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November 21, 2007
Victoria 113 and 5 for 581 dec (Hodge 286*, Jewell 188) beat Queensland 341 and 77 (McKay 4-31, Denton 3-26) by 276 runs
Victoria rode on Brad Hodge's unbeaten 286 to secure their first Pura Cup win against Queensland since December 2004, crushing the Bulls by 276 runs. Queensland's attack was depleted by injury but their batsmen had no such excuse in crumbling for 77 after the Bushrangers set them a chase of 354 from 73 overs.
The Bulls had just over two sessions to pursue the win but Clinton McKay and Gerard Denton had toppled them by tea. McKay claimed a career-best 4 for 31 and Denton confirmed his spot as the competition's leading wicket-taker with 3 for 26.
The rot began with Shane Watson completing a pair as he tried out the opening spot on his return to the side as a batsman only. Andy Bichel did not bat after breaking his finger on the first day, but Ashley Noffke (hamstring) and Ryan Broad (side strain) did their best and even batted together, creating the unusual sight of two runners working with two wounded strikers.
But the wickets just kept tumbling and Victoria ended up smashing the Bulls having conceded a 228-run first-innings advantage after they capitulated for 113. Their big turnaround came in the second innings via Hodge and Nick Jewell, whose 379-run partnership was the second-highest in the state's history behind a 390-run stand from Julien Wiener and Jeff Moss.
The effort ended when Jewell fell for 188, but Hodge batted on and with Cameron White (40) launched a final blitz before the Bushrangers declared at 5 for 581. Hodge finished 16 short of his highest first-class score - he made 302 in a county match - but it was his highest for Victoria and he inflicted severe pain on those members of the Bulls attack still standing, especially Grant Sullivan, who took 1 for 212.
Victoria jumped to the top of the Pura Cup table with the victory, which ended a run of six straight losses against Queensland in the past few years. The undermanned Bulls sit second-last, without a win, and only the lowly South Australia are in a worse position.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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