Victoria v Qld, Ryobi Cup Final, Melbourne February 27, 2013

Harris' late show seals win for Bulls


Queensland 9 for 146 (Floros 47) beat Victoria 144 (Handscomb 42, Harris 4-26, McDermott 3-49) by 2 runs

Ryan Harris conjured a sizzling final over to snatch for Queensland a domestic limited overs final that Victoria seemed to have in their keeping after a night of many fluctuations on a lively MCG surface kept fresh by rain.

Needing five runs from 10 balls with three wickets in hand following a pair of sixes swung by Clint McKay, the Bushrangers lost Will Sheridan without addition but still needed only five from Harris' final over of the match. It was a task he had been saved for while the hosts took advantage of some wayward bowling by Cameron Gannon.

After a pair of singles, Harris whizzed down a lifter that McKay did well to edge and Chris Hartley better still to catch, leaping well off the ground to claim the chance. Next ball Fawad Ahmed pushed apprehensively at a delivery of immaculate line and length and Peter Forrest held another sharp chance at second slip, a cue for jubilant Bulls and disconsolate Bushrangers.

Under the astute yet uncomplicated helmsmanship of the coach Darren Lehmann and the captain James Hopes, the Bulls now hold both the Sheffield Shield and limited overs titles, while the Brisbane Heat carried off the Big Bash League in January. They have shown a knack for finding something extra in tight moments.

In a strong reminder that he will be a more than useful Ashes tourist should his fitness hold up, Harris made a lively start to the innings also, nipping out Aaron Finch while keeping the runs down. Along with James Hopes, Alister McDermott and Gannon, Harris ensured regular wickets always kept the Bulls in the match, until McKay's sixes had threatened to finish it.

Peter Handscomb and Cameron White came closest to establishing a match-winning stand, but the Bushrangers captain succumbed to one of several short balls that leapt threateningly across the evening - symptomatic of a contest in which no batsman passed 50.

Queensland had seemed unlikely winners when the match was stopped for rain after 20.1 overs in the afternoon, a scoreline of 4 for 69 relating how their batsmen struggled on a pitch offering movement and bounce to the seamers.

The delay reduced the match to 32 overs per side, and for some time after the resumption the Bulls did not look like setting any sort of total for Victoria to chase, slipping to 7 for 97 when Ahmed deceived Peter Forrest in the midst of another teasing spell of leg spin.

However Jason Floros summoned his cleanest hitting to capitalise on Victorian errors of length in the closing overs, crashing the first three balls of the final over, bowled by John Hastings, for six, four and six. In all 18 came from that final over, runs that would give Harris just enough room to seal a thrilling victory.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pelham on March 2, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    @malibu77 on (February 27, 2013, 13:14 GMT) and zenboomerang on (March 1, 2013, 7:34 GMT): D/L was used because Queensland's innings was interrupted after they had batted for 20.1 overs. If Queensland had lost fewer than 4 wickets at this point, there would have been an upward adjustment to Victoria's target. If Queensland had lost more than 4 wickets, there would have been a downward adjustment. It just works out that in this case, the adjustment was zero.

  • Roo on March 1, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    An unbelievable match - more twists & turns than a corrupt politician... Really thought the Vic's had the match at the break but it really turned out to be a bowlers pitch & doubt either team would have made it to 50 overs... Qld holding all 3 titles at the same time is not what I dreamed of 2 mths ago - well done boys...

  • Roo on March 1, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    @malibu77... Its pretty simple - the game was reduced to 32 overs each side - who scores the highest wins... "If" the 2nd innings was reduced because of rain, then D/L changes the run rate equation...

  • Dale on March 1, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    And yet QLD remains one of if not the least represented state in the national squad across all 3 formats. So much for the Argus review

  • Dale on March 1, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    @KPWij Siddle bowls with heart yes, but he doesn't take wickets and he offers to many loose balls. He's a handy bowler to have as a fill in for injured players, he is reliable and durable. However we need strike bowlers. Harris is a great strike bowler and he can hold a consistent line and length a lot better than Siddle to apply pressure on the Indian batsmen. His only problem is fitness, Harris is one of the few people in world cricket more injury prone than Shane Watson. But why wouldn't you want a guy averaging 21 in tests in your side if he's 100% fit?

  • Satish on February 28, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    What a awesome final one best I seen in years,last year was no less awesome too.But hope The Queenslanders get the Hat Trick BBL and Ryobi cup in only the Shield to go.Best of Luck fellas.

  • damien on February 28, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    How short are peoples memories? Siddle has been bowling his heart out for the national team for a number of years now, and from experience I can tell you any captain would kill to have a bowler of his type in any side. @jagger I presume you are suggesting that they fly Siddle home and replace him with Harris. Harris is a fantastic grunt bowler but Indian conditions could end his career. He will definitely be in the mix for the upcoming ashes though. I think there might be alot of people who are more qualified to say if Siddle should be in the side or not.

  • KP on February 28, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    Fantastic game of cricket for a rain marred encounter! I am a NSW fan and did take a fair bit of enjoyment seeing the VICS lose another final though being dominant all year. However I did feel very sorry for the likes of Cameron White, Rob Quiney and David Hussey who have had to experience it countless times... In particular David Hussey who should rightly be in India helping the Aussie middle order out and providing a handy spin option, excellent fielder and EXPERIENCE which is what the team is craving for. He is also one of the better players of spin bowling which further astonishes me why he is not in the side. I guess the policy of not thinking about current series and looking to the future applies with this particular selection attitude. Regardless a fantastic one-day final for the domestic game!

  • Adrian on February 28, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    If Harris is test ready, I'd fly him to India for the 2nd test, or 3rd test at worst. I had Bird in for the 2nd test but if Harris is ready, he is a much better bowler and would love to see him there as part of a 4 pronged pace attack, along with Johnson, Starc and Pattinson. What firepower that attack would have!

  • Ben on February 28, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    What a great game to finish off the Ryobi Cup but seriously, can't CA (or whoever schedules these games) try to elevate the game a little bit more and have the final scheduled for a Friday night / weekend instead of treating it like the poor cousin of the T20 series and dismissively scheduling it in the back waters of the working week?!

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