Victoria 4 for 179 (Wade 41, Hodge 40) beat New South Wales 6 for 178 (Warner 40, Bravo 3-32) by six wickets
West Indian allrounder Dwayne Bravo's extraordinary cameo helped Victoria pull off a stunning come-from-behind victory against New South Wales in front of 28,052 people at the MCG.
The Bushrangers seemed dead and buried in their run chase, needing 47 to win off 21 balls, before David Hussey launched Aaron Bird for consecutive straight sixes and a boundary through backward point to give them a chance. But Hussey's exit, for 38 from 16 balls, to a freakish one-handed catch on the long-off boundary by Steven Smith, meant Victoria still needed 26 from 15.
Moises Henriques bravely turned to Bird again for the 19th over, having conceded 19 in his previous effort, and the decision looked a good one as Andrew McDonald and Bravo could only muster four runs from the first four balls. But the fifth, Bravo's fourth of his innings, with Victoria still needing 18, was a half-volley that was launched magnificently over the sightscreen with typical Caribbean flair. Bravo then square drove a wide half-volley for four to reduce the equation to eight off the last over and inflate Bird's figures to 1 for 53 from four overs.
Dwayne Smith allowed a single to McDonald to ensure the rivalry between New South Wales and Victoria would be decided by two West Indians. Smith, a Barbadian, delivered a perfect yorker, the equation now seven off four. But the Trinidadian, Bravo, prevailed by swinging the next ball over the midwicket boundary to all but end an extraordinary game of cricket.
Earlier New South Wales had got off to yet another electrifying start after having won the toss and batted. David Warner lit up the MCG with some brutal power hitting during his 20-ball 40. But it was Bravo who showed his supreme all-round talents to stop the Blues in their tracks. He took 3 for 32 from four overs and in the end claimed Man-of-the-Match honours.
Hussey took the vital wickets of Phil Jaques (33) and Dominic Thornely (1) at a cost of just 16 to curtail the Blues progress. Steven Smith (35 not out) and Dwayne Smith (25) batted well to help the Blues recover to 6 for 178, before both bowled and fielded superbly to help grind Victoria's run chase to a halt following a terrific start by Matthew Wade (41) and Brad Hodge (40).
But in the end it was Bravo who earned the plaudits, and Victoria who claimed the points to remain undefeated in this year's Big Bash.