Queensland v New South Wales, Pura Cup, Newcastle, Day 4 January 12, 2004

Hussey propels Victoria to thrilling win

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Victoria 259 and 455 for 7 (Hussey 212*) beat New South Wales 317 and 396 (Thornely 143, Katich 126) by three wickets

David Hussey celebrates, Stuart MacGill glowers
© Getty Images

A masterful unbeaten double-century from David Hussey - brother of Michael - led Victoria to a stunning outright win over New South Wales at Newcastle. Victoria had been set a massive 455 for victory - the second largest final-innings run-chase in Sheffield Shield and Pura Cup history. But Hussey galloped to 212 from 218 balls, and secured victory with three wickets and 14 overs to spare.

His five-hour exhibition of controlled aggression earned the approval of no less an onlooker than Steve Waugh, who was powerless to prevent NSW's defeat. "Exceptional," said Waugh. "He's got to come into contention for national selection, I would have thought, in both forms of the game, the way he played there."

New South Wales had assumed that the points were in the bag, after Dominic Thornely's maiden first-class century on Sunday, and when Thornely followed up with two wickets in four balls late in the day, Victoria were 383 for 6, and facing an heroic failure.

But Hussey, who had run out Waugh with a direct hit on the previous day, powered on to his first double-century in first-class cricket. The equation came down to Victoria needing 37 runs off the last 21 overs with four wickets left. Peter Roach was trapped lbw by Nicholson for 18 (422 for 7), but Hussey launched a succession of boundaries off MacGill to secure victory.

Victoria had been in trouble early on, when Jason Arnberger was bowled by Don Nash for 4 inside the first half-an-hour. Matthew Elliott was then trapped lbw by paceman Matthew Nicholson for 19 (37 for 2), before Brad Hodge played all round a full toss from Stuart MacGill. But Jon Moss (76) and Hussey steadied the ship with a 176-run partnership, to set up the victory.