Victoria (286 & 3/167) defeated South Australia (260 and 192) by 7 wickets @ Karen Rolton Oval
MOTM: Chris Tremain (Vic)- Match figures of 7/72
Here’s an amazing stat- Prior to Travis Head this summer, the last South Australian to make a test century for Australia was Jason Gillespie.
That probably explains why the Redbacks have been so historically crap this season.
The Vics warmed up for the Shield final with a relatively easy win over the Redbacks, who have suffered the ignominy of a winless Shield season, and with it, the wooden spoon.
Going into the 2nd innings with a 26-run lead thanks to Will Pucovski’s 86, the Vics put the foot down when James Pattinson dismissed Jake Weatherald first ball, and led by Chris Tremain, they put themselves in a winning position by restricting the hosts to 4-39, and the cheap loss of the top order wickets held SA to 192, leaving Victoria a meager 167 to win.
A 130-run opening stand between Marcus Harris (Who passed the magical 1,000 run mark for the season) and Travis Dean made sure of the result- The Vics winning by 7 wickets just before lunch on the final day- Tremain’s 7 wickets earned him Man of the Match honours.
On to the final for the Big V!
Western Australia (138 & 348) defeated Queensland (175 & 175) by 136 runs @ The WACA
MOTM: Aaron Hardie (WA)- 8 wickets on debut!
To the horror of the human race (And to my delight), Warriors captain Mitch Marsh played himself into Ashes contention by getting WA on top in the 2nd innings with a fine 105, as the hosts gave themselves every chance of reaching the Shield final by knocking off Queensland at the WACA.
In what has come to define the Bulls in 2019, they started their chase well as Renshaw and Labuschagne raced to 1-77, before debutant Aaron Hardie (The Willeton Wonder) took 3 wickets in 3 overs to put the hosts back on top.
Renshaw soldiered on and put on a 60-run 5th wicket stand with Jimmy Peirson, but Peirson was struck down by a home town LBW off the bowling of Paris for 27 (Apparently it was flying down leg side), and a few overs later, any flickering hopes were dashed when Renshaw edged one to a diving Marsh at first slip on 73.
Queensland lost 8 wickets in the last session, as fittingly, their season ended in a collapse.
A superb debut for Hardie, who scored 30 and had match figures of 8-65, earning him man of the match honours!
At this stage WA were into 2nd, and with New South Wales needing to force a result in Hobart and with the typical Tassie weather apparently bringing the rains, everything was coming up Milhouse!
New South Wales (375 & 5-149) defeated Tasmania (255 & 120) @ Blundstone Arena
MOTM: Sean Abbott (NSW) 7-45 in second innings
The Tasmanians made things easier for the Blues by making sure they only had to aim at the stumps instead of their pads- Explains why New South Wales ended up leading by 120 runs after the 1st innings, but even then, fate wasn’t on their side.
On Saturday morning, I was laughing to myself of the thought of the Blues missing the Shield final out of nothing more than circumstance conspiring against them, with a 90% chance of rain forecast for Hobart, when they needed to force a win to make a final, it was fair to say, it wasn’t looking good.
And then they declared on 5-149, leaving the hosts to chase 270 in 112 overs (Very achievable)- And before I could blink, Sean Abbott had destroyed the Tigers with 4 wickets in the first 10 overs of the day- Trent Copeland (Who took 6-88 in the 1st innings) claimed the other wicket of Alex Doolan, and Tassie were reeling at 5-23, after a stunning spell of bowling.
Matty Wade did provide some resistance with 65, and passed 1,000 Shield runs for the season, which allowed Tassie to reach triple figures, but Abbott mopped up the stragglers and finished with career-best figures of 7-45.
Tasmania bowled out for 120 before Lunch, and the Blues the winners by 149 runs, earning the right to face Victoria in next week’s Final, tipping out WA in the process- In all honesty, they did deserve to get there.
Damn you Tassie, this why we cast you off from the mainland in the ’60s… At least that’s what I learned in history class.