NSW batsman Peter Forrest just makes his ground as Victoria’s John Hastings threatens to throw down the stumps in last night’s Festival of Cricket finale.
NSW batsman Peter Forrest just makes his ground as Victoria’s John Hastings threatens to throw down the stumps in last night’s Festival of Cricket finale. David Nielsen

Cricket Carnival bowls last ball

NEW SOUTH WALES will use the Twenty20 Champions League in India as an opportunity to prove the Blues are the best provincial cricket side in the world, according to all-rounder Dominic Thornely.

Thornely starred in last night’s final Lismore Festival of Cricket Twenty20 match between NSW and Victoria at Oakes Oval as the Blues defended their total of 8-196.

The intermittent NSW captain smashed 35 off 20 balls late in the innings including three sixes and then claimed 2-9 off two overs as the Bushrangers were bowled out for 142.

“It was good to be able to get out there and score quickly straight away which is something I’m working on,” Thornely said.

“I’ve had enough time (in the middle) this week to feel like I’m hitting the ball well. Obviously I would have liked a little bit more time but when you have a limited amount of time and all the young guys
want to get a hit it’s a bit difficult.

“The Champions League will be very exciting and it’s a great opportunity for NSW to really put themselves on the map.

“We’ve talked about being the greatest State, Province, County, going around for a long time, well here’s our chance to prove it.

“I think that’s the way we’ll be looking at it.”

In front of the largest crowd of the eight-day festival, NSW’s total of 8-196 was always going to be
difficult for Victoria to overhaul minus former Australian representatives Brad Hodge and David Hussey who travelled home to Melbourne early.

The Blues’ total was thanks largely to a quickfire 38 off 15 balls by Phillip Hughes, a nicely compiled 45 off 34 balls to Peter Forrest, 33 off 17 to Ben Rohrer and Thornely’s late innings.

James Pattinson was the pick of the Victorian attack with 3-45.

In reply, the Bushrangers struggled from the start losing Aiden Blizzard for a first ball duck in the first over.

Aaron Finch (24 off 22) and Matthew Wade (33 off 28) tried to steady the ship but a fine bowling effort by the Blues left the Victorians stranded on 142.

Leg-spinner Steve Smith took 3-20 off four overs, which made up for him putting down three catches.

Thornely grabbed 2-9, seamer Simon Keen took 2-20 off 3.1 overs and left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc snared 2-24 off three overs.

Out of the squad that headed north for the Lismore Festival of Cricket, only Starc and Forrest will not travel to India.

Thornely, who did not captain the side while in town with Stuart Clark and Simon Katich filling the role, also praised the local facilities.

“It’s been a terrific hit-out for everyone, outstanding conditions, that’s as good as country cricket facilities I’ve seen,” he said.

“All three teams would be delighted with that.”


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