Queensland v South Australia, FR Cup, Brisbane December 5, 2007

Hopes and Watson blast Bulls home

Cricinfo staff

Queensland 4 for 159 (Watson 70, Hopes 61) beat South Australia 7 for 203 (Christian 94*) by six wickets (D/L method)

James Hopes weaved his way to a match-winning 61 © Getty Images

Queensland brought South Australia's three-match winning streak to a shuddering halt at the Gabba and took the Bulls to second on the table. Shane Watson and James Hopes hit fifties to shrug off the early loss of Matthew Hayden, Andrew Symonds and Jimmy Maher and ease to their twice-revised target of 156 from 29 overs.

Daniel Christian's unbeaten 94 in his second match for South Australia boosted them to 7 for 203 in the 39 overs made possible by the rain. Christian - "a massive pick-up for us," according to his captain Nathan Adcock - compiled a sensible innings replete with clean, simple but effective shots after coming in with South Australia 3 for 28.

Michael Kasprowicz, who bowled with consistency, accounted for the Daniel Harris (0), Matthew Elliott (6) and Mark Cosgrove (6) to leave the Redbacks wobbling. Watson, showing off a remodelled action, was next to strike with Callum Ferguson's wicket, but Shane Deitz (32) helped to boost them past 200 before he miscued a top edge to point, becoming one of Hopes' two victims.

It wasn't enough, with Hopes and Watson taking the game by the scruff of the neck. The pair offered consistent boundaries and a positive approach, leaving Jason Gillespie's two in two balls - Maher on 12 and Symonds for zero - a distant memory. Australia will be encouraged by Shaun Tait's continuing good rhythm and pace, and he knocked over Matthew Hayden for 9.

A good contest was brewing before the second rain break interrupted Queensland's chase and took the fizz out of proceedings. Hopes and Watson injected some life into the game and their flair guided them home. Watson's 70 came from 86 balls while Hopes, the Man-of-the-Match, had 61 from 40.

"They're always difficult for both sides, those rain-interrupted games," Maher said. "We had a little bit of a rusty performance but generally we're quite happy."

Adcock also refused to blame the rain. "We just didn't have enough on the board in the mix of things at the end," he said. "It's difficult for both sides and you have to adjust to that." It was Hopes and Watson who adjusted the most effectively.