Queensland 5 for 274 (Maher 108, Perren 75) beat Victoria 9 for 253 (McDonald 65*, Hussey 62, Nye 3-55) by 21 runs
A century to Jimmy Maher and some excellent bowling by Aaron Nye earned Queensland their first one-day title since 1997-98. Maher starred with 108 as the Bulls set Victoria 275, a target that proved out of their reach despite the best efforts of David Hussey and Andrew McDonald.
Nye took 3 for 55 as he removed three of the most dangerous Victorians - Cameron White, Hussey and Adam Crosthwaite - and the loss of regular wickets kept Queensland on top. When Hussey drove Nye into the hands of Maher at cover the home side needed 75 from 49 balls. McDonald ran out of puff and almost of partners, finishing unbeaten on 65.
Victoria's inability to break through for a long stretch during the Queensland innings was costly as Maher and Clinton Perren added 161 for the second wicket. Maher capitalised on an apparent lack of urgency from the Bushrangers in the field, comfortably pushing 32 singles in his half-century before lifting the tempo slightly and ending up with 108 from 133 balls.
In contrast, the Bulls kept the pressure on Victoria during the chase and there was too much to do in the final ten overs, when the Bushrangers lost 5 for 66. Hussey held Victoria's hopes, launching four sixes during his 62 as he and McDonald built an 82-run stand.
The pair came together after White, who in the past fortnight has become accustomed to the small grounds in New Zealand, tried to blast Nye out of the MCG only to be caught on the midwicket boundary by Craig Philipson. Good bowling by the Bulls' frontline attack had set up the success, with Michael Klinger, Jon Moss and Rob Quiney all failing to go on and slipping in the twenties.
The Bushrangers lacked a substantial partnership like that between Maher and Perren. Maher saved his first limited-overs century this season for the most important game, after a week in which he slammed Cricket Australia for not allowing World Cup squad members to play. Maher took on himself the task of setting up the win and after his steady start built his confidence and aggression.
He hammered McDonald over midwicket for his only six just before raising his hundred from 129 deliveries. A perfectly-judged catch on the long-on boundary by Klinger - he set himself early with his foot rested just centimetres from the rope - ended Maher's stay on 108.
Victoria's inability to take their chances in the field gave Perren some assistance as he compiled an impressive 75. He should have been run out by Shane Harwood for 49 when Maher dropped the ball at his feet but did not run and Perren was stranded halfway down the pitch. Harwood's turn and throw missed, and it was one of a series of failed run-out chances the Bushrangers had.
Perren was more comfortable hitting in the air than his partner and his 92-ball innings included a hammered drive for six over the bowler McDonald's head and a flick over midwicket for six from White.
The win ended Queensland's limited-overs drought of nearly ten years, during which time they had lost four finals. It also continued the trend of away teams winning the one-day final as no home side has won the competition in seven seasons.