The North Sydney Oval witnessed a fantastic game of 50-over cricket at the weekend, as the Queensland Bulls beat the Tasmanian Tigers by seven wickets in the Matador Cup, in a match where 800 runs were scored for the loss of just four wickets.
Nobody would have expected Queensland to chase down Tasmania's huge 398-1 after being put firmly on the back foot by some prolific hitting from their openers.
Tasmania's Ben Dunk (229*) and Tim Paine (125) posted an opening stand of 277 as they blasted their way into the record books. Prior to this match the record for any wicket stood at 263, which Ricky Ponting and Michael Dighton posted for Tasmania in 2007.
As well as breaking this record Dunk's innings was also the highest ever score made in an Australian domestic one-day game, eclipsing the 197 made by New South Wales' David Warner at the same venue last year. It was also the third highest List A score, with only Ali Brown and Shikhar Dhawan ahead of him.
Upsetting the odds
Dunk's innings of 229 came off just 157 balls with 15 fours and 13 sixes. Many bookmakers would have had Tasmania as out and out favourites at this point but Queensland's openers - Usman Khawaja and Chris Hartley - had other ideas as they bettered their Tasmanian opponents with a huge opening stand of their own.
Dunk and Paine's record stand of 277 lasted just hours as Khawaja (166) and Hartley (142) gave Queensland the perfect platform with a partnership of 280, which re-wrote the domestic record books once again.
Their partnership was that good that the run chase was very rarely in doubt. Khawaja, had he not been bowled by Evan Gulbis, could have gone on to break Dunk's own record but unfortunately for him that was not meant to be.
Record breaking day
It was left to Joe Burns, with 48 from 36 balls, to guide his side home with 16 balls to spare as Queensland achieved the highest run-chase in the 46-year history of the competition, eclipsing the previous best of 352 set by New South Wales in 2012.
On a record-breaking day Queensland's own record total of 405-4 in a domestic one-day competition, set in 2004, still remained in tact.
In a game dominated by the bat Queensland's James Hopes deserves a mention for his match figures of ten overs for just thirty-eight runs. Despite not capturing a wicket, his economy rate was by far the best as no other bowler had a rate below seven runs an over.
Dunk, despite being on the losing side, was man-of-the match for his record-breaking innings. Is he now in contention for the Australian squad for the ODI World Cup next year?
Tasmania, with this defeat, have now been eliminated from the tournament but Queensland, alongside Western Australia and New South Wales, still have a chance of glory.
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