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banner Sunday, 20 January, 2002, 13:36 GMT
The Bulls at Australia's gates
Andrew Symonds - one of three Queenslanders in Australia's lineup on Sunday
Symonds took a spectacular catch off Mark Boucher
BBC Sport Online's Martin Gough looks at the three Queensland men who played a part in Australia's victory over South Africa at the Gabba.

There was more than a hint of the partisan amongst the crowd at the Gabba as Australia secured their first victory of the triangular series.

A record crowd of 35,761 in the recently-refurbished Brisbane ground did not seem to care that Damien Martyn had scored his third limited overs century.

It apparently mattered not that Glenn McGrath took four wickets, including the final two in the order as South Africa were bowled out 27 runs short.

One of the loudest cheers of the night was for pace bowler Andy Bichel when he bowled a maiden.

And there were raptures when the Queenslander dismissed Lance Klusener - the tourists' final hope - with a yorker on middle stump in the 46th over.

Andy Bichel in action at the Gabba
Bichel has done everything asked of him by Australia
Brisbane defends its own fiercely, as Adam Gilchrist found out on his Test debut at the Gabba in 1999.

The wicketkeeper was given a tough time by the home crowd, who felt his elevation over their own man, Ian Healy, had come too soon.

And it was perhaps with that in mind that Australian coach John Buchanan, himself a former Queensland man, chose to angle his controversial rotation policy in favour of the three Bulls in the squad.

Only one of the three disappointed, Matthew Hayden scratching around through 35 deliveries to make 10 before being caught off the bowling of Steve Elworthy.

Amazingly the 25 he put on with opening partner Mark Waugh was the best start Australia have had in the series so far.

The third, English-born Andrew Symonds, may have failed with the bat, but he was at his versatile best with ball in hand, snapping up three wickets, including a spectacular return catch from Mark Boucher.

Struggle for recognition

Hayden established himself in the Test side in 2001 after four years in the wilderness, and he thanked the selectors with 1,361 in the calendar year, breaking Bob Simpson's Australian record.

But the other two, and several of their state team-mates, have struggled to cement a place at the highest level.

Matthew Hyden in Queensland colours
Hayden has taken time to cement his Test place
That is despite the Bulls having won the Sheffield Shield (now the Pura Cup) three times in the last five seasons and, despite the embarrassment of a two-day defeat at the hands of Tasmania last weekend, being at the head of the table so far this season.

Bichel took five wickets against the West Indies in Melbourne last year, and returned in the absence of the injured Jason Gillespie to take three South African wickets in this season's Boxing Day Test.

But he has been consistently pushed aside when the first choice trio of McGrath, Gillespie and the far less consistent Brett Lee are all fit.

"You could run Andy Bichel over with a steamroller and he'd still get up and run in for 30 overs a day. He just loves it," Queensland captain Stuart Law once told me, with only a hint that he was using hyperbole.


Symonds is similarly gritty. Having emigrated with his parents as a two-year-old he bears the craggy visage of one who has spent much of his life on cricket ovals under the baking Queensland sun.

In first class cricket, with both the Bulls and in the county game with Gloucestershire and Kent, he has a reputation as being one of the hardest hitters of the ball in the world.

But Australia's batting depth renders that superfluous in the Test side, and it is his bowling versatility that has been his greatest asset in the one-day side.

Andrew Symonds batting
Symonds has a reputation as a hard hitter
Often a practitioner of off-spin, it was his medium pace which on Sunday fooled his victims with its pace and bounce.

Law himself could be considered unlucky not to have had a better run at the highest level, having dominated domestic attacks in both Australia and England.

Despite making an unbeaten 50 his only Test innings - against Sri Lanka at Perth in 1995/1996 - he was never recalled and became something of a one-day specialist.

He played in Australia's World Cup Final loss in 1996, but was axed just prior to the side's World Cup victory in 1999.

Also in the talented Bulls lineup is opening batsman Jimmy Maher - third highest run-scorer in the Pura Cup this season but with just two one-day international caps, gained three years ago.

And pace bowler Ashley Noffke is also a Test contender.

The 24-year-old was called up to last year's Ashes tour after Nathan Bracken's injury, but was forced to fly home himself with ankle trouble.

If fans at the Gabba had their way all of those men would be in the Test side.

But at least they got a chance to cheer three of their best in Sunday's victory.

News and features on the annual one-day bonanza

2nd Final: SA beat NZ

1st Final: SA beat NZ

Match 12: Aus beat SA

Match 11: SA beat NZ

Match 10: Aus beat NZ

Match 9: SA beat NZ

Match 8: NZ beat Aus

Match 7: Aus beat SA

Match 6: Aus beat SA

Match 5: NZ beat SA

Match 4: NZ beat Aus

Match 3: SA beat NZ

Match 2: SA beat Aus

Match 1: NZ beat Aus



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