A win to either side would place them outright second behind Western Australia on the JLT Cup standings, Victoria head into the match with a distinct advantage after South Australia became the first team to be defeated by Tasmania in the tournament.
A dominant performance by the Bushrangers saw them wrap up a seven wicket victory as well as the bonus point against a flat-footed CA XI who never looked like challenging their opposition. Another strong bowling performance from Victoria in the first innings had them in a commanding position heading into the run chase, restricting the CA XI to just 232. Peter Siddle produced yet another phenomenal bowling display, finishing with 2/20 from his full quota of overs as he continues to impress as the tournament goes on. Right alongside Siddle was Chris Tremain who managed to take his second three-wicket haul of the JLT Cup, finishing with figures of 3/51 with the rest of the attack combining to take the other four wickets. It was then up to Victoria’s opening batsmen to take charge, Marcus Harris looked threatening early on before he threw away yet another promising start, walking back to the sheds for a very-fluent 37. After the Harris wicket, Cameron White and Travis Dean were the only other two batsmen to be dismissed which than saw Bushrangers skipper Peter Handscomb take charge with the help of Seb Gotch as the pair put on a match-winning partnership of 154 runs for the fourth wicket. Getting the job done with relative ease, Peter Handscomb’s innings was the highlight of the match as the Ashes-hopeful smoked 103 off just 73 deliveries with 10 fours and 6 sixes to go with that elusive century. The addition of Handscomb mid-way through the tournament has increased Victoria’s batting depth significantly and shouldn’t be overlooked as an opposition team, most of their runs will come from the openers & through Handscomb at no. 4.
The Redbacks were a shell-shocked outfit after the winless-Tigers produced a huge upset as well as a blowout result as the favorites went down by a staggering-129 runs. The door of opportunity may have just closed on South Australia’s chances of claiming a top two finish in this years JLT One-Day Cup, they had in front of them a golden opportunity to sink a team who were three-straight losses in the tournament at the time, and they blew it significantly. Redbacks opening pair Daniel Worrall and Nick Winter were very expensive, in-particular Winter who almost conceded a century off his own bowling despite taking two wickets at the end of the innings. Joe Mennie couldn’t impact Tasmania’s scorecard compared to his past two outings which included a four & five-wicket haul, but he did enough to restrict the runs in his ten overs. Some really disappointing efforts with the bat kept them out of the game though, Tasmania’s 300+ total was just salt in the wound for South Australia as they capitulated for a dismal-186. The players who needed to step up and show some fight, e.g. Jake Weatherald, Tom Cooper, Alex Ross and Jake Lehmann were nowhere to be seen as they all fell for ten runs or under, it was like watching the 1980’s West Indies bowling attack take apart a group of school kids at lunchtime. With star-bowler Chadd Sayers set to make his return as soon as tomorrow, the Redbacks will be hoping he can make an impact in the rest of South Australia’s remaining fixture.
Players To Watch…
It’s now become apparent that Peter Handscomb has become Victoria’s foundation in the batting order, they have damaging ball strikers at the top of the order, but they have a major weapon to fall back on if they happen to lose one of White or Harris early. Having recently become Australia’s most successful test inclusion in last years day-night test at the Adelaide Oval, Handscomb is quickly becoming an established international cricketer as well as that consistent-domestic player that got him there. Since arriving back from India, the Victorian skipper has scored 48 & 103* in his two JLT Cup games. Another Peter who isn’t doing to bad in the tournament is former Australian quick, Peter Siddle. Having struggled in the previous domestic one-day tournament last year, Siddle is yet to dish up an average performance with the ball as the 32-year-old is right up there for the best bowler of the JLT Cup so far. Siddle, who has conceded very-little runs in his four matches has also accumulated seven wickets as well as a stunning 62 runs with the bat against Queensland, he’s one of Victoria’s in-form players of the comp. Pocket-rocket opening batsman Marcus Harris is one of Victoria’s most destructive batsman in the side, he just lacks that polish that he so desperately needs to go on with his innings. Warriors coach Justin Langer stated that while he was a batsman with huge potential, it was frustrating how many times Harris couldn’t make the most of his opportunities during his time with Western Australia. With scores of 47, 75, 0 & 37 in this years JLT Cup, Harris could of had a much-bigger impact for the Bushrangers if he converted a couple of those innings into triple-figures.
This team only finishes behind the CA XI for the most unpredictable performances from a players point of view in the tournament, not one individual in this South Australian side has strung together a number of decent performances which is puzzling. Joe Mennie is probably the closest player to do so, managing 5/36 against the Bulls and 4/53 against New South Wales. By-far South Australia’s most dominant performer with the ball in hand so far, Mennie has proven that he can take a bag of wickets unlike his teammates who have struggled to accumulate two by the end of the innings. Mennie’s batting ability down the order adds another area of strength to his game, but his bowling is a required component to the Redbacks JLT Cup campaign. South Australia desperately need Tom Cooper to perform at a consistent rate with the bat, an unbeaten 115 against Queensland at the start of the tournament had him labeled as their most relied upon batsman. The 30-year-old’s scores have plummeted since, scoring just seven runs in his past two innings for the Redbacks which needs to be tweaked if they’re any threat of contending for this years title. Pushing for test selection ahead of the upcoming Ashes series here in Australia, Alex Carey is starting to compile a solid-argument as to why he’s the man for the job. A genuine wicketkeeper-batsman, Carey has added scores of 60 against the Blues and 41 just recently against Tasmania to his resume, now he needs to keep powering on and hopefully become South Australia’s driving-force at the back end of this tournament.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Victoria | JLT Cup | 15th match | North Sydney
- Peter Handscomb
- Marcus Harris
- Peter Siddle
- Cameron White
- Chris Tremain
Top 5 fantasy picks | South Australia | JLT Cup | 15th match | North Sydney
- Alex Carey
- Tom Cooper
- Joe Mennie
- Alex Ross
- Cameron Valente
Victoria (possible) – 1. Marcus Harris 2. Cameron White 3. Travis Dean 4. Peter Handscomb (c & wk) 5. Seb Gotch 6. Matt Short 7. Blake Thomson/Will Sutherland 8. Chris Tremain 9. Peter Siddle 10. Scott Boland 11. Fawad Ahmed.
South Australia (possible) – 1. Jake Weatherald 2. Alex Carey (wk) 3. Callum Ferguson (c) 4. Tom Cooper 5. Alex Ross 6. Jake Lehmann/Kelvin Smith 7. Cameron Valente 8. Joe Mennie 9. Michael Cormack 10. Chadd Sayers/Nick Winter 11. Daniel Worrall.