Western Australia v Victoria, Ryobi Cup, Perth October 8, 2010

Hodge and Harwood crush Western Australia

ESPNcricinfo staff

Victoria 4 for 319 (Hodge 134*, Finch 81) beat Western Australia 206 (M Marsh 44, Harwood 6-46) by 113 runs

Brad Hodge produced a belligerent century and Shane Harwood delivered a stinging performance as Victoria demolished Western Australia at the WACA. Hodge smashed 134 off 125 balls to rush the visitors to 4 for 319 before the Warriors fell for 206 to suffer a 113-run defeat in their first match under Mickey Arthur, the former South Africa coach.

In between the two stages of Hodge's brutal innings, Harwood ruined the home side's top order with four wickets on the way to a career-best 6 for 46 off 7.4 overs. The performance was particularly satisfying for Harwood, 36, as he was returning from major shoulder surgery that threatened his career.

There were no problems over his pace or bounce as his sharp lifting deliveries ended the stays of Wes Robinson (2), Shaun Marsh (18), Liam Davis (33) and Adam Voges (32). The brutal five-over spell left the hosts at 4 for 88, 53 runs behind their opponents after 20 overs, and the game was almost over.

Hodge, who resumed on 58, and Aaron Finch, who was 54, quickly made sure of the result as they took advantage of Western Australia's wayward bowling. Finch fell for 81 off 75 balls - he peaked with three fours from a Brett Dorey over - but Hodge kept going and showed that he remains a master at the age of 35.

In his first innings he hit the debutant Michael Beer for a straight six before slog-sweeping another next over from Aaron Heal. His century came with a glide to third man - he celebrated with a couple of push-ups - and after crunching Ashley Noffke (0 for 82) for fours through cover and midwicket, he then showed more muscle by clearing the sightscreen in the final over of the innings. Andrew McDonald also beat the rope twice in his unbeaten 30 off 20 balls.

Western Australia required an almost impossible 232 from the final 25 overs, but Luke Pomersbach and Luke Ronchi gave it a go during a 46-run stand off 31 balls. However, Ronchi fell on 28 to a miscue to midwicket and next ball John Hastings (3 for 50) had his second when Pomersbach (16) found mid-off.

Mitchell Marsh showed flashes of brilliance in his 44, including hitting Harwood for six to long-on, but he gave him his fifth wicket aiming another big shot. Next ball Harwood picked up his sixth, ending the match with the lbw of Beer. Peter Siddle played his first game in Australia after over-coming back stress fractures and showed decent pace in his 0 for 53 off nine overs.

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  • Tim on October 9, 2010, 1:08 GMT

    I don't know why Brad Hodge is not playing for Australia in tests and ODIs. I have been silently wishing for it for years now. When he retired from first class cricket I started to wonder if our system really was as strong as everyone is making out. Brad Hodge would be in my starting 11 for tests and ODIs everytime.

  • Jose on October 8, 2010, 20:47 GMT

    Well Done Victoria and Hodge!! Finch looks like future Aussie star

  • Dummy4 on October 8, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    How is Brad Hodge not opening in ODIs for Australia? All the current system is doing is wearing out Watson, who has already started to lose touch with his bowling by spending the time needed to develop into an opener. In any other country Hodge would be in the starting 11 for ODIs. Sure, Aus is still number 1, but not by the margin they should be.

  • Dummy4 on October 8, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    Brad Hodge has retired from all first class cricket and only plays one day and Twenty20 games nowadays Ranjan. That in itself is a shame.

  • Hector on October 8, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    Absolutely Ranjan.....I agree 100% with you. Hodge IS a class player and was not given any opportunity in the Australian team...dropped while successful. So why is a no talent failure like North given so many chances to make a fool of himself and the test selectors? Shame on you Hilditch......Hodge has been a wasted talent.....you have done the same to David Hussey...and are you going to do the same thing to Cameron White? Why??? Maybe because Hilditch was never up to test standard when he tried to play test cricket! Yep, he was a bunny batsman and is now a bunny selector!!!! Can someone wake up the other selectors and tell them to get their act together!!

  • Dummy4 on October 8, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    Hodgy will keep scoring 100 after 100 and cricket australia will have their eyes shut.

    painful 2 see a talent like hodge sitting out and somone like north in test 11..

    result is for all 2 see..

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