Brutal Rohrer sweeps the Blues to T20 title
New South Wales 5 for 167 (Rohrer 44*, Hughes 43) beat Victoria 4 for 166 (Quiney 91, Bird 3-21) by 5 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Ben Rohrer showed no nerves as he rescued New South Wales with a fierce assault that ended Victoria's dominance of the domestic Twenty20 competition. The Blues were struggling at 4 for 92 before Rohrer roared with 44 off 20 balls, including four sixes, as they secured the title from the final delivery.
Rob Quiney exploded for Victoria with 91 from 56 in Victoria's 4 for 166 and it seemed like enough, but their hopes of a fourth title ended when Rohrer and Daniel Smith scampered a bye from the last ball. The suspense extended with a run-out referral that was given not out and Rohrer's speeding dive took the Blues to 5 for 167.
Rohrer finished Bryce McGain's spell with consecutive sixes and when the Blues needed 42 from the final four overs he slog-swept Jon Holland over the midwicket boundary. Another clearance from Rohrer in the next over left them wanting 18 off 12 balls and it was cut to 10 for the last six offerings from Shane Harwood.
Rohrer picked up two from the opening delivery before benefitting from a wide and gaining a single. Dominic Thornely (27) glanced a four to ease the pressure, but was then bowled and Smith relied on a misfield for a single. Rohrer saved more tension when he sprinted for a run after missing the last delivery.
Both teams had already qualified for the US$6 million Champions League by reaching the final, but New South Wales gained a A$32,000 bonus for the victory in front of 17,592 supporters. If they repeat this success in India in October they will be drowning in prizemoney.
Victoria needed a big contribution with Brad Hodge, the most successful batsman in the competition's history, out injured and Quiney stood up after a steady start. He blasted three legside sixes off Steve O'Keefe and also heaved in to the fast bowlers as he cleared the boundary eight times. At his peak he catapulted seven maximums in 20 balls, with an off drive from Aaron Bird standing out.
After taking 36 deliveries for his fifty, he added his next 41 from 20 before top edging to Doug Bollinger, who captured a smart running take at short fine-leg. Quiney and Andrew McDonald, the stand-in captain, flooded 98 runs in 9.5 overs to lift the Bushrangers from their early problems. A straight six was McDonald's highlight and he contributed 30 off 29 in a sensible display.
The Bushrangers were also missing Cameron White and David Hussey on Australian duty while the Blues were without David Warner, Brad Haddin and Nathan Hauritz. It was Warner's absence that led to Brendon McCullum being signed in case he is available for the Champions League.
McCullum's appointment was controversial but he showed some goodwill when he walked to a fine edge behind off Harwood on 10. There were two fours during his 11-ball stay and he was outshone by Phillip Hughes.
Hughes and Simon Katich pushed the Blues quickly to 85 when Hughes was bowled for 43 trying to slog Dirk Nannes. Nine balls later Katich (37) chipped McGain to long-off and in the same over Moises Henriques fell in a similar manner, with the hosts in danger at 4 for 92.
Life was also hard for Victoria over the first half of their innings as they lost three batsmen to single-figure scores. Aiden Blizzard fell to a juggled catch from Katich off Bollinger before Bird struck twice in his opening spell, leaving the visitors at 3 for 53 in the ninth over.
Matthew Wade cut to deep point and Chris Rogers, who came in for Hodge, tried to turn the ball to the legside and his leading edge darted to gully. Bird was strong with 3 for 21 and he returned to pick up Quiney, but by then New South Wales had lost their edge. Rohrer regained it in stunning fashion with his brutal and perfectly timed display.
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo