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The Central Districts Stags won the toss and How elected to bat first on a pitch that looked good for some runs. After getting bowled out for 94 against the Chennai Super Kings in their first game, the Stags were desperate to get off to a better start. However, their luck appeared unlikely to change early on as they lost two wickets in the very first over courtesy some splendid pace bowling from Peter Siddle, who made a comeback to the Bushrangers' side after missing the opening game. The Stags decided to buckle down and ensure there was not to be a repeat performance from game 1. As a result the run rate suffered and the Kiwi side only managed to score 48 runs in the first 10 over. They also lost the wicket of Matthew Sinclair (14) to John Hastings.
Jamie How came to the rescue and he was well assisted by 21-year old allrounder George Worker as the pair added 53 runs for the 4th wicket. How really got going after he scored his half century and hammered five consecutive boundaries in the 18th over off the bowling of John Hastings to push his side to a total of 165, which at one point seemed like an impossible feat. Worker ended with a solid 29 and the innings got a final push from Brendon Diamanti who chipped in with 19 from 11 balls. Peter Siddle was the stand out bowler with those two early wickets, while Clint Mckay chipped in with 3 useful overs for just 15 runs.
Victoria Bushrangers got their bowling right in the first ten overs but let it slip in the second set of ten. The Bushrangers at the half way mark of the game seemed a little upset about the flow of runs towards the end of the innings, however, still looked confident to chase it down.
Aaron Finch and Rob Quiney opened the innings for Victoria as Brad Hodge missed the game due to an illness. Finch paced his innings to perfection and looked comfortable batting in the middle as he got the boundaries flowing early on and nudged the ball into the gaps for some quick singles. Wickets fell around Finch but the opener kept his cool and batted in a way that would have done Hodge proud.
Finch and Quiney put together 40 runs in just 4.4 overs before Seth Rance removed the 28-year old opener for 15, caught at short fine leg. Wicketkeeper batsman Matthew Wade replaced the left-hander, but failed to make much of an impression, scoring just 9 before being run-out. Skipper David Hussey joined the electric Finch out in the middle and the pair added 51 runs for the third wicket in 41 balls. Hussey (18) fell with the score on an even 100 caught behind off Doug Bracewell. Victoria still had 66 to get from 39 balls at that stage, and it was anybody's game.
The Bushrangers might have been a little nervous heading into the home stretch with 25 runs needed off the last two overs, however, Finch hit the first ball of the 19th over for 6 to bring the target down to 19 from 11. Michael Mason recovered well to concede just 7 from the next 5 deliveries and almost had Andrew McDonald caught off the last ball of the over. The Bushrangers needed 12 runs from the final over but the gods appeared to be Australian today as Finch edged the first ball to the third man boundary for 4. While there might have been a glimpse of fortune about that shot, his match winning shot for 6 was truly brutal as Finch cleared his front leg and heaved the ball into the stands at long on to clinch an exciting victory for the Bushrangers.
This win puts the Bushrangers back in the race for the semi finals after their initial glitch against the Warriors. They play the Chennai Super Kings at Port Elizabeth in the late evening game on Saturday. For the Central Stags though, it looks to be a bit of a long shot from here as they have recorded consecutive losses and continue to hug the bottom of the table. Up next are the local boys the Chevrolet Warriors, also on Saturday.
Central Districts: Peter Ingram, Jamie How, Matthew Sinclair, George Worker, Tim Weston, Kieran Noema-Barnett, Brendon Diamanti, Brad Patton, Doug Bracewell, Seth Rance, Micheal Mason
Victoria Bushrangers: Rob Quiney, Aaron Finch, David Hussey, Matthew Wade, Andrew McDonald, John Hastings, Clint McKay, Ryan Carters, Dirk Nannes, Peter Siddle, Bryce Mc Gain
Central Districts Â 165 / 5 (20 overs, 8.25rpo)
Jamie How 77 * ( 55 ) Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Peter Siddle - 2/30
George Worker 29 ( 25 ) Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Clint McKay - 1/15
Victoria Bushrangers 166 / 3 (19.4 overs, 8.44rpo)
Aaron Finch 93* ( 60 ) Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Seth Rance - 1/30
Andrew McDonald 18* ( 17 ) Â Â Â Â Â Doug Bracewell - 1/3
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