Redbacks fall just short of Victoria

The West End Redbacks have suffered their third-successive tight loss in the Marsh Sheffield Shield, falling to Victoria by only three wickets on Tuesday.

Vying for the David Hookes Trophy in memory of the brilliant batsman 20 years on from his passing, Victoria won the toss and elected to bowl first at CitiPower Centre.

Promising youngster Thomas Kelly was selected for his first Sheffield Shield outing of 2023/24, following a strong finish to the Big Bash season with the Adelaide Strikers.

Openers Henry Hunt (1) and Jake Carder (17) were watchful early on what was a green-tinged pitch, but SA’s top-order all fell cheaply leaving the Redbacks vulnerable at 3-9 inside 19 overs.

Captain Jake Lehmann (37) led a much-needed resurgence to have SA 3-48 by the lunch break.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Harry Nielsen and Ben Manenti then formed the biggest partnership of the innings either side of the tea break, adding 61 runs in 16 overs.

Manenti produced another key knock and finished unbeaten on 47* with the Redbacks dismissed for 173 in the 71st over.

South Australia was unable to force a breakthrough in the final 20 overs of the day, leaving Victorian opening pair Nic Maddinson (36*) and Marcus Harris (33*) to resume on Day Two.

It was a good fightback early on Day Two, with each of the Redbacks fast bowlers getting a wicket in the first hour of play, taking 3-25 in the opening 60 minutes.

With Doggett getting his second wicket on the stroke of lunch, Victoria entered the break at 4-141.

After lunch, all-rounder Scott stepped up and took 2-7, before continuing on after tea, taking the final two wickets to finish with figures of 4-18 as Victoria were bowled out for 288.

Behind the stumps, Nielsen took an impressive six catches, including an absolute cracker off the spin bowling of Nathan McSweeney.

The Redbacks faced 20 overs at the end of Day Two, finishing the day 2-66 with Hunt and nightwatchman McAndrew resuming on Day Three.

Whilst the first session was rained out, the duo had a good start when they finally got to the middle – Hunt raising his bat to acknowledge his half-century while McAndrew fell just shot on 43.

A few quick wickets fell just before tea, but that brought Nielsen to the crease and he too raised his bat as he went on to top-score with 67, his half century capping off an impressive game both with the bat and the gloves.

Bowled out for 271, the Redbacks set Victoria 157 runs to win in the final innings.

With a small chase ahead for the Victorian’s, a good start was crucial for the Redbacks and they got just that, McAndrew taking two wickets before stumps.

Starting the final day at 2-49 with 108 runs required, the day couldn’t have got off to a better start, with Victoria’s first innings centurion Nic Maddinson being caught on the very first ball of the day.

It was Doggett that got the important wicket and he struck again five overs later, removing nightwatchman Xavier Crone.

Agar joined in next, sending Peter Handscomb’s off-stump flying, with Jonathan Merlo suffering the same fate off the bowling of Doggett.

The bowlers put in a good effort on the final day, but there just weren’t enough runs on the board and the Victorian’s chased the required total before lunch, with three wickets in hand.

A chance to fightback comes in just two days time, with the two teams set to play each other again in the Marsh Cup.

South Australia has selected a squad of 13 for the match, including a potential debutant with Glenelg Cricket Club captain Jake Winter joining the squad off the back of good Premier Cricket form, highlighted by a score of 182 in a West End One Day Cup match against East Torrens.

Marsh Cup squad: Jordan Buckingham, Harry Conway, Jake Fraser-McGurk, David Grant, Henry Hunt, Thomas Kelly, Jake Lehmann, Ben Manenti, Nathan McSweeney (C), Harry Nielsen (WK), Lloyd Pope, Henry Thornton, Jake Winter

The match at Junction Oval will begin at 9:30am ACDT at Junction Oval and can be watched live on and Kayo Sports.

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