New South Wales v Queensland, FR Cup, Sydney November 19, 2008

Queensland win despite Bird's five

Cricinfo staff

Queensland 177 (Carseldine 42, Reardon 42, Bird 5-26) beat New South Wales 153 (S Smith 48, Swan 3-28) by 24 runs

Aaron Bird took career-best figures of 5 for 26 © Getty Images

New South Wales' top-order collapse, triggered by Chris Swan's three wickets, allowed Queensland to defend their modest total and secure a 24-run win at the SCG. The outcome was particularly disappointing for the Blues after their fast bowler Aaron Bird took a career-best 5 for 26 to restrict the Bulls to 177.

Bird's efforts counted for little when New South Wales threw away a solid start and lost four wickets for 12 runs. When Swan had the opener David Warner caught in the tenth over, the Blues were on 40. In his next three overs Swan dismissed Peter Forrest and Moises Henriques, but with a small total to chase, New South Wales were still in the game.

However it got harder when they fell to 4 for 52 after Dominic Thornely was trapped lbw by Ryan Harris in the 17th over. Steven Smith's 48 took them close to the target but the tail-enders could not finish the job after he was dismissed in the 41st over with 33 more to get.

Queensland had also lost early wickets, courtesy of Bird, but Lee Carseldine and Nathan Reardon, who each made 42, revived the innings before Bird struck three times to remove the tail. Bird bowled fast and straight and did not require fielding assistance for any of his dismissals - four were bowled and one lbw. Bird, who was last year cleared of a suspect action, is now the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 14 at 12.78.

He said he was simply happy to be getting a regular game. "If people throw enough mud I guess it tends to stick after a while and a loss of confidence was a big thing for me," Bird told AAP. "I knew all along there was not any problem and we proved that in the labs so I guess the biggest thing was the confidence issue and people continually slagging me off I guess. But I am so happy to be back."