Victoria celebrates after winning the match during the JLT One Day Cup Semi Final
Victoria celebrates after winning the match during the JLT One Day Cup Semi Final

Handscomb to the rescue as Vics stun WA

TWO sixes from leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed then four wickets from batsman Nic Maddinson proved crucial role reversals as Victoria powered in to the domestic one-day final with a 63-run win over Western Australia.

But it could be the secret song Victoria skipper Peter Handscomb is playing in his head that gives the home team the edge when they return to the Junction Oval to play Tasmania on Wednesday.

Overlooked for Test selection after a horror run with Australia A in India, Handscomb and Victoria opener Marcus Harris rescued their team from 2-7 to help post 332.

Harris earned man-of-the-match honours for his quick-fire 73 off 49 balls, including 64 runs in boundaries.

But 80 from Handscomb, his fourth straight half-century after opening the tournament with a duck, proved the cornerstone of the innings and continued a resurgence that has a few elements to it.

Handscomb, dropped despite a Test average of 43, won't reveal the song he has been singing through his past four innings in which he has racked up 290 runs.

Chris Tremain of Victoria is congratulated by Travis Dean after dismissing Marcus Stoinis
Chris Tremain of Victoria is congratulated by Travis Dean after dismissing Marcus Stoinis

He's been continually tweaking things and on Sunday also took the wicket-keeping gloves, after Seb Gotch suffered an infected tooth, showing he has the extra strings to a bow he hopes ensures he never fades from the international selection discussion.

"I've had the same song (in his head) for four innings in a row. The music over the loud speaker got me a few times, I started singing that song instead, I had to bring it back," he said.

"I can go in to all the little minute things I have been doing, but ultimately I am seeing the ball and trying to hit it, and enjoying my cricket. "

Maddinson took his first wickets for Victoria after Handscomb decided, on a hunch, the time was right to bowl him.

He snared the final four wickets of the game, having made 58 with the bat too.

But it was the dual sixes from Ahmed, his first ever for the Vics, hit while wearing the wrong team trousers, that helped topple the previously undefeated WA outfit.

"We were losing it, we couldn't believe how clean they were. One of them was the biggest of our innings, " Handscomb said.

Glenn Maxwell failed with the bat, caught in the deep for just seven when he hooked a short-ball, and then went for 24 off two overs bowling what he called "absolute pies" to start the innings,

He rescued himself in the field, with a brilliant run-out and then an even better catch which sealed the win and set up a showdown with Tassie.

"I like the way we went about it today. I liked our positive mindset," Handscomb said

"I think we can be a little smarter and if we can do that we'll put a very clinical performance together in the final."



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