Vic beats Tas to defend Twenty20 title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Vic beats Tas to defend Twenty20 title

By Sam Lienert 13/01/2007 10:57:03 PM Comments (0)

Victoria remains the only state to have won the domestic Twenty20 competition after claiming it for the second time with victory over Tasmania in the final at the MCG.

Victoria won by 10 runs in front of a crowd of about 30,000 to remain undefeated through two seasons of the Twenty20 format.

Paceman Mick Lewis was the star for the Bushrangers, taking four middle-order wickets to restrict the Tigers to 8-150 in reply to what had looked like being a sub-par total of 6-160.

The Tasmanian run-chase was in early trouble, with openers Michael Dighton and Michael Di Venuto falling in the third and fourth overs respectively to have their side at 2-25.

A third-wicket partnership of 45 in 31 balls between top-scorer Dane Anderson (40 from 30 balls) and Daniel Marsh lifted the Tigers to 3-69 in the ninth over.

By the halfway point of the innings, Anderson and George Bailey had lifted the score to 3-89 and Tasmania appeared in control, needing 72 from the remaining 10 overs.

But Lewis, who had dismissed Marsh in the ninth over, then swung the game Victoria's way with two wickets in two balls in the 11th over.

He had Bailey caught at short mid-wicket with the second ball of the over, then Adam Polkinghorne top-edged a cut shot straight to third man to be out for a first-ball duck.

New batsman Tim Paine almost became the final victim in a Lewis hat-trick, with the first delivery he faced passing the edge of his bat.

From that point, the Bushrangers were able to tighten the pressure on the Tasmanian batsmen.

The Tigers still had a slim chance when they needed 30 runs off the final two overs, with three wickets in hand.

But Lewis, bowling the penultimate over of the match, kept Tasmania to 12 runs from the over and claimed the scalp of wicketkeeper Paine (25 off 27 balls) with his final ball.

It ended any Tasmanian hope and gave Lewis figures of 4-34.

Earlier, Victorian wicketkeeper Adam Crosthwaite rescued Victoria from deep trouble with an unbeaten 52 in 31 balls at the tail of his side's innings to provide the Bushrangers with a competitive total.

They had made a disastrous start to their innings to fall to 6-92 in the 14th over, before a salvage mission from Crosthwaite and all-rounder Jon Moss, who put on an unbeaten 68-run stand in the final six overs.

Victorian captain Brad Hodge said he had always believed Tasmania would find it difficult chasing down even a modest total under the pressure of a final.

"I always thought we were on top of the game after our first six overs of bowling," Hodge said.

"Once you're chasing 8.5, 9 an over, it's always difficult to maintain that.

"If you're losing wickets consistently you can never quite catch it up, so when you bowl one good ball all of a sudden (the required run-rate) goes up, it just keeps creeping up and up.

"That's the great thing about the game, even when you're on top batting it can change so dramatically and I think that's the benefit of batting first." Tasmanian captain Daniel Marsh said the Tigers should have been able to chase down 160, which he said was a "below-par" score, but they needed one batsman to have a big innings.

"Chasing it at the MCG against Victoria in front of 30,000 people, it was always going to be tough, eight an over is still a tough ask, but we probably should have got there," Marsh said.

He said the pressure of the occasion might have affected his team.

"A lot of them it's probably their first final they've played in, so it may have," he said.

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