Vics go top in One-Day Cup

VICTORIA has leapt into top spot on the One-Day Cup ladder after defeating South Australia by three wickets at Junction Oval today. The hosts started steadily but eclipsed the Redbacks’ total of 9-231 with 35 deliveries remaining to go one step closer to a berth in this season’s final.

The Vics almost came undone hunting a crucial bonus point, losing six wickets in the second half of the chase having conceded just one wicket in the first. That was largely thanks to a 103-run opening stand between Nic Maddinson (54 off 53) and Tom Rogers (75 off 87).

The pair had Victoria cruising to victory, and while both set batters were dismissed, the intention to wrap things up within 40 overs remained. Will Sutherland was even elevated to number five and many Victorian batters fell doing the team thing, but they missed out by 25 deliveries in the end.

As the hosts swung for the fences, Jordan Buckingham‘s two-wicket maiden in the 40th over made things interesting. Jonathan Merlo (14) and Sam Elliott (8) got the job done though, finishing unbeaten to ensure the four points stayed in Melbourne.

Adding injury to the insult of South Australia’s sixth-straight loss was a horror blow to Redbacks batter Henry Hunt while fielding. Diving for a catch at mid-off, the ball burst through his hands and into his nose which immediately began to pour with blood. He took no further part in the match.

Earlier, having been sent in to bat, South Australia saw both openers removed within the first 20 balls. Fergus O’Neill won an early battle between two Victorian young guns, dismissing recent International debutant and now-Redback Jake Fraser-McGurk for just six.

Victoria’s four-pronged seam attack then broke down South Australia’s middle order, leaving Harry Nielsen (61 off 86) to resurrect the innings. Alongside Harry Conway (43* off 67) in a plucky eight-wicket partnership, he helped move the total past 200 – albeit still slightly below par.

Nielsen was eventually caught out trying to accelerate in the final five overs, while Conway was stranded short of a maiden One-Day Cup half-century as the Redbacks batted out their 50 overs. All five Victorian bowlers featured in the wickets column, spearheaded by O’Neill’s 3-28.

While the Vics sit pretty atop the standings with one match left to play – against second-placed New South Wales – South Australia remains rooted to bottom spot. The winless Redbacks will round out their season by hosting Queensland at Karen Rolton Oval on February 14.


RESULT: Victoria def. South Australia by 3 wickets with 35 balls remaining.
POTM: Fergus O’Neill (Victoria)

Victoria won the toss and elected to bowl.

South Australia 9-231 (50)
Harry Nielsen 61 (86), Harry Conway 43* (67), Nathan McSweeney 40 (38)
Fergus O’Neill 3-38 (10), Sam Elliott 2-51 (10), Peter Siddle 2-56 (10)

Victoria 7-234 (44.1)
Tom Rogers 67 (87), Nic Maddinson 54 (53), Marcus Harris 43 (43)
Jordan Buckingham 3-36 (10), Harry Conway 2-45 (10), Henry Thornton 2-49 (10)

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