Marsh One-Day Cup 2019
Redbacks hold on in Marsh Cup thriller
Cameron Valente, after pulling off a contender for catch of the summer, delivers clutch final over to secure one-run win over Victoria
19 November 2019, 05:24 PM AEST
Callum Ferguson and Aaron Finch both struck high-quality centuries before South Australia prevailed over Victoria by a single run in a dramatic Marsh One-Day Cup clash at the MCG.
The Redbacks posted an imposing 4-322 on Tuesday but Victoria mustered an impressive chase only to fall just short at 5-321.
Though neither team could make next week's final, there was no shortage of tension as the match went down to the final ball of a 643-run-fest.
Rookie Jake Fraser-McGurk showed nerves of steel in just his second List A outing to nearly get Victoria over the line with an impressive unbeaten 41 off 24 balls.
But the 17-year-old failed to make full connection with the final ball from Cameron Valente with three needed for victory, having entered the final over with 12 required.
He could only complete a leg bye.
Australia ODI captain Finch hit 119 off 123 balls before being caught in the outfield after adding 147 for the third wicket with Peter Handscomb.
Handscomb appeared on track for a century but fell to a sublime diving catch from Valente to end his 75-ball knock on 87.
Ferguson laid the foundation for South Australia's innings and carved out a new mark in the record books with a stylish 122 from 128 deliveries.
Ferguson's second ton in three days enabled the veteran to overhaul Darren Lehmann as the leading one-day run-maker for the Redbacks.
Finch and Ferguson also sit just behind NSW opener Daniel Hughes as the leading run scorer in this season's competition.
Yet the real fireworks came from Tom Cooper in an extraordinary and ultimately decisive cameo with the veteran striking seven sixes, including five off the final eight balls he faced.
Cooper helped SA score an incredible 90 runs off the final four overs, with his unbeaten 81 coming off just 46 balls.
Ashes fast bowler Peter Siddle was usually expensive going for 75 off 10 wicketless overs, while youngster Xavier Crone returned 2-76 from his allocation.
The result ensured SA finished third and Victoria fourth.
Queensland and Western Australia will meet in next Tuesday's final at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.
Victoria XI: Aaron Finch, Sam Harper (wk), Marcus Harris, Peter Handscomb (c), Matt Short, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Will Sutherland, Jonathan Merlo, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Perry, Xavier Crone
South Australia XI: Jake Weatherald, Callum Ferguson, Harry Nielsen, Alex Carey (c/wk), Tom Cooper, Alex Ross, Cameron Valente, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Wes Agar, Daniel Worrall