Victoria search for big win against Wayamba
Match factsMonday, September 20
Start time 1730 (1530 GMT)
David Hussey's Super Over pyrotechnics have spiced up the race for the semi-finals in Group A, one that would have been decided had Chennai Super Kings beaten Victoria Bushrangers on Saturday. That result has offered a ray of hope for laggards Wayamba, who've belied expectations thus far. Mahela Jayawardene and Jehan Mubarak, their experienced top-order batsmen, have failed to fire, while their bowling, including Ajantha Mendis and Chanaka Welegedara, was torn apart in a dispiriting defeat against Chennai. Another flop will knock them out of the tournament.
Victoria bounced back from their opening defeat with some fiery batting up front led by Aaron Finch, and good support in the bowling line-up, to the opening seamers Peter Siddle and Dirk Nannes. Their two consecutive wins, however, have both gone into the final over. In what is effectively a must-win encounter, they will want a big margin of victory on Monday given their net run-rate of -0.407, behind table leaders Warriors and Chennai. If they do that, they'll remain in the hunt but with their fate at the mercy of other results in the group.
Team newsBrad Hodge returned to the line-up for the game against Chennai while Rob Quiney slipped down the order. Injuries notwithstanding, Victoria could retain the same XI.
Victoria: 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Brad Hodge, 3 Matthew Wade (wk), 4 David Hussey (capt), 5 Andrew McDonald, 6 Rob Quiney, 7 John Hastings, 8 Clint McKay, 9 Peter Siddle, 10 Dirk Nannes, 11 Bryce McGain.
There were problems aplenty for Wayamba against Chennai. Welegedara was smashed for 47 in four overs while Mendis went wicketless for 45. The allrounder Farveez Maharoof missed that game with injury and, if he recovers, will be a boost in both departments.
Wayamba: 1 Mahela Jayawardene, 2 Jeevantha Kulatunga, 3 Jehan Mubarak (capt), 4 Kushal Perera (wk), 5 Farveez Maharoof, 6 Thissara Perera, 7 Shalika Karunanayake, 8 Isuru Udana, 9 Rangana Herath, 10 Ajantha Mendis, Chanaka Welegedara.
Watch out for ...Watching Isuru Udana bowl sometimes makes one think if he is a spinner with a longish run-up. Such is his preference for the slower ball. But he's been very effective, with 25 wickets in 16 games at 15.32 for his team. Far less sparing in his use of variation than most other seamers, Udana's skill will be tested against an explosive Victorian opening pair.
John Hastings mixes it up well when bowling and was Victoria's best bowler against Chennai, picking up 2 for 22 in four overs. He's been quite successful in the domestic arena, finishing the 2009-10 season as Victoria's highest wicket-taker in the three competitions including the KFC Big Bash. His career economy rate of 7.76 is slightly on the higher side, something he'll want to address given how heavily Victoria rely on their support seamers for containment.
Victoria batsmen v Wayamba spinners: Against Chennai, Hussey and Finch picked R Ashwin's variations well and targeted him for harsh treatment. The rest of the line-up, however, floundered against Muttiah Muralitharan and Suresh Raina. Like Ashwin, Ajantha Mendis has a deceptive carrom ball, but is coming into the match after a thrashing at the hands of Chennai's batsmen, a game in which Rangana Herath fared marginally better. Given Victoria's mixed show against Chennai, their tussle with Wayamba's under-fire spinners could be filled with intrigue.
Stats and trivia
- The Chennai-Victoria game was the 32nd tie in seven years of Twenty20 cricket and the second in the Champions League's history.
- Dirk Nannes has picked up 59 wickets in Twenty20 games this year, second in the list behind Kieron Pollard who is on 60
Siddhartha Talya is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo