Handscomb ton helps Victoria to Shield win over South Australia

Test squad member Peter Handscomb found form in his final innings before the South African tour, with his unbeaten century lifting Victoria to a crucial six-wicket win against South Australia at Adelaide Oval yesterday.

Victoria were 3-84 at one stage in pursuit of a testing fourth-innings Sheffield Shield victory target of 252, but Handscomb steadied and then hit the winning runs with 11 overs to spare for the Bushrangers to collect their maiden win of the season.

Flourishing: Peter Handscomb in good touch for the Bushrangers. Photo: AAP

Handscomb, who made a seven-ball duck in the first innings, started steadily before bringing up the run-rate as he scored an unbeaten 114 off 128 balls.

The Victorian captain combined with veteran former skipper Cameron White for a pivotal 138-run stand for the fourth wicket. White backed up his first-innings’ 149 by scoring 50.

Centurion: Victorian Peter Handscomb celebrates reaching 100 runs against South Australia.
Centurion: Victorian Peter Handscomb celebrates reaching 100 runs against South Australia. Photo: AAP

South Australia’s bowlers struggled for their usual line and length as they sought wickets, with Joe Mennie (2-40) the pick of the frontline quartet.

Day four began with South Australia 5-208, a lead of 216. But The Redbacks’ tail offered little resistance, leaving Victoria with a getable target off 76 overs.

The win means the defending shield champions leap to fourth on the table to keep their slim finals hopes alive.

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In Brisbane, Queensland eased past Tasmania in little more than three days at the Gabba to go to the top of the ladder, but defeated Tigers captain George Bailey is a fan of the Dukes ball, which aided the home team’s cause.

The English Dukes ball has again been introduced for the second half of the Shield season, ostensibly to help Australian players prepare for next year’s Ashes series in England.Bailey says the ball eliminates large-scoring draws, but warned Australian conditions were vastly different from those in England.

‘‘If the argument is to get us prepared for England, I don’t think that is the case,’’ he said. ‘‘The Dukes ball poses some challenges here but if you look at the guys that scored runs here, they had very good defensive techniques and picked their balls to score.’’

The other shield match at the WACA Ground, WA chased down 169 against NSW.AAP

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