Stoinis’ all-round show helps Western Australia pip Victoria

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Western Australia 9 for 281 (Bancroft 76, Stoinis 45, Matthew Short 2-32) beat Victoria 8 for 165 (Handscomb 73*, Kelly 3-8, Stoinis 3-20) by nine runs (DLS method)

Western Australia consolidated their position at the top of the table in the Marsh Cup with a 9-run win (DLS method) in a rain-truncated contest in Perth. The match was initially reduced to 42 overs and later the minimum required 20, with Victoria falling short despite captain Peter Handscomb‘s unbeaten 73 off 54 balls. Marcus Stoinis starred with both bat and ball to secure the result in Western Australia’s favour.

Having opted to bat, Western Australia were in early trouble after the loss of openers Josh Philippe and D’Arcy Short with just 27 on the board, Will Sutherland accounting for both. But the middle order fired for the home team, the likes of Shaun Marsh (30 off 39), Stoinis (45 off 44) and captain Ashton Turner (39 off 27) playing an able support cast to top scorer Cameron Bancroft (76 off 70).

A flurry of wickets towards the end, in particular the one of the aggressive Turner, meant that Western Australia couldn’t take full toll of the final few overs, but the revised target of 175 in 20 overs was still a stiff one after the hosts finished their 42 overs at 9 for 281.

Seamer Mathew Kelly made it even harder as he ripped through Victoria’s top order, picking up 3 for 7 in his two-over opening burst to reduce the visitors to 3 for 29, and when Jhye Richardson cleaned up Glenn Maxwell for 2 two overs later, a Western Australia win seemed like a foregone conclusion.

But first in the company of Nic Maddinson, who struck a 9-ball 28 and later with support from Matthew Short (15 off 12), Handscomb kept his team in the hunt. At one point, the equation had come down to 67 off 48, before Stoinis trapped Short lbw, and struck twice more in quick succession to leave Victoria eight down. While 50 needed from the last five still wasn’t impossible, Stoinis bowled excellent 17th and 19th overs to leave Andrew Tye 17 to defend in the final over, which went for just eight despite a no-ball.

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