Victoria 7 for 203 (Blizzard 89, Hodge 76) beat South Australia 8 for 169 (Skewes 78, Lehmann 40, Denton 3-26) by 34 runs
Aiden Blizzard marked his Twenty20 debut with a ferocious 38-ball 89 as Victoria began their campaign with a comprehensive 34-run win against South Australia. The Bushrangers' imposing 7 for 203 was built on a second-wicket stand of 140 off 74 balls between Blizzard and Brad Hodge and despite Ken Skewes' 78 the Redbacks' chase fell away as four late wickets fell in four balls.
Victoria raced out of the blocks thanks to the efforts of Blizzard and Hodge after the fifth-ball loss of Jon Moss. Blizzard's fifty arrived off 23 balls and he finished with eight sixes and five fours when he was caught off Nathan Adcock with a memorable century in sight. Hodge, who has had plenty of Twenty20 experience in county cricket, and holds a strike rate of 146, played second fiddle although his 76 took just 51 deliveries.
South Australia couldn't maintain the same early momentum, but a third-wicket stand of 86 between Skewes and Darren Lehmann kept them in the hunt. However, when Lehmann was removed by Cameron White the innings went into a nosedive. In a frenzied four-ball period in the 19th over four batsmen came and went; Daniel Harris was run out off a wide, Adcock heaved into the deep, Graham Manou was caught short coming back for a second and finally Skewes' 56-ball effort ended as he missed a straight one.