Tasmania demolish Victoria by nine wickets
Tasmania 1 for 108 (Wells 51*) beat Victoria 8 for 107 in 15 overs (Prior 51, Naved 3-18, Krejza 3-13) by nine wickets
Tasmania have demolished the reigning champions by nine-wickets in a rain-reduced clash at the Bellerive Oval to go to the top of the Big Bash table.
Standing in for the absent Tim Paine, 22-year-old debutant Jonathan Wells thumped an unbeaten 51 from just 33 balls to guide Tasmania to their target of 108 in just 11.3 overs.
Play was delayed initially by 40 minutes of persistent drizzle, reducing the contest to 15-over-a-side fixture, but once the covers were removed, George Bailey had no hesitation in inserting Victoria when the coin fell his way.
It proved a masterstroke when the visitors lost Glenn Maxwell and acting captain Brad Hodge in the opening two overs. They slumped to 3 for 20 when Matthew Wade fell to Rana Naved-ul-Hasan. They could have, and perhaps should have, been four down if Ashes hero - turned Victoria signing - Matt Prior was held at slip by Mark Cosgrove, but the Englishman made the most of the life producing an entertaining 29-ball 51 to push the Bushrangers towards a competitive total.
But superb late-over bowling by Jason Krejza (3 for 13) and Naved (3 for 18) restricted the total to just 8 for 107.
It looked like a tough chase was in store early as Dirk Nannes zipped the ball around at 140kph-plus. But once Wells and Rhett Lockyear gathered the pace of the wicket they raced to 49 from 6.1 overs before Lockyear was caught behind off John Hastings.
It would be the only breakthrough for Victoria as Man-of-the-Match Wells continued to find the middle of the bat, striking seven boundaries and a wonderful lofted off drive for six in his half-century on debut, while his captain Bailey cashed in on anything short, cracking three of his five boundaries through midwicket to see his side home with 31 not out.
Tasmania now rocket to the top of a very even Big Bash table, while Victoria have an uphill battle to progress to the last three, particularly without their two regular leaders in Cameron White and David Hussey who, like Paine, are absent on national duty.