Hussey ton sets up Victoria win
Victoria 6 for 348 (Hussey 100, Finch 63, Quiney 53, Laughlin 3-68) beat Tasmania 323 (Bailey 74, Cowan 74, Pattinson 4-46, McKay 3-87) by 25 runs
A 77-ball century from David Hussey set Victoria on the path to victory in a high-scoring match against Tasmania at the MCG. Hussey built on a fast start from Aaron Finch and Rob Quiney to push the Bushrangers to 6 for 348 from their 50 overs before George Bailey and Ed Cowan led a gallant chase from Tasmania, who made it to 323 before they were dismissed with two balls to spare.
The Tigers stumbled to 3 for 81 in their chase when Ricky Ponting steered John Hastings to slip, trying to manoeuvre the ball to third man, and it took a wonderful partnership from Cowan and Bailey to get Tasmania back in the match. Victoria didn't help their cause by missing chances off both batsmen: Cowan was dropped by the wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb on 0 and Bailey had a life on 13 when he skied Andrew McDonald and mid-on and mid-off, Hastings and Clint McKay, converged only for neither to attempt a catch.
After that, Cowan and Bailey both settled in for counter-attacking innings, finding the boundaries with enough regularity to keep Tasmania in the contest. Their 145-run stand ended when Bailey was caught behind off Darren Pattinson for 74 and Cowan also fell for 74 when he dragged the ball back on to his stumps off Pattinson, who finished with 4 for 46.
Realistically, that was the end of Tasmania's victory dreams and Victoria could breathe a sigh of relief that Hussey's fine hundred would not go in vain. The Bushrangers had made an outstanding start as Quiney and Finch both scored at a run a ball and their 101-run opening stand was their second consecutive century partnership of the tournament.
Quiney fell for 53 and Finch made 64, but the runs kept coming for Victoria as Glenn Maxwell, promoted to No.3 to keep up the momentum, slashed 42 from 44 balls. But it was the No.4, Hussey, who really did the damage, striking four sixes and seven fours in his century, his first one-day domestic hundred at the MCG.
Hussey struck the ball cleanly and finally departed when he holed out to long on for 100 off the bowling of Ben Laughlin, who took 3 for 68. The win took Victoria six points clear on top of the Ryobi Cup table, although they have played at least one more match than every other side.