the first person to score 1000 runs in the KFC t20 Big Bash tournament.
Despite the early lose Aaron Finch and Hodge brought the Vics back into the game with a 2nd wicket partnership of 44 runs before Finch (34) was caught by Callum Ferguson out on the long on boundary to give Daniel Christian his first wicket of the night.
Hodge (22) quickly followed two overs later to leave the Bushrangers 66-3 with just over 8 overs remaining in the innings as the pressure increased on the home side.
With the runs drying up Andrew McDonald and Matthew Wade built a 4th wicket partnership of 35 from 5 overs before Wade hit the accelerator dispatching Christian for consecutive sixes at the start of the 18th over.
McDonald (26) tried to follow suit but he could only pick out Ferguson out on the long on boundary two deliveries later as the pairs 48 run partnership was brought to an end by Christian to leave the Bushrangers 114-4.
Wade (52) continued his assault scoring two more massive sixes on the way to completing a well deserved half century to help the Bushrangers reach 144-4.
Wade came to the crease with the Bushrangers 66-3 but proceeded to smash a 31 ball half century which included 3 fours and 4 sixes to help the Bushrangers record a potential match winning score.