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December 28, 2009
Victoria 8 for 157 (Taylor 58, Bravo 36, Harris 3-23) beat Queensland 6 for 121 (Philipson 33*, Hastings 3-21) by three runs (D/L method)
An exciting finish to the opening match of the Twenty20 Big Bash in Brisbane was spoiled by rain, at which point Queensland required 37 runs in four overs to beat Victoria but were three short of the D/L par score.
A close third-umpire decision to not award Queensland a six in the first over of their chase proved to be crucial: a freakish fielding effort from John Hastings at the fine-leg boundary was deemed to be clean and only one resulted from that play. Had the third umpire Norm McNamara called it a six, Queensland would have won by two runs. All the drama added to an already thrilling night that featured impressive debuts from Ross Taylor and Dwayne Bravo, who helped Victoria recover from a precarious 3 for 5.
Debutant wicketkeeper Ben Dunk top-edged Dirk Nannes towards the fine-leg boundary where Hastings camped under the shot, leapt in the air and tapped it in the field of play. It appeared that he was outside the field of play when he left the ground and hence Dunk was awarded only the one run that he ran.
With regard to the contentious call, on-field umpire Bruce Oxenford admitted it was something the lawmakers needed to review. "It's an anomaly in the laws, but without the fieldsman being grounded, a boundary is not scored," he told AAP. "It's clearly covered that a man can while positioning himself inadvertently cross the line. However, he wouldn't be allowed to come running up the stands and jump off the fence because that would be intentionally leaving the field of play."
Chris Simpson, Queensland's captain, initially protested but accepted the decision later. "The actual rule was different to what we thought and short of that we need to read our rule book a bit closer," he said. "The way our team sees it is: rules are rules. It turned out to be a fantastic piece of fielding."
Chasing 158, Queensland had begun their reply in promising fashion, with openers James Hopes and Dunk providing an ideal platform with a 43-run stand in just over four overs. But their departures, three balls apart - Dunk holing out to Rob Quiney at midwicket and Hopes run out - swung the momentum the other way.
Hastings then dismissed Nathan Reardon for a duck, before taking out Lee Carseldine, thanks to Cameron White's stunning full-length catch at cover. In the space of three overs, Queensland had floundered from 0 for 43 to 4 for 56. Andrew Symonds, making his Big Bash debut, tried a rearguard effort but it was Craig Philipson who steered Queensland back into contention with an unbeaten 33 before rain arrived.
Victoria earlier recovered from an early stumble to post a competitive score in difficult batting conditions. It was the contributions of the two overseas recruits, Bravo and Taylor, that rescued Victoria.
Nathan Rimmington snared Brad Hodge in the second over for a duck, and Ryan Harris got rid off Rob Quiney in the next over, giving Dunk his first catch in first-class cricket. Three balls later, Carseldine took a splendid catch at second slip to pack off David Hussey for zero, leaving the Bushrangers stuttering at 3 for 5.
Taylor had an early reprieve off Rimmington, but together with Cameron White, he steadied the innings, as the fourth-wicket partnership put on 77. Even though Taylor holed out to Symonds at cover after reaching his fifty, Bravo's quickfire 36 off 18 balls, comprising two fours and three sixes, carried them past 150.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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