Exciting conclusion to first Twenty20 match

By AARON KELLY

ROCKHAMPTON cricket enthusiasts were treated to their first Twenty20 cricket match in style at the Rockhampton Cricket Grounds yesterday.

Queensland Bulls batsman Chris Simpson smashed City to victory against their Country counterparts in an exciting finish to the Suncorp XXXX Gold Bulls Country Challenge.

With four runs required off the final ball, the City captain put Australian off-spinner Nathan Hauritz over mid-wicket for six to steal an unlikely seven-wicket victory.

Country posted a 206-run target from their 20 overs, with Gladstone product Nathan Reardon leading the charge with 70 runs off 34 balls in front of another disappointing crowd.

Reardon's quickfire innings included 10 fours and two sixes in just 36 minutes.

In reply, Ryan Broad (42) and Nick Kruger (51) got City off to a flyer before Clinton Perren (67no) continued the run-chase.

Bulls coach Terry Oliver said he was convinced Twenty20 cricket was a batsmen's paradise.

"It's definitely a batsmen's game ? there's not much joy in it for the bowlers,'' Oliver said.

On Saturday, Country scored a thrilling five-wicket win over City in the 50-over match.

Big-hitting Craig Philipson rescued City from 6/42 to all out for 250 with an eye-catching 136 run innings off 100 balls, which included 20 fours and four sixes.

Country's Steven Paulsen (76no) steered his side past the target in the 48th over.

Rockhampton Cricket Association chairman Graeme Brady said he was disappointed more local players did not support the event. However, Oliver said it was the perfect building block for his players who launch their ING Cup campaign against NSW at the Gabba on October 14.



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