Noffke seals 32-run win for Bulls
Queensland 6 for 239 (Hayden 84, Maher 53) beat Victoria 207 (White 77, Noffke 4-33) by 32 runs
Ashley Noffke produced a four-wicket haul as Queensland extended their lead at the top of the Ford Ranger Cup table with a comprehensive 32-run against Victoria at the Gabba. The platform was laid by a century opening stand between Jimmy Maher and Matthew Hayden before the Bulls' attack, led by Noffke, restricted the Bushrangers despite Cameron White's 77.
At 2 for 108, Victoria were on track to make a decent fist of their chase. However, Noffke had Aiden Blizzard caught by Chris Simpson to end a third-wicket stand of 56 with White. When David Hussey was run out three overs later the momentum had swung in Queenland's direction.
The experience of Andy Bichel and Andy Symonds, who celebrated his Test recall with three wickets and a sharp catch, proved too much for the Bulls' middle order. The result was sealed when Noffke claimed Adam Crosthwaite and White in the space of three balls in the 45th over.
After a lean run in the opening two Ashes Tests, Hayden spent valuable time in the middle as he compiled a studious 84 off 110 balls alongside Maher's 53. It was not just the Victoria bowlers that suffered from Hayden's power. The square leg umpire Norm McNamara left the field with a broken hand after a Hayden pull shot cannoned into him in the 39th over, and was replaced by the third umpire Andrew Curran.
The quick loss of James Hopes and Symonds to Shane Harwood stalled Queensland's progress but Michael Buchanan and Chris Hartley added 48 off 38 balls for the seventh wicket, a stand that proved decisive.