Both teams head into this contest winless having played one-less game than everyone else, but a second consecutive loss to either team could be detrimental heading into the remainder of their fixture in terms of finals aspirations.
Pummeled by a rampaging New South Wales side by a blowout 102-run defeat, Tasmania became the first team in this years tournament to conceded a 300+ total which severely cost them the game in hindsight. There’s no point dwelling on it now though, they have a chance to turn their fortunes around before it’s too late in this years JLT Cup as they come up against a side that also experienced a pretty disappointing defeat against the Warriors. On reflection, the likes of Cameron Boyce and Jackson Bird stood up with the ball, albeit not quite when they were required from Jackson Bird’s point of view, but they managed to pick up two wickets each at the end of the day. Tasmania had a rough period where nothing appeared to be going their way, an opening partnership of 136 between Hughes and Maddinson put the Blues in the box seat from thereon in. Apart from Boyce, the impact and economical side of the game wasn’t matched by his fellow bowlers which is what let them down in the end. The batting followed in the footsteps of their bowling, apart from a Jordan Silk fifty and a quick-scoring Ben Dunk who clubbed seven boundaries at the start of the innings, the Tigers didn’t put up much of a fight in the end.
The Bushrangers can relate to the Tigers a bit, they had two bowlers that dished up considerable performances with the ball, but unfortunately there were far too few. Veteran seamer Peter Siddle opened his account early in the tournament as he picked up an impressive 2/48 from his ten overs, economical and effective having dismissed both Klinger and Bancroft. His opening partner Chris Tremain did his best to keep the runs to a minimum picking up 1/34 off nine overs, but the likes of Fawad Ahmed and Dan Christian were unable to take a wicket in their respective ten overs as well as conceding 60+ runs each. Had they taken a couple more wickets earlier, it might have been a different story. Seb Gotch topped the scoring for Victoria with a run-a-ball-61 in the middle order, only twenty of his runs were scored in boundaries which saw the 24-year-old running between the wickets frequently. Former CA XI & Warriors opening batsman Marcus Harris showed some flashes of brilliance in his small-cameo of 47, highlighted by three fours and three sixes that kept his strike rate hovering around the hundred mark. A rare appearance with the bat at no. 9 saw Peter Siddle make the most of his time at the crease with a fluent-32 runs, the man can bat!
Players to watch…
Tigers opener Ben Dunk remains on high alert after his blistering start to the innings against Western Australia saw him hit seven boundaries in a matter of overs. He’s been renown to destroy opposition attacks with his aggressive hitting, Dunk managed to score a record-breaking 229 not out in the 2014 Matador Cup at North Sydney Oval. Both Alex Doolan and George Bailey didn’t fire a shot against the Blues which really saw Tasmania struggle for the remainder of the innings. It was untoward, Doolan’s consistency in last years Matador Cup had him pinned down as one of the danger men of this years competition, and you known what you’re gonna get with George Bailey in the side. Expect the two to bounce back after a quiet tournament opener, they are as damaging as anyone on their day. It’s looking very-likely that leg-spinner Cameron Boyce will be Tasmania’s avenue to wickets in this years JLT Cup, the 28-year-old managed to impact the Blues innings with two-stumping opportunists that were both successfully completed by Ben Dunk. Victoria have an array of attacking batsmen itching to hammer the spinners into the stands, so Boyce could add another handful of wickets to his name after his satisfactory 2/50 in the Tigers tournament opener. Opening bowler Jackson Bird will be heavily-relied upon to make an early strike this time around, he struck twice against the Blues but the opposition had already done the damage.
Bushrangers skipper Cameron White is the player in the spotlight, he’s had a sensational past couple of years in the Matador Cup which has now come along with high expectations. Not a great start to the JLT Cup, but you can never write off a player of this caliber who has time and time again produced big knocks for Victoria in this format. White’s partner in crime at the top of the order has to be highlighted as well, Marcus Harris may not be the most consistent cricketer going around, but he’s certainly one of the most influential when he flicks the switch. Yet to score a century in this format of the game, Harris has a huge opportunity to fulfil that personal milestone after he showed signs of a big score against Western Australia a couple days ago. Given Tasmania’s struggles to take a wicket in the first twenty overs, Harris could be in for a day out if they starve the Tigers of early wickets yet again. Without John Hastings in the side, Scott Boland becomes a required performer for Victoria. He’s highly rated by his peers around him, although he isn’t a big wicket taker like Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood, his pressure strangling the batsmen for runs which creates opportunities is probably his biggest asset. A bowler who is capable of taking the occasional bag of wickets is Chris Tremain, he’s picked up two five-wicket hauls in just 15 List A games which already outlines his potential. His height which makes him a difficult prospect to face at the WACA should increase his chances of taking wickets as well.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Tasmania | JLT Cup | 7th match | Perth
- Cameron Boyce
- Ben Dunk
- Alex Doolan
- George Bailey
- Jackson Bird
Top 5 fantasy picks | Victoria | JLT Cup | 7th match | Perth
- Cameron White
- Chris Tremain
- Marcus Harris
- Seb Gotch
- Scott Boland
Tasmania (possible) – 1. Ben Dunk (wk) 2. Ben McDermott 3. Alex Doolan 4. George Bailey (c) 5. Jordan Silk 6. Chris Wakim/Jake Doran 7. Simon Milenko 8. Cameron Boyce 9. Jackson Bird 10. Andrew Fekete 11. Riley Meredith/Sam Rainbird.
Victoria (possible) – 1. Marcus Harris 2. Cameron White (c) 3. Travis Dean 4. Will Pucovski 5. Seb Gotch 6. Matt Short 7. Sam Harper (wk) 8. Chris Tremain 9. Peter Siddle 10. Scott Boland 11. Fawad Ahmed.