Victoria 185 (Sutherland 53, Ellis 3-35) beat Tasmania 184 (McDermott 78, Tremain 4-36, Coleman 4-46) by one run
A staggering, scarcely believable, collapse from Tasmania, who lost 6 for 12 in 16 balls, handed defending champions Victoria their first win of the Marsh Cup at the WACA.
Tasmania needed 14 to win with six wickets in hand at the start of the 39th over with Ben McDermott cruising on 71 not out and Beau Webster 20 not out. But they elected to chase a different equation with a bonus point on offer for reaching the target inside 40 overs. Webster holed out trying to loft Chris Tremain over mid-off although McDermott remained composed thumping a huge six to reduce the equation to five runs from six balls for the bonus point.
However, that composure disappeared in the blink of an eye. James Faulkner upper cut Jackson Coleman straight to third man with the first ball of the 40th over then McDermott advanced down the pitch next ball and skied a top edge to mid-off. Three balls and two nervy singles later, Gurinder Sandhu sliced high to cover where Matt Short took an outstanding diving catch.
Then with three runs to win, Jackson Bird was given out caught down the leg side off Tremain but he furiously gestured that it came off his pad. Riley Meredith pinched a single with his first ball only for debutant Nathan Ellis to be given out lbw next ball. The lbw looked high and a touch leg side to the naked eye and Ellis could not believe he was given out.
Victoria will feel they got out of jail they were bowled out for 185. Ellis bagged three wickets to back up the excellent work upfront from and Jackson Bird, who took two wickets apiece with the two new balls.
Despite the result, the decision to bat first may well be one Peter Handscomb regrets as the ball nipped and swung on a fresh surface with the early start. Victoria compounded the tricky conditions with some loose shots to slump to 5 for 64. But they were fortunate not to have sunk further into the mire as Tasmania dropped a host of relatively straight-forward chances.
Glenn Maxwell rode his luck in a 45-run stand with Short to steady the innings somewhat but a strange shot off Ellis handed the debutant his first wicket as he just glided a ball too close to late cut to the keeper.
Will Sutherland played an excellent hand to showcase his all-round skills and help Victoria avoid being bundled out for under 150. He made his first half-century in List A cricket before he was the last man out with 13 balls left in the innings. He added two wickets with the ball and was a worthy Player of the Match.
Tasmania were cautious in their chase but McDermott was able score freely enough, despite losing both Caleb Jewell and Alex Doolan cheaply, with a series of useful stands through the middle order.
The game was dead and buried until the lure of the bonus point opened the door. Victoria did not so much barge through, as Tasmania invited them in, offered them a seat, and politely handed them the game.