MARSH CUP 2019-20
Aaron Finch’s century went in vain © Getty
It was a consolation win, but a thrilling one nevertheless as South Australia secured a third-place finish in the Marsh Cup after beating Victoria by one run.
The occasion was all the more special for Callum Ferguson, who not only scored a hundred but also went past Darren Lehmann to become South Australia’s leading run-scorer in domestic one-day cricket.
Ferguson’s 122 formed the core of South Australia’s effort after opting to bat first at the MCG. Having opened the innings, Ferguson batted till the 45th over, sharing a 104-run stand with Alex Carey along the way, to provide the perfect launch-pad for Tom Cooper who exploded towards the end scoring 81 off just 46 balls as the visitors finished with 322.
In response, Victoria were rocked early losing Sam Harper for a duck, shortly followed by Marcus Harris. But once Aaron Finch and Peter Handscomb joined hands, they didn’t take long to start dominating. The duo put on a 147-run stand in which Handscomb played the aggressor with 87 off just 75 balls.
Even Handscomb’s dismissal didn’t change the momentum much, as Matthew Short carried on with a brisk 35. At the other end, Finch powered on for a hundred and brought the equation down to 41 from six overs, with Victoria firm favourites.
However, Adam Zampa – who didn’t have a great day until that point – struck in the next over to remove Finch which proved to be the turning point. The hosts lost their way slightly before Cameron Valente held his nerve to defend 11 runs off the final over.
Brief Scores: South Australia 322 for 4 in 50 overs (Callum Ferguson 122, Tom Cooper 81; Xavier Crone 2/76) beat Victoria 321 for 5 in 50 overs (Aaron Finch 119, Peter Handscomb 87; Daniel Worrall 2/56, Wes Agar 1/43) by one run.