Handscomb 103* sets up Victoria win; Tasmania thrash South Australia

Victoria 3 for 233 (Handscomb 103*, Gotch 51*, Steketee 2-57) beat Cricket Australia XI 232 (Nielsen 94, Wright 30, Tremain 3-51, Siddle 2-20) by seven wickets

Peter Handscomb, Australia’s No. 5 Test batsman, blazed to an unbeaten century after his fellow Ashes aspirant Peter Siddle did not give much away with the ball to guide Victoria to a bonus-point win over the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval in Sydney.

Having kept wicket at times during Australia’s unsuccessful ODI series in India, Handscomb has also taken the gloves for the Bushrangers in two domestic limited-overs matches since his return. However, it was his starburst of strokes in pursuit of the CA XI total that will have most interested the selector on duty Greg Chappell, with support from Seb Gotch.

Hurstville is a venue noted for favouring batsmen, but the CA XI were never likely to set a steep task for Victoria after sliding as low as 6 for 45 to the Bushrangers’ pacemen. Chief among the wreckers was Siddle, who claimed the key wickets of Clint Hinchliffe and Max Bryant – he of the 89-ball 61 against New South Wales on Sunday – while conceding a mere 20 runs from 10 precise overs.

The young wicketkeeper Harry Nielsen, son of the former Australia coach Tim Nielsen, then prolonged the CA XI innings with a determined 94, aided by stands of 59 with Mac Wright, 53 with Mark Steketee and 59 with Charlie Stobo. Nielsen fell short of his own century in the dying overs, but he had enlarged the CA XI total just enough to ensure plenty of fireworks from Handscomb.

Tasmania 6 for 315 (Bailey 86, Doolan 62, Cormack 2-52) beat South Australia 186 (Ferguson 43, Carey 41, Dunk 3-14, Boyce 3-27) by 129 runs

Tasmania captain George Bailey supercharged his side’s batting to push the Tigers to victory over South Australia at North Sydney Oval.

Ben Dunk and Alex Doolan provided a platform for Bailey by negotiating the new ball after the Redbacks’ captain Callum Ferguson sent Tasmania in to bat, before the former Australia ODI captain clattered six sixes in a 62-ball stay that was supported by Matthew Wade – playing his first match for the Tigers since relocating from Victoria during the winter.

James Faulkner, the Australia allrounder, also provided some late acceleration to the Tasmania innings with a rapid-fire 34, leaving the left-arm paceman Nick Winter, in particular, with bowling figures he would rather forget.

SA’s pursuit looked to be on course to make the match close when Alex Carey and Ferguson were purring through the early overs, but the wicketkeeper’s exit heralded a regular fall of wickets shared amongst Riley Meredith, the legspinner Cameron Boyce and the part-timer Dunk. The win was by a wide enough margin to grant Tasmania a bonus point and lift them off the bottom of the table, ahead of the Cricket Australia XI.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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