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Recent Match Report – Tasmania vs Victoria 26th Match 2023/24

Victoria 81 for 7 trail Tasmania 240 (Doran 47, Jewell 40, Sutherland 5-73) by 159 runs

Matthew Wade pulled off arguably the best catch of his glittering career as Victoria’s star-studded batting line-up imploded against Tasmania on a day of Sheffield Shield carnage at Blundstone Arena.

A total of 17 wickets fell across the opening day in Hobart, with Victoria entering stumps in huge trouble at 81 for 7 in reply to Tasmania’s 240.

The highlight of the day belonged to Wade, who spent the bulk of his career as a wicketkeeper but on Friday proved just how good he is in the field as well. Fielding at gully, Wade pulled off a stunning one-handed catch while diving to his right to dismiss Peter Handscomb for a duck.

Ladder leaders Tasmania will secure a spot in the final if they can beat second-placed Victoria. Defending champions WA sit third and are looking to leapfrog Victoria with just one round remaining after this.

Wade’s piece of magic was part of a Victorian collapse of 5 for 18 as the visitors slumped from 48 for 1 to 66 for 6. Will Sutherland fell to Riley Meredith in the final over of the day to add further misery to Victoria’s cause.

Fit-again Tasmania paceman Gabe Bell, Iain Carlisle and Beau Webster all shared the load as Victoria’s top and middle order crumbled. The top three of Nic Maddinson, Marcus Harris and Will Pucovski all made starts, but none was able to go on with it.

It was disastrous from that point on as Handscomb and Matt Short fell for ducks at the hands of Webster, before Sam Harper departed for 7.

“It didn’t quite finish the way we would have liked,” Victorian assistant Adam Griffith said. “We were probably a bit off in both parts of the game.

“We’ll get as close as we can (to their score) in the morning.  We’ve played some really good cricket this season, we’ve hung in there when we’ve been behind in the game. We’ll be looking to do that again.”

Things looked much brighter for Victoria earlier in the day on the back of Sutherland’s heroics with the ball.

Tasmania were cruising at 78 for 0 as openers Caleb Jewell and Wade set a solid foundation. But it was the Sutherland and Fergus O’Neill show after that as the duo combined for eight wickets.

Wade was the first to fall when he edged Sutherland to first slip, and Jewell followed a short time later when Pucovski took a sharp catch above his head at gully.

Then it was O’Neill’s turn to strike, trapping Jordan Silk lbw for 6. Wicketkeeper Harper then took a stunning one-handed catch diving to his left to pocket Charlie Wakim’s inside edge.

Jake Doran and Jarrod Freeman put up stiff resistance, but both fell to the in-form Sutherland.

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