Vics knock off Bulls in tight finish

DEFENDING Ryobi Cup One-Day champions Victoria claimed their third consecutive win to keep their title hopes alive following a 12-run victory over Queensland.

Victoria won the toss and were held to a modest total of 237 in 48.4 overs at the MCG on Wednesday, but their bowlers knocked over the Bulls for just 225 in reply from 48.1 overs.

Bushrangers medium-pacer Andrew McDonald claimed a career-best 5-38 off 9.1 overs in a match-winning display.

The result puts Victoria third on 13 points, trailing only Queensland (17) and Tasmania (18).

James Hopes (4-64 off 13 overs) and Alister McDermott (4-30 off 10.4) had led the way for the Bulls in the field.

Victoria struggled early at 5-94 before Aaron Finch (71) and Rob Quiney (38) added 61.

Quiney and Glenn Maxwell (50 off 37 balls) continued the home side’s lower-order fightback with a 67-run partnership for the seventh wicket.

The Bulls started poorly in their run chase as Ben Dunk (13), Ryan Broad (run out for six) and Chris Lynn (0) departed inside the first nine overs.

McDonald made a key breakthrough to remove Peter Forrest caught behind for 27 at 4-61.

Hopes (39) and Nathan Reardon (53) steadied Queensland’s innings with a 79-run partnership before Hopes attempted a pull shot and was caught behind off Clint McKay at 5-140.

Reardon shook his head in fury after being found short of his ground following a mix-up with Steve Paulsen at 6-151.

Paulsen (36) and Michael Neser (22) shared a 50-run stand for the seventh wicket but both fell to McDonald’s bowling in the 45th over as Victoria hit back strongly.

McDonald claimed the last four wickets of the innings.

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