Queensland prevail despite Geeves hat-trick
Queensland 153 (Hopes 50, Geeves 4-30) beat Tasmania 9 for 144 (Paine 39, Hopes 3-33) by 9 runs
Queensland opened their Big Bash account with a 9-run win over Tasmania in a dramatic encounter at the Gabba. The hosts got off to a solid start thanks to James Hopes (50 off 31 balls) and Lee Carseldine (25 off 17), to reach 3 for 101 in 12 overs. The game exploded in the next over with Brett Geeves taking a hat-trick - the second in Big Bash history - to destroy the Bulls middle order.
Geeves had started poorly, conceding 17 runs in his first over to Hopes' aggressive intent, but redeemed himself in his third, dismissing Craig Philipson for 14 before bouncing out Andrew Symonds and Ryan Harris off successive deliveries. His short ball continued to work wonders, accounting for Chris Simpson in his next over and very nearly Glen Batticciotto the following ball, umpire Paul Reiffel denying him a rare five-for.
Tim Paine (39 off 20 balls) blasted the Tigers to a good start in reply, before a controversial run-out swung the momentum toward the hosts. Paine set off for a single on bowler Ben Cutting's misfield when Carseldine swooped in and landed on the stumps with the ball in hand at the non-striker's end. He appeared to break the stumps with his shoulder but the third umpire adjudged it legal and, much to Paine's surprise, he was sent packing.
A middle-order fightback from the returning Michael Dighton and debutant John Rogers was halted with the score on 107 - the Tigers losing two wickets in as many balls to be on the back foot once again. In an unusual coincidence, Geeves faced the team hat-trick ball from Harris - who'd been the third victim in his hat-trick earlier in the day. He survived it and was forced to face another hat-trick ball after Man of the Match Hopes took two in two with the score on 116.
The guile and accuracy of Harris (2 for 26), Hopes (3 for 33) and Simpson proved too much for the visitors, and they eventually fell short of what seemed an attainable target of 154. The game reinforced that quick wickets are the most effective way to reduce the run-rate. The result means four sides are tied on one win apiece with two rounds remaining.