A STRONG showing both with bat and in the field from Max Bryant has seen the Queensland Bulls keep their Marsh One Day Cup hopes alive with a 31-run win via the DLS method over New South Wales at Sydney Oval on Sunday.
The rain may have prevented a full match from being played, but the Bulls were still able to hold on to restrict the opposition to 165 runs in 19.5 overs in the second innings, which was just shy of Queensland’s effort.
At the forefront for the victors was Bryant, who delivered at the crease in the first innings to see the Bulls tick over to a winning score, before playing a crucial role in the field with three catches as the Blues’ batting order struggled to match the output of the opposition.
It was Queensland’s second win of the tournament, as the Bulls leapt over Victoria and the Blues into fourth spot in the standings.
NSW Blues (8/165) def. by Queensland Bulls (5/298)
Max Bryant – 88 (53)
The Bulls lost the toss and were sent into to bat first, with the Blues confident in their ability to chase in the second innings.
After Bryce Street was caught plumb LBW, the Bulls looked in a bit of strife. However, top enders Sam Heazlett (54 from 71), Sam Truloff (38 from 44) and Jack Clayton (52 from 50) got things back on track, and when Bryant headed out to the crease, Queensland was well-placed to reach a defendable total before the rain arrived.
Bryant’s intentions were evident early, looking to take on both pace and spin bowlers and using his strength and timing to notch up a solid strike rate. He formed a damaging sixth-wicket partnership with Jimmy Pierson, as the duo combined for a whopping 122 runs during their time at the crease. It was enough to make prospects extremely challenging for the Blues as the score continued to increase.
Bryant smacked a whopping 14 boundaries during his time at the crease, including five sixes as he came out with a T20 mindset in order to give his side the best score before the rain arrived. Ending the innings with a strike rate of 166 and a total of 88 not out, he fell just shy of a maiden century, but his efforts still helped set up the Bulls with a DLS total of 298 (225 required via DLS).
Although not a bowler, Bryant’s work was not done yet as he chimed in for a trio of impressive catches in the field. Whether it was quick reflexes in the slips or standing under a skied ball, he managed to help dismiss the likes of Matthew Gilkes, Moises Henriques and Oliver Davies with his steady hands, as Queensland held on to win by 31 runs.
Bryant was the standout player of the match, and although the weather prevented him from reaching triple figures, his presence was towering in the context of the match.