Victoria surge to back-to-back titles

30 March 2016

Handscomb, Stoinis end run chase in a hurry to claim Shield final by seven wickets over SA

Sheffield Shield 2015-16, Final


Victoria are Sheffield Shield champions for the 30th time after they secured back-to-back titles with a seven-wicket win over South Australia in Adelaide.

Needing 98 runs to win on the final day with eight wickets in hand, the Bushrangers cruised to their victory target of 193 with the loss of just one more wicket as Marcus Stoinis (72) and Peter Handscomb (61 not out) secured the title.

Quick Single: Day Four report

The victory was confirmed inside the hour mark on the final day when Handscomb drove Dan Worrall to the backward point boundary, completing three fours from the final four balls as the Bushrangers became the first visiting team in 11 years to win a season decider.

WATCH: Stoinis hammers four straight sixes

"The opportunity to win four Shields, and to captain back-to-back Shields is as good as it gets really," said Victoria skipper Matthew Wade.

"I'm as proud as I've ever been as a captain and of the young players who have come in and taken first-class cricket by storm.

"Travis Dean, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, over the last three years they've come in and dominated in Shield cricket and then we've got (Scott) Boland and (Chris) Tremain who have stepped up terrifically well for us in the last 12 months.

"It's an honour to play in another Shield (win)."

WATCH: Young guns shone on big stage: Wade

The highlight of the morning came when Stoinis, who had played within himself to be 29 from 115 balls, hammered Travis Head for four consecutive sixes over the midwicket boundary, the last of which brought up his half-century.

"We came in today with hope and one over from Stoinis diminished that hope pretty quickly unfortunately," said Head.

"That's how it goes. They played it well, we didn't bat as well as we would have liked. We had blokes who could have got big hundreds.

"I think in the first innings the difference between their 60 runs (lead) was their two hundreds and our two seventies. So it's disappointing."

Quick Single: Vics insist ball tampering charge won't sully final

Bushrangers spinner Jon Holland was the standout bowler for the Vics, finishing with match figures of 8-162 from 66 overs.

Rookie Bushrangers opener Dean also performed strongly with scores of 111 and 54, while Handscomb (112 and 61 not out) enhanced his reputation as one of the most promising young batsmen in the country and earned himself the man-of-the-match award.

WATCH: Day five highlights: Vics win the Shield

For the Redbacks, young opener Jake Weatherald impressed in posting scores of 66 and 96 in just his fourth first-class match, while paceman Dan Worrall took 6-96 in Victoria's first innings.

In one of the more engaging Shield finals in recent memory, it was the 59-run advantage the Bushrangers earned on the first innings - they posted 399 in reply to SA's total of 340 – that was ultimately the difference between a tricky target of more than 250 and the far more manageable 193 they chased down.

Crucial too was the lower leg injury suffered by Redbacks seamer Chadd Sayers, who was unable to bowl on the final three days of the match to reduce the home side's attack to a courageous trio of three pacemen.

A large amount of credit for the outstanding cricket that played out over 13 tense sessions goes to curator Justin Groves, who produced an evenly-grassed pitch that was at its most treacherous for batsmen against the new ball but became easier as the ball softened.

A total of 11,244 spectators attended the match of Glenelg's Gliderol Stadium over the five days.

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