Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Birt and Bailey lead Tasmania to tight victory

Tasmania 5 for 247 (Birt 71, Bailey 71*) beat Queensland 6 for 246 (Perren 106*) by five wickets

Travis Birt and George Bailey scored timely half-centuries that helped Tasmania prevail in a tense finish against Queensland in their Ford Ranger Cup match at the Bellerive Oval. Clinton Perren's 106 shepherded Queensland to 6 for 246 but Bailey's unbeaten 71 clinched victory for Tasmania with three balls to spare.

Tasmania's chase got off to a slow start and they stood at an uneasy 3 for 94 after 25.1 overs when Dane Anderson was dismissed for 22. The asking-rate had climbed to nearly seven an over when Birt and Bailey began the recovery. Together they added 125 for the fourth wicket - breaking the Tasmanian record of 121, set by Dan Marsh and Michael Dighton in 2004, and equalled by Marsh and Michael Bevan in 2004-05. Moreover, they manged to score at a fast pace to bring the chase back on track.

The partnership was finally broken when Birt - who was declared Man of the Match for his 66-ball 71 - was bowled by Chris Simpson with Tasmania needing 28 off 36 balls. However, Marsh chipped in with a run-a-ball 15 and Bailey remained steadfast to see Tasmania home.

Queensland's batsmen, barring Perren, struggled to build momentum after Jimmy Maher opted to bat. Maher fell for 12 and Matthew Hayden became Ben Hilfenhaus's first wicket when he edged to Michael Di Venuto on 11. They lost their first three for 33 inside ten overs and it was left to Perren, who scored his second domestic one-day century, and Craig Philipson to steady the innings with a 114-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Hilfenhaus bowled a sterling spell of 3 for 30 from his ten overs and helped restrict Queensland. The target proved insufficient as Tasmania avenged their defeat at Brisbane last month.