Hodge hands Victoria the first Twenty20 title
Victoria 7 for 233 (Hodge 106) beat New South Wales 140 (Simmons 39, White 3-8) by 93 runs
A thrilling hundred from Brad Hodge and some disciplined bowling earned Victoria a crushing 93-run win over New South Wales as they became the first Twenty20 champions. Cameron White's decision to bat was promptly rewarded as Victoria, who were powered by Hodge's 106 from just 54 balls with seven sixes, raced on to an imposing 7 for 233 in their 20 overs before dismissing NSW for 140.
Hodge, whose only Twenty20 innings this season was a 15-ball 26 against South Australia on January 8, needed only 54 deliveries to post his maiden Twenty20 hundred, and it proved far too much for NSW. Hodge hoped the innings would increase his chances of returning to the Australian one-day team.
"It is a very hard side to get into, whether it be the Test or one-day side," he said. "I have just got to try and score runs and if they [selectors] are up there seeing me striking the ball cleanly, it can't do any harm."
Hodge added 60 for the second wicket with Michael Klinger and 91 for the third with David Hussey as he battered the NSW attack. While Hodge punished the opposition with 18 boundaries, White was brutal in his final-overs assault, clubbing six sixes in his 46 from 16 balls. Aaron Bird, with 3 for 39 from his four overs, was the most successful NSW bowler, while Moises Henriques had figures of 2 for 38.
NSW were given a positive start from Craig Simmons and Jarrad Burke, who added 64 before Simmons was bowled by Shane Harwood for 39. NSW then lost the plot as the remaining nine wickets collapsed for 76. Victoria's bowlers were impressive in their ability to apply the pressure, with Peter Siddle (2 for 43) and Harwood (2 for 18) serving decisive blows before White ran through the tail with 3 for 8.
The tournament was such a success that James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, said it would be expanded next season, although he confirmed the current reluctance to introduce more matches involving Australia. "We don't want to expose it at the international level and our plan is to play one international match a season and expand this [domestic] competition," he said. "Each state has only hosted one home match apart from the final and we will look at doubling that next year."