Brilliant NSW Blues cruise into title round

Cricket: Champions League: Bushrangers outclassed by 79 runs in all-Aussie clash

Brilliant NSW Blues cruise into title round


On the charge: New South Wales Blues’ Brett Lee celebrates after dismissing Victoria Bushrangers’ Aiden Blizzard during the Champions League semifinal in New Delhi. PTI

This was a match which was decided in the first six overs of either innings, won both by NSW. Batting first, NSW raced to 44 for no loss in their power play, stunning start considering the slow nature of the pitch at the Feroze Shah Kotla. After setting a daunting 170 for victory, NSW bowlers reduced the Victorians to 17 for three at the end of six overs. From here on it was a mere formality before Victoria finished at a disappointing 90 for nine in 20 overs.

Needing a little over 8.5 runs per over for victory, Victoria suffered twin setbacks as early as in the second over. Offie Nathan Hauritz, sharing the new ball with Brett Lee, cleaned up opener Rob Quiney with a sharp turner which the left-hander tried to flick moving towards off and missing the line completely. Hauritz then trapped Brad Hodge with an off-spinner which the batsman tried to cut but was beaten by the prodigious turn. Lee, bowling as quick as he ever has, accounted for Aiden Blizzard, caught at mid-on by Simon Katich. Victoria’s last hopes rested on David Hussey and skipper Cemron White, but when Moises Henriques got rid of the former, it was all over for them. Victoria needed a Keiron Pollard to bail them out of the situation, but to their misfortune no one rose to the occasion.

It was a totally different scenario when NSW batted by choice. The pre-match talk of pitch being slow and low appeared no more than a false alarm as David Warner batted in full fury. After being hit by a Peter Siddle’s false-bouncer on the shoulder, Warner took the paceman to the cleaners with the kind of stroke-play that has made him one of dangerous batsmen going around. Hitting the ball cleanly through the line, the little-built left-hander collected 19 runs in Siddle’s second over -- in all took 25 off right-armer’s 10 balls -- as runs flowed thick and fast.

Warner along with his fellow left-handed and quieter opener Philip Hughes had raised 62 runs off just 41 balls when he committed hara-kiri going for a non-existent single.
Hughes, who had allowed Warner to do all the hitting, then took charge scoring his last 20 runs from a mere seven balls before he was bowled by a slower one by Clint McKay. There was, however, no respite for the Victorian bowlers. Katich (26, 18b, 2x4, 2x6) played a little cameo as did a promoted Daniel Smith and NSW were inching towards a huge total.

Victoria did manage to put some brakes towards the end as the last five overs saw only two fours being scored by Ben Rohrer, but the top-order had done enough for NSW to see the day through comfortably.

SCORE BOARD

NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES: Philip Hughes b McKay 35 (28b, 4x4, 1x6), David Warner (run out) 48 (25b, 7x4, 2x6), Daniel Smith b McKay 20 (19b, 3x4), Simon Katich (run out) 26 (18b, 2x4, 1x6), Moises Henriques b Harwood 12 (13b), Ben Rohrer c Quiney b McKay 19 (11b, 2x4), Steven Smith c White b McKay 2 (4b), Brett Lee (not out) 0 (1b), Nathan Hauritz (not out) 1 (1b). Extras (B-3, LB-3) 6. Total (for 7 wkts, 20 overs) 169.
Fall of wickets: 1-62 (Warner), 2-90 (Hughes), 3-121 (D Smith), 4-134 (Katich), 5-158 (Henriques), 6-163 (S Smith), 7-167 (Rohrer).  

Bowling: Shane Harwood 4-0-23-1, Peter Siddle 4-0-43-0, Clint McKay 4-0-27-3, Brad Hodge 1-0-10-0, Jon Holland 3-0-34-0, Andrew McDonald 4-0-26-1.  

Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 56/0.

VICORIA BUSHRANGERS: Robert Quiney b Hauritz 0 (5b), Brad Hodge lbw Hauritz 0 (5b), Aiden Blizzard c Katich b Lee 5 (6b, 1x4), David Hussey c Katich b Henriques 16 (17b, 1x6), Cameron White c S Smith b Henriques 11 (23b, 1x4), Andrew McDonald b Doug Bollinger 9 (17b), Mathew Wade (not out) 23 (29b, 1x4), Clint McKay c Katich b Henriques 8 (6b, 1x4), Shane Harwood st Daniel Smith b Steven Smith 10 (8b, 1x4), Jon Holland b Lee 0 (2b), Peter Siddle (not out) 1 (2b). Extras (LB-4, W-3) 7. Total (for 9 wkts, 20 overs) 90.

 Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Quiney), 2-2 (Hodge), 3-6 (Blizzard), 4-32 (Hussey), 5-39 (White), 6-54 (McDonald), 7-68 (McKay), 8-87 (Harwood), 9-88 (Holland).

Bowling: Breet Lee 4-1-15-2, Nathan Hauritz 4-0-25-2 (w-1), Doug Bollinger 4-0-14-1 (w-2), Stuart Clark 4-0-17-0, Moises Henriques 3-0-11-3, Steven Smith 1-0-4-1.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 17/3.

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