Tue, Oct 9, 8:56am by Head Editor
Victoria are set to take on Tasmania in the JLT Cup Final after they defeated Western Australia and Queensland respectively in the Semi Finals.
The Victorians set the defending champion Warriors a target of 333 for victory thanks to skipper Peter Handscomb, who top scored with 80 and a quick fire 73 from opener Marcus Harris, who took just 49 balls to get to that mark.
While those two were instrumental, it ended up being the tail-enders who ensured that the Vics, with the last four batsman adding 100 runs, pushed their total past 330.
The Warriors were cruising at 1-121 in reply, but lost four key wickets in a 10 over spell, including the run out of skipper Ashton Turner by limited overs International Glenn Maxwell, which turned the game in favour of the men in navy blue.
It is appropriate that Victoria will host the final at their brand-new $40 million headquarters, which was completed in March and rebranded the CitiPower Centre from it’s original name, the Junction Oval.
The other Semi Final was a much lower scoring affair, with Queensland managing a total of just 177 after they were sent in to bat by Tasmanian captain George Bailey, whose decision almost immediately paid off when Gabe Bell removed dangerous opener Max Bryant in his second over.
Bulls quick Billy Stanlake gave his state some hope of a remarkable victory when he removed Matthew Wade for a duck and then Ben McDermott and when Luke Feldman took the wickets of Jordan Silk and Alex Doolan all of a sudden the match was in the balance.
That’s as close as the Queenslanders got to the final though, with Bailey and Simon Milenko coming together for an unbeaten fifth-wicket partnership of 128, which steered the Tigers into Wednesday’s decider with 13 overs to spare.
The betting market is extremely tight in this one, with the visitors a $1.85 favourite to defeat Victoria just as they did earlier in the season, the Vics are right behind them though, at $1.95.
A century from Matthew Wade saw Tasmania post a challenging total of 321 against Victoria in the third match of the competition and despite several Vics making a start, no one was able to go on with it and they were dismissed for 256, a result that should give the Tigers plenty of confidence ahead of the decider.
Suggested Bet: The experienced Cameron Smith to top score for Victoria, he rarely fails twice in a row: $4
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