Tasmania secure victory to be on brink of home Shield final


Tasmania 240 (Sutherland 5-73) and 307 (Webster 167*) beat Victoria 106 (Bell 4-21) and 384 (Maddinson 109, Harris 76, Handscomb 71, Carlisle 4-58)

Tasmania all but assured they will appear in their first Sheffield Shield final in six years, after defeating Victoria by 57 runs in a thrilling match in Hobart.

They are in the box seat to host this month’s decider after completing their fifth win of the season early on the final day.

Victoria entered the fourth and final day of the top-of-the-table match at Blundstone Arena on 373 for 8, chasing 442 for a remarkable victory.

Tasmania quick Gabe Bell took the crucial wicket of Victoria captain Will Sutherland in the first over of the day.

Iain Carlisle wrapped up the match when he dismissed Peter Siddle just 17 balls later.

It capped an extraordinary turnaround after Victoria were 348 for 4 on Sunday and seemingly cruising to chasing down the big total. But the visitors suffered a collapse of 4 for 25 late on day three, in what proved the defining period of the match.

Tasmania allrounder Beau Webster was the standout player in the Scott Mason Memorial match, blasting a brilliant unbeaten 167 in the second-innings 307.

Tasmania last won the Sheffield Shield back in 2012-13 and will host this season’s final if they defeat South Australia in their final regular-season match, starting in Hobart next Monday.

A draw against the Redbacks would likely be enough for Tasmania to qualify for the final, with even a defeat possibly still seeing them through.

“It’s massive for our state, and as a playing group. We’re still quite young,” Webster said. “It’s been a good year. Hoping to win against South Australia and hopefully get to host a Shield final, which would be massive for us and the state.”

Victoria can still qualify for the final if they beat dual reigning champions Western Australia in their match at the Junction Oval, starting next Monday.

They will have to do it without talented, but luckless, batter Will Pucovski, who suffered the 12th concussion of his career after being hit on the helmet on Sunday.

Pucovski, 26, was subbed out of the match for Campbell Kellaway.

“He’s in good spirits,” Sutherland said of Pucovski. “I spoke to him and he seems alright. He’s headed home already, but hopefully he can look after himself and be back playing as soon as possible.”

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