Victoria v Queensland, FR Cup final February 21, 2009

Victoria battle to end one-day trophy drought

Match facts

Sunday February 22
Start time 2.15pm

Big Picture

Cameron White, the captain and key batsman, may also need to use himself as a bowler on Sunday © Getty Images
Victoria have been the most dominant team throughout the summer and their only blip came last month when they were runners-up in the Twenty20. In March they will host the final of the Sheffield Shield but their immediate concern is knocking over Queensland in the FR Cup decider.

Queensland had a chance to have the contest at the Gabba before their five-match winning streak was broken on Wednesday and the teams finished level on 30 points. The Bushrangers gained the edge with seven wins from the 10 preliminary games while Queensland managed six, sending the fixture to the MCG. This is Victoria's third consecutive appearance in the final, but they have lost the past two and will rely on their big names to rectify the slump.

Form guide (most recent first)

Victoria WLLWW
Queensland LWWWW

Team news

Victoria's attack is currently brittle with Dirk Nannes out with a side strain and Shane Harwood fighting a pectoral problem. Harwood, the competition's leading wicket-taker, has been included in the 13-man squad along with Darren Pattinson, who played a Test for England last year.

"[Harwood is] a vital member of our side and so we will give him right up until the last hour before the game," the coach Greg Shipperd told AAP. "He looked pretty impressive [on Saturday] in the nets. It just depends how he pulls up." Most importantly, the Bushrangers have Cameron White and David Hussey back from their Australian limited-overs commitments.

Victoria squad Cameron White (capt), Adam Crosthwaite (wk), Aaron Finch, Shane Harwood, John Hastings, Brad Hodge, Jon Holland, David Hussey, Clinton McKay, Darren Pattinson, Robert Quiney, Chris Rogers, Damien Wright.

Andrew Symonds is a concern with a right knee problem that flared in the Sheffield Shield game against South Australia over the past week and he had a fitness test at the MCG on Saturday. James Hopes bulks up Queensland's order following his time with the Australian squad while Ashley Noffke's return from a back injury continues after he came through Wednesday's loss to South Australia. Decisions on both Symonds and Noffke will be left until Sunday.

Queensland Chris Simpson (capt), Glen Batticciotto, Ryan Broad, Lee Carseldine, Chris Hartley (wk), James Hopes, Ben Laughlin, Ashley Noffke, Clinton Perren, Nathan Reardon, Nathan Rimmington, Chris Swan, Andrew Symonds.

Watch out for …

Cameron White is back in charge after missing all but three matches of the campaign with international duties. White is the captain and an essential batsman, but he may also be needed to provide a few handy overs with Bryce McGain in South Africa with the Test squad. Along with David Hussey, White is the side's most important batsman.

Andrew Symonds' returns this summer have been so small that if he wasn't an international the selectors might have considered some time for him in the 2nd XI. However, he has been a big-game player for a decade and Queensland will be desperate for a lasting impression with the bat if he recovers from his knee problem. So far this season he has 124 runs in five one-day games and 118 in as many Sheffield Shield matches.

Stats & Trivia

  • Queensland's Lee Carseldine has the most runs in the competition with 474 at 47.40 while Victoria have been led by Chris Rogers' 446
  • Shane Harwood has been crucial for Victoria with a competition-high 22 victims, one ahead of New South Wales' Aaron Bird and two in front of the emerging Queenslander Ben Laughlin
  • In their two 50-over games this summer, Victoria won the first by three wickets while the Bulls took the second by 135 runs
  • Their last meeting in a one-day final came in 2006-07 when Jimmy Maher's 108 and Aaron Nye's 3 for 55 sealed Queensland's win
  • Quotes

    "It's a final, it's going to be like an international game. A lot of pressure, the intensity is there."
    David Hussey calls it as he sees it

    "We're very confident they are right to go, but we'll use the time we have available before settling on the final line-up."
    Ray Phillips, Queensland's chairman of selectors, on Symonds and Noffke

    Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo