Josh Inglis plundered 91 off 57 balls before Victoria lost 8 for 44 in the chase
Western Australia 317 (Inglis 91, Whiteman 66, S Marsh 54, Merlo 5-71) beat Victoria 147 (Harper 60, Paris 4-21, O’Connor 3-35) by 170 runs
Western Australia put themselves in contention for the Marsh Cup final, and a chance to defend their title, with a massive 170-run victory over Victoria which earned a double-bonus point haul to lift them to second in the table with a game to play.
There were three half-centuries for the home side, led by Josh Inglis’ increasingly destructive 91 off 57 deliveries, although they were bowled out in the 49th over as Jonathan Merlo claimed a five-wicket haul.
In reply Victoria were handily placed on 2 for 103 in the 19th over, but when captain Peter Handscomb flicked to midwicket the innings fell apart rapidly as they lost 8 for 44.
To further boost Western Australia they are likely to be able to call on their cohort of Australia players not heading to the IPL – Josh Philippe, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, D’Arcy Short and Ashton Turner – for the final match against Tasmania next month. They were required to quarantine for 14 days after returning from New Zealand and completed that period today.
After losing Cameron Bancroft early, Sam Whiteman and Shaun Marsh added 98 for the second wicket to lay the foundation. However, Western Australia stumbled when Cameron Green and Marsh fell in the space of three balls to Merlo – Green superbly caught by Sam Harper and Marsh also edging behind.
But they continued to be positive with Inglis and Hilton Cartwright adding 67 then Aaron Hardie joined Inglis to add 61 was the innings entered the last 10 overs with five wickets in hand.
A crunching straight drive for six took Inglis to his fifty from 42 balls and his next 36 runs took just 15 deliveries to bring a century in sight before he missed against Merlo. In all, Western Australia’s last five wickets fell for 42,
Matt Kelly made the first breakthrough of the chase with a beauty from round the wicket to square up Marcus Harris and in the next over Nic Maddinson pulled straight to short fine leg.
Harper and Handscomb made good progress but Green took a sharp catch at midwicket to end the stand which opened the floodgates and the game hurtled to a conclusion just 12 overs later.
There had been a worrying moment during the Western Australia innings when Mackenzie Harvey hurtled into the wall and fence beyond the boundary as he attempted to stop a four. He was assessed by the physio and doctor, with Inglis running over to make sure he was okay, and was able to take his spot in Victoria’s innings although fell for 6 in the collapse.