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Victoria look to return to ACL T20
The Queensland Bulls and the Victorian Bushrangers will battle it out for a place in the finale when they clash in Wednesday’s prelim final at the Gabba.
The match is bound to get pulses racing, given the sheer star power in the two teams.

It is for the second time that the Bulls and the Bushragers will meet in the preliminary to stake a claim for a spot against the Southern Redbacks in the finale of the KFC BigBash Twenty20 on January 23 and become the second team to qualify for the Airtel Champions League Twenty20.

The Bulls will be keen to avenge last year’s defeat to the Victorians at the same stage, a lapse which allowed the latter to sail through to the Airtel CL T20.

Chasing 112 a year back, Brad Hodge hit 59 off 54 balls to ensure the Bushrangers a six wicket victory.

Not much has changed with most of the Bushrangers this year. Hodge has been in good form and has scored142 runs from five matches, which included an explosive 56-ball 90 that sealed it for Victoria against the Tasmanians.

James Hopes will be Queensland’s biggest hope in the face of Hodge hegemony, who trails the Victorian by a single run in the runs tally.

Hopes has been a key for the Bulls in the bowling department too. He has scalped eight wickets and is the side’s highest wicket-taker.

Captain Chris Simpson too has been in good form and will look to lead from the front. He tore apart the Western Warriors bowling attack with his brutal 76 off 38 balls to set up a home prelim clash with the Bushrangers.

Ryan Harris and Nathan Rimmington will lead the Bulls’ bowling attack.

Queensland’s bowling department will be strengthened by the availability of New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori while team-mate Ross Taylor will take his batting position for the Victorians.

The two teams last met in the Big Bash opener on December 28. Then, Victoria won by three wickets (D/L) in a rained-out match to earn early points.

Fast bowler John Hastings was instrumental in rattling the middle order, while the top order was sent back by Clint McKay. Dirk Nannes too has been in good form with the ball and will provide variety to the Bushrangers.
 
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