Victoria v New South Wales, T20 Big Bash, MCG January 22, 2011

All-round O'Keefe knocks out Victoria

The Bulletin by Andrew Fuss

New South Wales 7 for 168 (Khawaja 65, O'Keefe 50) beat Victoria 7 for 151 (Finch 53) 17 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A brilliant all-round performance from Steven O'Keefe lifted New South Wales to a hard-fought 17-run win over Victoria at the MCG, ending the Bushrangers' finals hopes.

The 'baby' Blues - missing a host of senior players because of international duties and injury - were rattled early by Dirk Nannes (3 for 23), James Pattinson (3 for 22) and an Aaron Finch wonder catch on the boundary, collapsing to 5 for 69 in the 9th over.

A mature 61-run partnership between Usman Khawaja (65 off 43 balls) and O'Keefe (50 off 38) then steadied the innings and helped them reach a very respectable 7 for 168.

The Bushrangers looked to be cruising in the chase at 1 for 100 in the 12th over when Finch (53 off 37) decided to get a move on in the hope of improving the hosts abysmal net run-rate, but was fortuitously stumped by Dan Smith off the bowling of Man of the Match O'Keefe - the keeper fumbling the ball back onto the stumps.

Brad Hodge (22 off 21) fell two balls later, lbw to a nice slider from O'Keefe before captain Andrew McDonald fell cheaply to Scott Coyte the next over, exposing the Bushrangers' young middle order.

From there, the hosts never looked like making the runs with teenagers Sean Abbott (2 for 25) and Patrick Cummins (1 for 27) sealing an impressive win away from home - the Bushrangers' first Big Bash loss at the MCG.

O'Keefe will feel he is an outside chance of a World Cup call-up, depending on the fitness of Nathan Hauritz, who dislocated his shoulder in Australia's win over England in the second ODI at the Bellerive Oval.

Victoria is now out of the competition, sitting at the foot of the table with just one win. The Blues on the other hand, will face Queensland twice in five days as the two teams fight for third place behind South Australia and Tasmania.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 24, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    Very true, Gopalakrishna Pai, the Australian selectors really didn't seem to have any plan or much confidence going into the Ashes. They picked 17 (?) players two weeks before the first test, whereas England had a nicely balanced team. The selections after that were also confusing; why use and drop Doherty and Beer after a couple of tests? Why stick with Johnson? Why pick Smith at 6 when he clearly wasnt ready? Why persist with North? Then there were questions about fitness, why did Bollinger just stop? There are too many problems with the administration of cricket in Australia, it needs an overhaul to become more professional ala. the AFL. As for O'Keefe, I'm certainly in favour of bringing in young talent and letting it learn, as long as it has the right base and support. I dont think Smith is ready, so this may be a good option at 8.

  • Andrew on January 24, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    @Warren Smith - I'm a big fan of Copeland, but his List A statistics are quite poor. I think he is a Test bowler for sure, but I think I'd rather him not play short formats.

  • Basil on January 24, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    @ mnave. read it again. I'm referring to FIRST CLASS stats. It's the level down from Test cricket which makes sense as I was writing about the Ashes and not ODIs. Read first - then criticize - once you understand.

  • Dummy4 on January 24, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    For whatever reason O'Keefe has great 1st class stats and great 20/20 stats but terrible domestic one day stats. I think he is a real prospect for the future especially as a test match bowling allrounder. He should be ahead of Smith in that role. But as a one day player he still has something to prove.I think Doherty deserves a shot at ODI first.

  • Michael on January 24, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    @VivGilchrist, looking at O'Keefe's domestic one day stats it shows he has a bowling average of 70.00 and Doherty has a 28.43 average, so I am not too sure where you are gettting your stats from.

  • Andrew on January 23, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    @VivGilchrist - although Doherty as a spin option in ODIs is not too bad I hope O'Keefe gets a call up soon, so he can push for the WC. O'Brien from Sth Oz is not a bad ODI choice either!

  • Andrew on January 23, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    @VivGilchrist - spot on. At the very least he should of got selected ahead of Beer. @Fermissu Mangalan - mate he got picked up for $10k! Best IPL bargain buy ever!!!!

  • Basil on January 23, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    OKeefe played in the Aus A game v England and picked up 4/88 and scored 60 odd runs in an innings where everybody above him failed. His first class average is streets better then any other spinner in the country. His batting average is also over 40. His best figures are against Sri Lanka A - good players of spin. He has bowled well v Pakistan A, and England A. You would have thought that if the selectors were not going to go with Hauritz then OKeefe would have been the OBVIOUS choice. No, they choose Doherty with an av of 50. Suprize, suprize, he fails. Do they choose OKeefe? No They choose Beer with 5 games experience. He fails. Our selectors are morons. Enough said. OKeefe is our future and has to go to Sri Lanka. And Hilditch has to go as far away from this team as possible.

  • Michael on January 23, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    The Aussie selectors are absolutely kidding themselves if they think Doherty is a better bowler then O'Keefe.Not to mention he is easily a better batsman as well.

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    I am surprised at Mitchell Johnson being given a number of chances despite his repeated failures. The perth match was just an aberration.

    It looks like there are better bowlers in Aus domestic cricket than in the current national team.Trent Copeland and O'keefe deserve to wear the baggy green.

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