Victoria has won back to back Sheffield Shield titles after defeating South Australia by 7 wickets.
South Australia batted first and openers Jake Weatherald and Mark Cosgrove got them off to a great start, making 90 runs together. Many of the middle order batsmen made starts (Raphael 29, Head 21, Lehmann 14) but could not capitalise that into a big score. SA were at 5/185 until Alex Ross and Alex Carey made an 103 run partnership; Ross made 72 while Carey made 50. They were all out for 340. Chris Tremain was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 73 while spinner Jon Holland got 3 for 86.
Victoria started off slowly with 2/105 until Peter Handscomb joined opener Travis Dean at the crease and made a 140 run partnership together. They both made centuries (Dean 111, Handscomb 112) as they steadied the innings and gave Victoria the advantage. Cameron White made 78 and they were dismissed for 399 but had a 49 run lead heading into the second innings. Dan Worrall was fantastic as he finished with figures of 6 for 96 while Mennie and Opie got 2 wickets each. Unfortunately, Chadd Sayers sustained an injury during the innings and was not able to bowl for the rest of the final.
South Australia’s second innings did not start as well as their first innings as they slumped to 4/76 until Weatherald and Ross made a 121 run partnership that kept them in the final. When Weatherald was dismissed for 96, the rest of the team crumbled as Ross was caught a short time later on 71. South Australia were later dismissed for just 251 as Victoria only needed just 193 runs to win the final. Jon Holland was superb as he finished with 5 for 26 while fellow spinner Fawad Ahmed got 2 for 35.
Victoria was then able to cruise to the total with the loss of only 3 wickets. Travis Dean and Marcos Stoinis made half centuries while Peter Handscomb finished unbeaten on 61 and was named man of the match. Worrall, Mennie and Opie all got a wicket each but was not enough as Victoria were too good in the shield final.
It was a fantastic all round performance from Victoria to come to South Australia and take the title away from them and were well deserved winners of the shield.