Bracken rips through Bulls - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bracken rips through Bulls

By Will Swanton 04/03/2004 06:34:14 PM Comments (0)

Australia's loss has been New South Wales' gain.

Nathan Bracken, unwanted by Test selectors for the tour of Sri Lanka, ripped through Queensland's middle order on day one of the Pura Cup match at the SCG, taking 3-1 in 24 balls including the prized scalp of Martin Love, to keep the Blues' title defence alive.

But the patched-up Bulls, forced to rush Damien McKenzie onto a flight from Brisbane to Sydney when Ashley Noffke was a late withdrawal with an ankle injury, refused to surrender completely, reaching 6-282 at stumps as Aaron Nye made an unbeaten 59 on debut.

Bracken was untouchable after tea.

It must have been something he ate.

Starting the final session with Queensland travelling relatively comfortably on 3-181, the tall left-arm paceman claimed the vitally important wicket of Love for 52, trapped James Hopes lbw for eight and had Chris Hartley caught by Michael Clarke at third slip for a duck as the Bulls staggered to 6-202.

Hundreds of school children on hand to watch Steve and Mark Waugh's last game at the SCG had just gone home. They contributed to a crowd of 2,409 - about 2,000 more than normal for a day at the Pura Cup.

Steve Waugh bowled the last over as the crowd in the Noble Stand sang 'For He's A Jolly Good Fellow'.

Bracken's burst, combined with Matthew Nicholson getting rid of the prolific Stuart Law for 10 and Glenn McGrath's miserly effort of 0-26 from 17 overs, gave the Blues every chance to pull off the outright win either side requires to sneak into the Pura Cup final.

To get there, NSW or the Bulls also need Tasmania to go point-less against Victoria in Hobart.

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