Tasmania 8 for 167 (Birt 54, Naved-ul-Hasan 47) beat Western Australia 150 (Naved-ul-Hasan 3-29) by 17 runs
A phenomenal all-round performance from Naved-ul-Hasan led Tasmania to a remarkable victory over Western Australia in the New Year's first Big Bash clash at Bellerive Oval. The Pakistani veteran's Man-of-the-Match contribution continued the dominance of overseas players in this tournament while keeping Tasmania's hopes of Champions League Twenty20 participation alive.
Early on, however, it was all going Western Australia's way after losing the toss and bowling first. Tasmania slumped to 5 for 74 following two early wickets to Drew Porter and a superb spell from Aaron Heal, who posted figures of 2 for 15 from four overs of very wily left-arm orthodox. But Travis Birt (54) and Naved (47) resurrected proceedings for Tasmania, combining for 74 in 7.2 overs to help post a competitive total of 167.
That score looked well below par given the depth of Western Australia's batting talent, despite the absence of Chris Gayle, and Tasmania were looking in all sorts of trouble when Luke Ronchi and Shaun Marsh took a shining to Brett Geeves and Naved, blasting 40 in the first four overs.
But the key spell of the match came from Brendan Drew who was fuming after being left out of Tasmania's opening encounter. He came on and bowled with genuine pace, first removing Ronchi, before deceiving Luke Pomersbach with a clever slower ball. Adam Voges looked in complete control for his 31 before playing across the line to Krejza to trigger a collapse. Naved returned and fortuitously ran out Mitch Marsh by deflecting a drive onto the stumps.
Naved then showed his class with a mix of slower balls and in-swinging yorkers to claim Porter, Ashley Noffke, and Theo Doropoulos in nine deliveries to finish with 3 for 29. The game finished with a bizarre run out proving it was Naved's night, as he pulled off a direct hit after Knowles hurdled him and then ran on the line of the stumps to try and block his throw.
Tasmania's hopes of a finals berth are still alive while for Western Australia's life has become exceptionally difficult with two straight losses.