Victoria and NSW have recorded victories with tense run-chases in the interstate one-day cricket competition in Brisbane.
Four one-day matches, four teams, two venues, 57 wickets, and finally a centurion.
An ailing Cameron White was forced to overcome a nasty bout of cramp at the Gabba on Monday night to lead Victoria to a record domestic run-chase at the Gabba.
In a dramatic finish against South Australia, White defied pain in both legs that almost brought him to a standstill – on the ground and the scoreboard – before a final flourish got his side over the line for a four-wicket win.
Two boundaries in successive Johan Botha deliveries in the 49th over also got him to three-figures, the first century in this season’s abbreviated one-day tournament.
Eight previous batsmen had notched 50s but failed to go one with the job, including teammates Rob Quiney (63) and David Hussey (65) who both looked well set before hitting return catches.
Hussey’s demise after a 91-run stand sparked a mini-collapse that put the Redbacks back into the game, especially when White cramped up and could barely amble between the wickets.
“When Huss got out it I went from good to really bad very quickly,” White said. “But big John Hastings (23 off 18) came in and took the pressure off me there and I could get through.”
Hastings also played a crucial role with the ball for the Bushrangers, taking 3-37 and capturing top-scorer Alex Ross (65), who also looked headed for three figures.
Meantime, NSW (8) leapfrogged defending champions Queensland (6) at the top of the table after the Blues dug deep to overcome their own batting wobbles for a second straight four-wicket win at Allan Border Field.
Lanky paceman Josh Hazlewood, coming off a seven-wicket haul against South Australia, continued his good form by taking 3-47 as the Bulls were dismissed for a paltry 190 on the tiny ground.
The disappointing Bulls batsmen only lasted 42.3 overs as their innings fell apart with a 5-33 collapse after Nathan Reardon (45) and James Hopes (39) steadied the ship.
The Blues also slumped to 5-96 when spinner Jason Floros (2-32) dismissed opener Peter Nevill but Ben Rohrer (52) and Ryan Carters (41 not out) combined for a 91-run partnership that steered them home in the 48th over.
“The wicket was a lot better than what the scoreboard wicket made it look,” said Rohrer.
Hazlewood was well supported by Gurinder Sandhu (3-37) and Moises Henriques (3-28).
Western Australia and Tasmania join the competition on Wednesday when they play South Australia and Victoria respectively.