Tasmania to play Vic in Twenty20 final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tasmania to play Vic in Twenty20 final

By Greg Buckle 11/01/2007 05:48:39 AM Comments (0)

Michael Dighton blasted an Australian Twenty20 record score of 111 on Wednesday night to put Tasmania into Saturday's final, but all he could talk about was the thrill of playing against NSW tailender and rugby league star Andrew Johns.

Dighton's brilliant hundred guided the visiting side to a formidable total of 7-202 from its 20 overs and a brave knock of 48 from NSW captain Simon Katich could not save the Blues from four losses in as many matches, falling 37 runs short with 165 in 19.5 overs.

The victory allowed Tasmania to qualify in second spot and earn a place in the interstate final against Victoria at the MCG.

But the 18,464 fans at Telstra Stadium went away satisfied after seeing former Australia rugby league Test halfback Johns cut and drive his way to an entertaining nine runs from 10 balls.

"It was fantastic to see him out there. I really thought that it brought a new dimension to the game and I'm all for that sort of thing," Dighton said.

"Congratulations to the New South Wales Cricket Association for doing it. It's something that I'll be able to tell my grandkids that I played a game against him.

"I've never seen a guy with a bigger smile on his face after scoring one run. It was just unbelievable. A huge grin.

"We have a couple of guys who are from New South Wales so a couple of the guys were a bit in awe of him I guess."

The highlight of Johns' innings was an upper-cut over slips to a bouncer from fired-up paceman Ben Hlifenhaus, who had taken 2-16 on Tuesday night in his Twenty20 International debut for Australia against England.

In reaching nine from 10 balls after coming in at seven for 133, Johns outscored six of England's batsmen from Tuesday's game.

It was a big improvement on his unbeaten zero in Sunday's loss to South Australia in Newcastle, but Johns was careful not to claim any personal victory over the rising star of Australia's fast bowling ranks.

"It's frightening. You don't know where the ball's going," Johns said.

"I watched him (Hilfenhaus) last night. I was blown away by how well he went last night.

"I wasn't too happy to see him out there.

"Look it's something you'll say - you've faced a bowler of his standing. I'm sure he's got a great future in the game.

"But he looked after me too. He pitched them up and then he told me when he was going to put them in short, so I pretty much knew where they were going.

"The boys were asking is it a different feeling to tackling a Gorden Tallis or a Shane Webcke.

"I've done that all my life so I'm comfortable doing that and it's second nature to me. Whereas that out there is outside your comfort zone and you really don't know what to do.

"That's why it was such a rush.

"I was more nervous out there tonight than I have been for the last five years playing a rugby league game."

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