x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Bushrangers make T20 progress despite defeat

The Victoria side reach the second round of the Champions League Twenty20 at the expense of Wayamba, who needed a high-scoring victory.

Victoria Bushrangers progressed to the second round of the Champions League despite slipping to a 15-run defeat against Wayamba in their final group match in Delhi. Wayamba needed a big victory to edge out Victoria on net run-rate and join the Delhi Daredevils in the second round, but they faced an uphill task at the halfway stage after scoring only 118 for nine. Michael Vandort (42) and Jeevantha Kulatunga (41) had given the Sri Lankan side a decent start, but their dismissals sparked a collapse. Wayamba needed to restrict Victoria to 83 or less and stayed on track for much of the match, but a stubborn 44 from Brad Hodge and a cameo from Andrew McDonald (27) helped get Victoria past the qualifying mark, despite finishing with only 103 for four from their 20 overs.

Victoria paceman Peter Siddle had claimed an early breakthrough, trapping opener Mahela Udawatte in front with the last ball of his first over. Wayamba's innings struggled for momentum, with Siddle and Shane Harwood striking an accurate line and keeping the scoring to a trickle. Kulatunga and Vandort revived the innings although their intent to make the most of fielding restrictions in the first six overs almost cost both batsmen. Even so, the power play yielded a meagre 16 runs and Wayamba were in desperate need of an injection of quick-fire runs, Kulatunga and Vandort put on 81 for the second wicket, but Clint McKay removed both batsman in his final over and Wayamba fell apart thereafter.

Harwood, who conceded seven from his first two overs, destroyed the middle-order, snaring the captain Jehan Mubarak ? the only other batsman to reach double figures ? and Kaushal Lokuarachchi in his third over and later returned to scalp the big-hitting Farveez Maharoof. McDonald chipped in with the wickets of Mahela Jayawardene and Thissara Perera and Victoria were eventually left needing less than a run a ball for victory. Fast bowler Chanaka Welegedara began Wayamba's defence in style, latching on to a difficult return catch in spectacular style to send back opener Rob Quiney and later snared Aiden Blizzard. Wayamba's bowlers continued to restrict runs, but were a touch unlucky as Rangana Herath spilt a difficult chance from Hodge and stand-in wicketkeeper Jayawardene missed a stumping chance off David Hussey.

Victoria managed only 38 from 10 overs and Wayamba sniffed a chance when Hussey and Cameron White were dismissed cheaply. Hodge held up one end, but it was McDonald who relieved the pressure, clubbing leg-spinner Lokuarachchi for three boundaries and a six to help his team past the qualifying mark. * PA Sport