Queensland v Tasmania, Big Bash, Brisbane January 7, 2011

Hopes stars as Queensland rout Tasmania

The Bulletin by Alex Malcolm

Queensland 2 for 119 (Hopes 65*, Carseldine 28*) beat Tasmania 8 for 118 (Bailey 37, Rimmington 2-23) by 8 wickets

The horrific Queensland weather held off long enough to allow the Bulls to dismantle Tasmania to post their first victory of this year's Big Bash.

Gabba curator Kevin Mitchell Jr conjured a miracle to prepare a playable surface given the apocalyptic rains that have drowned the state over the past three weeks.

James Hopes won the toss and sent Tasmania in. It proved to be the correct decision as the hosts bowled and fielded superbly right through the Tasmania innings to restrict them to a below-par 8 for 118 from their 20 overs. The visitors were on the back foot when they lost newly named Australia Twenty20 vice-captain Tim Paine, who played on for 3 in the third over, with just 11 runs on the board.

The Tigers also contributed to their own downfall with two needless run-outs. Mark Cosgrove miscalculated while attempting two to Michael Neser running in from deep square leg. An outstanding direct hit found Cosgrove miles short. Then Travis Birt committed cricketing suicide in the next over calling George Bailey through for a single when his captain had merely defended back to the bowler.

Bailey tried to mount a rescue mission, top scoring with 37 from 30 balls, including two sixes. He and James Faulkner (24) put on 41 for the seventh wicket to take Tasmania past 100. But Bailey was undone by a clever slower ball from Nathan Rimmington, who bowled brilliantly to finish with 2 for 23, including the wicket of Faulker.

The Bulls had one eye on the weather in their chase as opener Chris Simpson got them off to rapid start, clubbing 20 from 11 balls after Michael Lumb fell early. However, he failed to capitalise on his start, as he was bowled by Xavier Doherty in the third over to leave the Bulls at 2 for 25. But Hopes (65 not out) and Lee Carseldine (28 not out) dashed any hopes that Tasmania might have had of a Queensland collapse. They smashed 94 runs off 68 balls to make a mockery of the Tasmanian attack and reach the target with 37 balls to spare. In one stretch of eight deliveries, the experience pair thumped six fours and a six between them.

Hopes, who also affected a run-out and took a one-handed catch to dismiss Ryan ten Doeschate, was declared the Man-of-the-Match.

Queensland move level with Tasmania on the table with the four other sides playing their second matches across the weekend.