Nannes gives Victoria third straight Twenty20 title
Victoria 8 for 203 (Blizzard 47) beat Western Australia 171 (Marsh 86, Nannes 4-23) by 32 runs
Victoria remained the Twenty20 kings with a third consecutive title as Western Australia were hit by a Blizzard and a Cyclone at the WACA. Aiden Blizzard's blitz of 47 from 20 balls helped the Bushrangers reach 203 and despite an exciting 86 from Shaun Marsh, the Warriors fell 32 short in their chase.
The major problem for Western Australia, apart from the hefty target, was the fast, accurate bowling from Dirk Nannes. The nickname on his back read "Cyclone" and he lived up to the moniker, sweeping up four wickets and pushing into the high 140kph region as the Warriors spiralled to defeat.
He struck two early blows to derail the chase and returned at the end for two more, including Marsh, who had combined with Theo Doropoulos to give the Warriors a sniff after they had crashed to 5 for 59. Marsh belted four sixes in his 55-ball innings but was running out of time when he cracked a Nannes full toss to Cameron White at midwicket.
He had already lost his key partner, Doropoulos, who was on 43 when he chipped back to the bowler David Hussey. Victoria's spinners Hussey and Bryce McGain troubled the middle order but it was Nannes' early strikes that set the scene.
In what Perth fans will hope is not an omen for the WACA Test, which starts on Wednesday, the home side's reply began with a contentious catch first ball. Luke Ronchi tried to evade a shortish Nannes delivery that flicked his gloves and might have fallen just short of the wicketkeeper Adam Crosthwaite, who claimed the take.
It was a disappointing start to a challenging chase after Victoria worked their way to 8 for 203. They started brilliantly, reaching 0 for 65 from five overs, an effort that was largely thanks to Blizzard, who took 28 off one Danny McLauchlan over. Four sixes featured in those six balls, and one was flat-batted wide of midwicket so lethally that it ended up in the practice nets adjacent to the ground.
Twice in their innings Victoria lost 3 for 5 but around those mini-collapses they were able to build a healthy score. Hussey added 38 and finished the tournament as the second leading run scorer behind only Marsh. One of the few Victorians who did not contribute was Rob Quiney, who fell to one of the most remarkable catches in recent memory.
Quiney pulled Ben Edmondson to deep midwicket and David Bandy, hard up on the rope and with the sun in his eyes, jumped, stretched his right-hand above his head and pulled in the grab with both feet off the ground, baseball-style. He then had the challenge of landing back in the field of play and managed the feat with the grace of an Olympic gymnast, finishing with a pivot and swivel to acknowledge the crowd's cheers.
But his team-mates could not match his perfect ten and the title slipped away from Western Australia. Victoria, who have lost only one match in the three seasons of the domestic Twenty20 tournament, will head to the Champions Twenty20 league in October as arguably the world's most in-form side in the shortest format.