Victoria 3 for 158 (Pucovski 64) beat New South Wales 7 for 277 (Hughes 117) by three runs (DLS method)
The Marsh Cup was handed a bizarre start when what became the final ball of the match at Junction Oval was hit for six by Matthew Short
before the players left the field for bad light and Victoria were the winners.
Three runs behind the required run-rate on the final ball of the 29th over, Short struck Jason Sangha over long-on for six with the umpires immediately taking the players from the field. Four overs before that the umpires had deemed it too dark for the quicks but the game continued with spinners Sangha and Nathan Lyon in tandem.
After 28 overs Victoria were level with the par score and Kurtis Patterson, the NSW captain, signaled to use quick bowler Liam Hatcher but the umpires deemed it was still too dark and Sangha sent down what became the final over of the game.
It later emerged that there may have been confusion over whether NSW were ahead of the DLS or that, as was the case, the scores were tied at 28 overs. At that point, it appeared Victoria captain Peter Handscomb was agitated about the prospect of coming off the field.
“Not quite sure what to make of that, to be honest,” NSW batter Daniel Hughes
said. “It was fairly dark for the last hour. Obviously the agreement was we were going to bowl spin and we didn’t have any overs left, Gaz [Lyon] had bowled out and Sangha was basically our only spinner. That last over, [it was a] bit disappointing they hit the last one for six, think after that it would have been the end because we couldn’t bowl anyone else. That’s the way it is, bit of a shambles at the end.”
However, Hughes did agree it was hard to see the ball. “The umpires tried to get as much cricket out of it as they could,” he said. “I was sitting down at fine leg and third man and I could tell that it was it was quite dark…hard to see the ball square the wicket.
“When that comes into play and you’ve got quicks bowling 130-140kph it is quite dangerous…so it’s just disappointing we can’t play at a ground with lights because we’d still be out there.”
The unlikely finish overshadowed Hughes’ earlier heroics with the NSW opener striking an impressive 117 and extending his record of most one-day centuries for the Blues to eight.
In pursuit of NSW’s challenging 7 for 277, Victoria reached 0 for 47 from 9.2 overs when a 13-over delay saw the home side set a revised target of 226 from 37 overs at just over a run-a-ball.
played a chanceless innings of 64 before he fell to a sharp catch behind the stumps from new wicketkeeper Matthew Gilkes off the bowling of Hatcher.
Test opener Marcus Harris, batting at No.3, fell in the next over for 41 to leave Victoria – missing the services of quick-scoring Nic Maddinson due to English county commitments – significantly behind the required run rate.
But Short and captain Peter Handscomb edged Victoria to 3 for 158 and over the line without any room to spare.
NSW seemed on top throughout the day as Hughes took early control after the visitors were given first use of the deck. Hughes enjoyed strong support from fellow opener Patterson (30), Moises Henriques (35) and Gilkes (40).
In his 88th appearance, Henriques broke the record for most one-day appearances for NSW.
Hughes looked capable of a massive score but a remarkable grab behind the stumps from wicketkeeper Handscomb ended his knock in the 43rd over.
A slew of late wickets marginally slowed the Blues scoring with debutant allrounder Will Salzmann contributing a whirlwind 21 not out from 14 balls in the final overs.
Inexperienced left-arm spinner Todd Murphy continued where he left off last season with a tidy 10-over return of 2 for 29.