NSW v Queensland, ING Cup, Sydney January 15, 2005

Bichel leads Queensland to 121-run win

Cricinfo staff

Queensland 4 for 267 (Perren 64*, Bichel 62) beat New South Wales 146 (Cowan 57) by 121 runs

Andy Bichel leaps for joy as New South Wales are 3 for 8 after Phil Jaques's dismissal © Getty Images
New South Wales were bowled out in 39 overs to go down by 121 runs against Queensland in their ING Cup match at the Telstra Stadium in Sydney. NSW failed to recover after losing three early wickets, including two to Andy Bichel in his first spell while Mitchell Johnson, in his return to state cricket after 14 months, took a wicket with his first ball. Three batsmen reached double figures for them; only Ed Cowan, with a level-headed 57, really came to terms with the bowling. Brendan Nash and Nathan Hauritz also took two wickets as Queensland claimed their seventh win in eight one-day games this season, and are now guaranteed a place in the ING Cup final.

Earlier, Bichel and Clinton Perren both made sparkling half-centuries to take Queensland to 4 for 267. Bichel raced to a fantastic 62 from 67 balls, with two sixes and four fours after being promoted to No.3 to pinch hit. It was his fifth half-century in one-day cricket, but his highest for Queensland.

Perren continued on the charge till the end of the innings to be top-scorer with 64. He and Craig Philipson (39 not out) added 94 in just 91 balls and gave Queensland an excellent boost in the final overs. At the start of the innings, James Hopes (32) got them off briskly while Martin Love chipped in with a sparky 34.

After the game, Bichel explained that their current impressive form was partly due to the last-over defeat in last summer's ING final against Western Australia. "We let ourselves down last year a little bit in the final, so we want to make sure we address that and we are not getting ahead of ourselves," he told AAP. "I am a little bit disappointed today that I got myself out because I think I can go on and make hundreds in this competition I have got one-day hundreds in England." In May 2001, he scored exactly 100 for Worcestershire against Glamorgan in the Benson and Hedges Cup and won the match award. He believed that he could repeat that success in Australia, "in better conditions and [on] better pitches."

The result means that Queensland will host the final barring some unlikely results. Tasmania would have to take double bonus points from all three of their remaining matches and Queensland would need to lose both of their final matches.