Bulls Go Down In Matador Cup Final
ootDr Queensland Bulls’ quest of reclaiming the crown as Australia’s best one-day side has fallen at the last hurdle after suffering a six-wicket loss to the New South Wales Blues in the final of the Matador One-Day Cup at North Sydney Oval.
Asked to bat first in windy conditions, the Bulls got off to a promising start as Usman Khawaja and Jimmy Peirson played aggressive strokes from the outset to take the score to 23 from four overs before the latter fell on five.
Khawaja was then joined in the middle by fellow Test hopeful Joe Burns in what loomed as a crucial partnership for the visitors, however a direct hit saw Burns on his way after chancing his arm on a dicey run.
Burns’ wicket proved to be turning point for the Bulls who went onto lose 5-55 including the key scalps of Khawaja and the in form Marnus Labuschagne, both to the off-spin of Nathan Lyon.
Queensland seemed to have little response to the Australian tweaker who recorded the most economical figures from a Blues bowler in Australian one-day domestic history as he finished with 4-10 from his 10 overs.
Some late hitting from Luke Feldman edged the Bulls towards the competitive total, however 186 was always going to be considered under-par on the small North Sydney Oval.
Michael Neser had his teammates in a frenzy early in the Blues chase as he claimed three wickets to leave the hosts 3-19, with Mitchell Swepson putting himself on the match’s highlights reel with a fantastic overhead catch at third man.
However Swepson’s effort was the final moment of joy for Queensland who were unable to break the key partnership of Kurtis Patterson and Moises Henriques who put on 131-runs to all but secure victory for their side who claimed back-to-back Matador Cup titles.
Bulls batsman Labuschagne was named Player of the Tournament after a break-through few weeks in maroon.
Queensland are next in action against the Blues in the first round of the Sheffield Shield season starting on Tuesday at the Gabba. The day / night game will also act as an important clash in the quest for Australian Test spots with the opening international of the summer just over two weeks away.
— Queensland Cricket (@qldcricket) October 23, 2016