Match Report:


Victoria sneak home in bizarre DLS thriller

Daniel Hughes hit a superb century for NSW but Matt Short smashed a six off what would be the final ball to get Victoria over the line in the Marsh Cup season opener

Victoria have held off NSW in a bizarre Marsh Cup season opener with bad light in Melbourne providing for a fascinating climax at the Junction Oval on Friday.

With 12 overs remaining in a rain affected clash and Victoria five runs in front under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, umpires Phil Gillespie and Claire Polosak convened to determine it was too dark for the fast bowlers to continue.

After a long discussion between the umpires and the two captains, NSW skipper Kurtis Patterson continued with spinners Nathan Lyon and Jason Sangha operating in tandem.

In what turned out to be a tense final four overs, Peter Handscomb (11no) and Matt Short (17no) kept Victoria ahead of the par score until the final ball of the 28th over.

With the game tied and Victoria level with the par score of 3-148, Patterson turned to seamer Liam Hatcher, with the players shaping to leave the field due to bad light.

Following another discussion between the umpires and captains, they decided to play another over with Sangha given the ball.

Horizontal Handscomb pulls off another stunner

It came down to the final ball of the 29th over with Victoria 3-152 and needing four runs to stay ahead of the par score of 3-156.

Enter Short, who after swinging and missing at the previous two deliveries, launched Sangha's leg-break over deep long-on for six to keep Victoria ahead and seal victory with the players unable to return to the field by the 5.35pm cut off time.

Earlier, Daniel Hughes continued to etch his name alongside the best to have played one-day cricket for NSW with a superb century.

Pucovski's fine form continues with composed fifty

Hughes' seventh List A ton puts him two ahead of David Warner, Steve Waugh, Nic Maddinson, Phil Jaques and Brad Haddin as the batter with the most one-day hundreds for NSW and with his 117 on Friday he surpassed Warner into 11th on the state's all-time run-scorers chart with 1,656 at 57.10.

After being asked to bat first by Handscomb under overcast skies, Hughes and NSW captain Kurtis Patterson, who this week flagged a shift to the top of the order on cricket.com.au's The Unplayable Podcast, capitalised on anything over-pitched as they raced 0-40 off the opening eight overs.

Hughes flays Victoria for seventh one-day ton

Established red-ball quick Mitch Perry struggled to find the right length, conceding 8.8 runs per over from his five as both openers stuck several crisp straight drives in a partnership of 52 for the first wicket.

That was when Handscomb turned to promising young offie Todd Murphy, preferred over former Test spinner Jon Holland, to find the breakthrough and he deceived Patterson (30) with an arm-ball that clattered into the stumps in his second over.

Murphy was easily the pick of the hosts' bowlers, also claiming the wicket of Sangha (8) to finish with 2-29 from his 10 overs.

Hughes powered on and was ably supported by Moises Henriques (35) and Matt Gilkes (40) in partnerships of 87 and 88 for the second and third wickets as the visitors looked to be eyeing 300 with 10 overs to go.

But Hughes and Gilkes both fell to Jono Merlo (2-64) in the space of four balls as the young allrounder put in an impressive spell to rein in the NSW middle-order.

Debutant and Australian under-19 representative Will Salzmann provided some late fireworks with a 14-ball 21no that included a huge six off Merlo in the penultimate over that clattered into the scoreboard as NSW posted 7-277 from their 50 overs.

In reply, young guns Will Pucovski, fresh off a marathon 193 retired in last week's second XI fixture between the two states, and Mackenzie Harvey got the chase off to a bright start before rain intervened 9.2 overs into Victorian innings.

After an hour delay in which 13 overs were lost, Pucovski and Harvey resumed with Victoria chasing a revised target of 226 from 37 overs.

The resumption brought the downfall of Harvey (25) with Salzmann (1-17), who took 12 wickets in seven matches in the U19 World Cup earlier this year, completing a fine double, claiming a wicket with his third ball in List A cricket.

Pucovski (64) compiled his maiden List A half century for Victoria, which included a glorious six over mid-off off Lyon, as he and Marcus Harris (41) put on 75 for the second wicket.

But the momentum swung back to NSW when they both fell in the space of five balls and two runs before Handscomb and Short guided the hosts to a first up win.