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Recent Match Report – Victoria vs South Aust 19th Match 2023/24

Victoria 288 (Maddinson 104, Scott 4-18) and 157 for 7 (Kellaway 35*, Harper 34, Doggett 3-41) beat South Australia 173 (Perry 3-43, Crone 3-46) and 271 (Nielsen 67, Hunt 54, O’Neill 5-47) by three wickets

South Australia captain Jake Lehmann was left to rue being sent in first on a “horrendous” pitch as Victoria secured a thrilling three-wicket victory in the Sheffield Shield clash at Junction Oval.
But fighting knocks from Campbell Kellaway (35 not out off 101 balls) and Sam Harper (34 off 28 balls) got the home side over the line just before lunch on day four.

Kellaway was almost run out on 8, and he enjoyed another lucky break on 19 when a strong lbw shout from Agar was turned down. Replays showed Kellaway was plumb in front. Kellaway was given another life on 30 when a tough one-handed chance at leg slip was put down. The 21-year-old made the most of his fortune to combine with Harper for a match-winning 50-run stand.

South Australia made just 173 in their first innings on a wicket that featured plenty of ghosts on the opening day. Although the Redbacks fought back with 271 in their second dig, their poor opening ended up being the difference in the match.

“The pitch on day one was pretty horrendous in my opinion,” Lehmann said. “To get dobbed in on that and find a way to a score that we could compete in shows strength and character.

“Credit to us there, but unfortunately we couldn’t come away with a win. If we [had] won the toss, we probably would have rolled them as well.”

The Redbacks’ woes were compounded by an injury to allrounder Liam Scott, who rolled his left ankle on the boundary rope while watching the ball sail over his head.

Victoria’s third win on the trot lifted them into second on the ladder with three rounds remaining, while South Australia will likely end the round in fifth spot.

Stand-in Victoria captain Peter Handscomb paid special tribute to player of the match Nic Maddinson, who scored 104 in the first innings in his first Shield match since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament on New Year’s Day 2023.

“Maddo’s innings was game-defining,” Handscomb said. “Everyone found it tough on this wicket. It seemed like there was seam movement from ball one to the last ball of the day, which was awesome to see. But the way Maddo played – counter-punched well but also had a strong defence – was incredible to watch.”

The hosts made the worst start possible to day four, with first-innings centurion Maddinson chipping Doggett straight to mid-on on the first ball of the morning.

Doggett struck again to remove nightwatchman Xavier Crone, while Handscomb made just 8 before being clean bowled by Agar. Jonathan Merlo’s exit for 17 left Victoria needing 56 more runs with just four wickets in hand.

But Harper made light work of the task at hand, cracking three fours and two sixes to take the game away from the visitors.

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