Victoria v Queensland, Big Bash, Melbourne January 2, 2011

Dominant Victoria open campaign in style

The Bulletin by Alex Malcolm

Victoria 4 for 188 (Finch 58, Hussey 42*) beat Queensland 9 for 155 (Hopes 36, McKay 3-26) by 33 runs

Big Bash defending champions Victoria have begun their 2011 campaign in perfect style with a clinical display to account for Queensland in game two at the MCG.

The home side rewarded the 29,429 locals who turned out with a dominant display on a sluggish drop-in wicket.

The Victorian openers set the tone, Aaron Finch and Brad Hodge clubbing 98 from the first 64 balls of the innings after Cameron White won the toss. Anything back of a length or shorter Hodge cut or pulled with typical ease. Anything fuller and straighter Finch clubbed to the sightscreen or into the long-on bleachers, which he did on three separate occasions.

Finch's brutal 58 from 38 balls earned him Man-of-the-Match honours. His dismissal and some tight bowling from Bulls' captain James Hopes slowed the Bushrangers momentarily, but the classy veteran David Hussey (42 not out) sussed the conditions quickly to produce a gem of an innings to take the total to 4 for 188.

It was always going to be a tough ask against a barrage of Victorian quicks. New-ball pairing James Pattinson and Dirk Nannes removed the Queensland openers in consecutive overs to put the Bulls well behind in the game. Hopes, on return from a broken thumb, clubbed five boundaries in 36 but his demise to a slower ball from Clint McKay signalled the beginning of the end as Queensland battled to 9 for 155.

McKay claimed three wickets with off-speed bowling, Nannes three with blistering pace. The Victorians are going to be hard to beat again with the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Cameron White and Matthew Wade playing just minor roles in tonight's first-up win.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

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  • Hector on January 3, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    Hey Bushrangers, if you would like to represent your country you'll need to rename your team to NSW Mk II. This might fool Dor De Dor Dumb Hilditch and you might get selected. If you have a batting average above 20 you will qualify and a bowling average of below 50. You will even get as many chances as Clarke.....50 million.... unlike in the past when as Vics you got just one or two if you were lucky....just ask Hodgy!

  • Martin on January 2, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    I read in the Age that Finch is pressing for Australian honours. He was the second highest run scorer in the Big Bash last year (behind Keiron Pollard no less). I laughed because he is a Victorian and we all know the selectors don't look south of the border.

  • Hector on January 2, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Sorry Hilditch...were you watching?????? Hodge and Company have made a fool of you again. On behalf of ALL cricket lovers from ALL....YES ......ALL THE OTHER STATES....Resign Now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, Well done Vics. You make us proud! Well done A. Finch & D. Hussey...All Class!!

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