Brilliant Hodge hundred puts Victoria in top spot
Victoria moved to the top of the table after Brad Hodge's aggressive century led them to a comfortable seven-wicket success over South Australia
Matthew Elliott made a fine 63, but his innings was overshadowed by Brad Hodge's 115
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Victoria moved to the top of the table after Brad Hodge's aggressive century led them to a comfortable seven-wicket success over South Australia at the MCG. The Bushrangers, who are also first in the Pura Cup, breezed past the Redbacks' 8 for 238 in the 43rd over and Hodge was responsible for most of the damage with a fine 115 from 100 balls.
Hodge, who hit 11 fours, drove strongly throughout his innings on a pitch made for batting and he thumped Dan Cullen for a huge six down the ground as Victoria sped towards the target. Jon Moss opened with 45 and when David Hussey was compiling 22 off 20 they were in sight of a bonus point, but Hodge settled for a dominant performance over the competition's bottom team.
"It's good to get a win and put ourselves in the final," Hodge said after the game. "I think I'm playing the best I've ever played." Hodge's century followed scores of 124 not out and 84 in the Pura Cup win against South Australia on Monday.
While Hodge starred with the bat, he also made an important mark with the ball when he dismissed the dangerous Mark Cosgrove for 33. Shane Harwood was the most productive after collecting two late wickets to record 3 for 33 from eight overs.
Matthew Elliott set up South Australia's total with a useful 63 from 70 balls, but Ben Cameron's plans to join the quick start were upset by a knee injury. He required a runner and limped to 42 from 79 balls before the middle-order batsmen arrived with some healthy contributions.
However, they were unable to push the total closer to 300 as they struggled in the final ten overs. Unless Western Australia and Tasmania can pick up bonus-point wins in their remaining two games the final will be between Queensland and Victoria, who have 26 points.