Dighton century blasts Tasmania into final

Tasmania 7 for 202 (Dighton 111) beat New South Wales 165 (Katich 48, Marsh 3-18) by 37 runs

A 52-ball century from Michael Dighton buried New South Wales and earned Tasmania a place in the final as the Blues fell 37 runs short of the target. The Tigers will travel to Melbourne to play Victoria for the KFC Twenty20 title after Dighton pushed his side to 7 for 202 with one of the most impressive innings in the competition's short history.

He finished with 111 from 56 deliveries but only struck five sixes, scoring more through his 13 fours. Dighton used his feet to Aaron O'Brien, the left-arm spinner, repeatedly driving him in the air through cover. O'Brien's four overs cost 55 and Dighton also took a liking to Dominic Thornely, whose four overs of medium pace were taken for 53. Dighton scored heavily through the midwicket to long on region and was eventually caught in the outfield.

George Bailey continued his strong form, posting an unbeaten 40 from 19 balls and Dan Marsh's 30 helped the Tigers break the 200 barrier. Early wickets cost New South Wales, with Brendan Drew and Ben Hilfenhaus, fresh from his Twenty20 international debut, proving difficult to put away. Simon Katich gave his side a vague chance with 48 from 26 but he became one of Marsh's three victims.

Later in the chase, all eyes were on Andrew Johns, the rugby league player, who came in at No. 9 and successfully pushed singles to roars of approval from the Sydney crowd, before he was caught at backward point for 9.

NSW 2nd innings Partnerships

1st23EJM CowanPA Jaques
2nd1PA JaquesDA Warner
3rd20DLR SmithDA Warner
4th31SM KatichDLR Smith
5th54SM KatichDT Christian
6th4SM KatichDJ Thornely
7th0DJ ThornelyAW O'Brien
8th20AW O'BrienAG Johns
9th10AW O'BrienSJ Coyte
10th2AW O'BrienTE Lang