February 10, 2003

Law ruled out for cup clash

The XXXX Queensland Bulls will go into Saturday's must-win ING Cup match against the Tasmanian Tigers in Hobart without the services of former captain Stuart Law.

Law, Queensland's most capped domestic one-day player, was not considered for selection after failing to recover sufficiently from a badly-bruised wrist sustained during the Bulls' Pura Cup loss to the Southern Redbacks last week.

The Queensland selectors today named the same twelve that beat the Redbacks in their ING Cup clash on Saturday to remain on top of the ladder on 27 points with one match remaining.

The injury means that rookie opener Nick Kruger will continue his rapid rise in the Bulls' batting stakes following a man of the match debut on Saturday in the eight-wicket ING Cup win over the Redbacks in Adelaide.

The 19-year-old left-hander scored 41 from 51 balls as the Bulls claimed a crucial bonus point in overhauling the Redbacks meagre first innings total of 138.

The Bulls can lock up a spot in the Final if they defeat the third-placed Tigers at Bellerive Oval on Saturday.

Depending on the results of matches this week involving second-placed Western Australia, fourth-placed NSW and Victoria, the Bulls could even host the Final. However a loss to Tasmania, combined with other results not going their way, could also see them miss the Final all together.

Second-placed Western Australia is one point behind the Bulls on 26 points, but has a game in hand. They play fourth-placed NSW (19 points) in Perth on Wednesday and then fifth-placed Victoria on Friday, also at the WACA.

NSW play the last-placed Southern Redbacks on Sunday at Telstra Stadium in the last game of the series before the Final on February 23.

WA would be the likely hosts if they win one or both of their remaining matches, although Queensland could still host the Final at the Gabba if WA loses their final two games and the Bulls beat the Tigers.

With a maximum of 10 points available to the teams with two matches remaining and five points to the teams with one match, Queensland and WA are the two best-placed teams.

However NSW could still finish on top if they win their remaining two games with a bonus point in each game and the Bulls lose to the Tigers.

The Tigers have suffered a body blow with Australia 'A' pace bowler Damien Wright, their best performer this season in limited overs cricket, unlikely to play due to a back injury that kept him out of yesterday's loss to the Warriors.

XXXX Queensland Bulls v Tasmanian Tigers, ING Cup, Saturday, Bellerive Oval: Martin Love (c), Daniel Payne, Nick Kruger, Lee Carseldine, Clinton Perren, Brendan Nash, James Hopes, Wade Seccombe, Ashley Noffke, Michael Kasprowicz, Nathan Hauritz, Scott Brant (all 12 to play).