Chris Simpson sizzles as Bulls enter preliminary final
Queensland 7 for 203 (Simpson 76, Philipson 46*) beat Western Australia 5 for 166 (Robinson 51, Hopes 2-30, Cutting 2-30) by 37 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
An unorthodox but brutal 76 off 38 balls from Queensland captain Chris Simpson propelled his side into the Big Bash preliminary final as they finished the minor round with a convincing 37-run win over Western Australia at the Gabba. The equation at the start of the game was simple - the winner would host the preliminary final - and Simpson brought his A-game to the crunch encounter, helping the Bulls to a season-best Powerplay score of 3 for 63.
Despite the quick start, the Bulls still looked vulnerable through the early phases as they lost the wickets of James Hopes, Lee Carseldine and Andrew Symonds cheaply. The setbacks did not deter Simpson, who caned the bowling to all corners of the Gabba before being controversially dismissed with the score on 95.
Spinner Aaron Heal had just been hit for six before he deceived Simpson with a slow turner, the skipper missing a slog sweep and getting his bat back in his crease before the bails were whipped off. But his bat bounced in the crease and the third umpire decided it occurred at the exact moment when the stumps were broken.
Where other teams this season had crumbled with quick middle-order wickets, the Bulls rallied, with Craig Philipson (46 off 28 balls) and Ben Dunk (27 off 14 balls) combining for a quick-fire 57-run partnership to blast the hosts to 203. A four off the last ball brought the weekend crowd to its feet.
The visitors got off to a solid start and when Chris Gayle was dropped off the final ball of third over, it looked like the Warriors may have had luck going for them. But the momentum swung quickly with Shaun Marsh and Gayle returning in consecutive overs - the latter in bizarre circumstances as he hit off stump with his bat going for a drive. From there the Warriors never really threatened despite a fighting half-century from Wes Robinson (51 off 40) and a late cameo from Luke Ronchi (34 off 27).
Hopes and Ben Cutting were the pick of the bowlers for the Bulls with two wickets apiece while Simpson was named Man of the Match for his exploits with the bat. Queensland will host Victoria in the preliminary final on Tuesday for the right to play the Redbacks in the final on Saturday.
|New South Wales||4||1||3||0||0||2||-2.234||499/69.0||650/68.4|