Victoria v Queensland, FR Cup final, Melbourne

Queensland pull off great escape to take title

Peter English

February 22, 2009

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Queensland 8 for 187 (Hartley 49*, Batticciotto 40) beat Victoria 175 (Quiney 52, Rimmington 4-40) by 12 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Nathan Rimmington helped Queensland steal the trophy with a haul of 4 for 40 at the MCG © Getty Images
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A stunning Queensland revival handed Victoria their third consecutive one-day final defeat as the visitors overcame their batting nerves in unbelievable style. Defending 8 for 187, an assignment which is never fun for the bowlers, the Bulls' attack made the most of a two-paced pitch and knocked over the hosts for 175.

The Bushrangers were sailing as soon as Shane Harwood picked up two wickets in his first spell and when the Bulls were 5 for 56 it seemed only one side could succeed. Chris Hartley's careful and unbeaten 49 held Queensland together as they did well to last 50 overs. Victoria's over-confident batsmen then struggled in their familiar conditions.

Nathan Rimmington's energetic medium-fast offerings captured 4 for 40 and the Man-of-the-Match award after he was the major player in the dramatic shift. The Bushrangers were cruising at 1 for 71 when Brad Hodge was lbw to Chris Swan, but they toppled to 7 for 131 as Rimmington emerged with three breakthroughs. Ben Laughlin also starred, finishing with 3 for 25, to steal the trophy from a seemingly unwinnable position.

Adam Crosthwaite and Clint McKay (22) steered the Bushrangers in a 37-run stand for the eighth wicket, but they both left after the batting Powerplay was taken in the 46th over. With two wickets remaining, the hosts needed 20 off 26 balls and Crosthwaite (29) was in charge until he square drove to James Hopes at backward point. It gave Rimmington his fourth wicket and Queensland's great escape was confirmed when Laughlin bowled Harwood with 12 balls to spare.

Rimmington's haul built on the strong display of Swan, who opened with 10 overs straight and picked up the dangerous duo of Chris Rogers and Hodge. Rob Quiney, who was 12th man for Australia's Twenty20 against New Zealand, provided an excellent start with a muscular 52 from 58 balls that took the game even further from Queensland. He was so dominant early in the chase that when he was bowled off a Swan no-ball in the 11th over he had collected 40 of Victoria's 43.

Just as it seemed he would see out the chase Quiney bunted Rimmington to cover; Victoria were 3 for 84 and headed for embarrassment. David Hussey (8) was run-out three overs later when the victim of a poor call from Cameron White and Hopes' crisp under-arm. The problems continued when Aaron Finch played on to Rimmington despite a desperate swipe to save the ball from rolling on to the stumps.

The Bushrangers had lost 4 for 26 and were 90 short of victory with half their batsmen gone. After a steadying 33-run stand with Crosthwaite, the captain White made another bad mistake when he found deep square leg on 24 and walked off with his side a desperate 6 for 131. In the end Victoria did well to get so close as they chased their first one-day trophy since 1998-99.

After the early carnage, Queensland were saved by a 67-run stand between Hartley and Glen Batticciotto (40). Hartley and Swan, who sped to 30 from 28 balls, added a valuable 54 for the ninth wicket in what turned out to be an invaluable stand.

Hartley's career-high score, which came from 102 deliveries, grew into the game-sealing innings against an excellent Victoria attack. Harwood captured 2 for 23 from 8.4 overs before his ankle slipped awkwardly on the pitch, while Damien Wright backed him up with 2 for 31. McKay was also impressive with 1 for 33 before he left the field with a side strain after 9.2 overs. The bowlers were quickly let down by the batsmen

After going for eight in the opening over of the match, Harwood picked up Ryan Broad lbw for 4 in his second and bowled Hopes (10) in his third. The Bulls were intimidated by Harwood's opening spell of 2 for 9 off five and the feelings of insecurity did not disappear until their bowlers got the ball.

Symonds arrived to engage in a series of verbals with Harwood and was troubled while waiting 12 balls for his first run. Scoring was tough for most of the Queenslanders, with Batticciotto taking 13 deliveries to get off the mark and Hartley needing 15. On 23, Symonds drove Wright to Hodge at mid-on and Queensland were thinking a score of 100 would be satisfying.

Lee Carseldine was run-out when Symonds, who wanted a single from the last ball to avoid more roughing up from Harwood in the next over, called from the non-striker's end. Quiney's direct hit left Queensland at 3 for 24 after 10 overs and four balls later Nathan Reardon edged Wright to White at first slip. Things had improved for the Bulls by the end of the innings, and the moods lifted dramatically when they bowled.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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