Unveiling it’s next generation of players all in one go didn’t work out like Victoria hoped
Rookie Victorian spinner Todd Murphy will never forget his first wicket for his state, even though his debut match wasn’t one to remember as his team made a bold statement about its future.
The 20-year-old Murphy, originally from Moama on the NSW border, was one of three first-gamers playing against Tasmania on Wednesday.
Teenage spinner Will Parker and another 20-year-old, fast bowler Brody Couch from the tiny western district town of Nirranda, were the other debutantes in a Victorian team which featured six players aged under 21, and eight under 23.
The home team’s frontline bowling attack had played a grand total of five List A games, and Xavier Crone had played four of them as the Vics unveiled the bulk of their next generation all in one go.
Victorian captain Peter Handscomb, who played a lone hand with the bat scoring 95 of his team’s sub-par score of 222 which Tassie reached with five overs to spare, said everyone in the squad was needed to cope with a tight schedule.
The Vics will play four one-day matches and three Sheffield Shield games over the next 29 days.
“We can’t have our Shield players coming in and being overworked. It’s about trying to manage some blokes and get through the season,” Handscomb said.
The three first-gamers all took a wicket each, with snaring the prized scalp of Test captain, and Tassie opener, Tim Paine with his seventh delivery.
But it was a rare bowling highlight for Victoria as the visitors easily reached their target, hanks to an unbeaten 69 from Jordan Silk.
“I was pretty impressed with the young bowlers to be honest. We didn’t get near the score we should have,” Handscomb said.
“It’s exciting to see this young group coming through and doing good things. They are doing a lot of hard work and it’s nice to see them getting opportunities.”
The Vics lost 7-61 as the youth-filled line-up failed to back up its captain who continued a strong run of form.
Handscomb is averaging 173 across his past four Sheffield Shield and one-day innings, including an unbeaten 124 against a NSW attack which included Test stars Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.
Having made some tweaks to a technique which has drawn criticism, Handscomb said it had “been a while” since felt in such good form.
“But it’s only four hits, and it can change pretty quickly, so you have to try and keep it going,” he said.
Heartbreak for Pete Handscomb! A very, very good catch by Jordan Silk on the rope leaves him five short of the ton.
Live #MarshCup: https://t.co/FfcRbq5U3Rpic.twitter.com/xvasvWfYZL
✅ Wicket on debut
Todd Murphy picks up the Australian Test Captain in his second over.#OneDayCuppic.twitter.com/x2XJxomkMJ
Silk said it was “absolute gold” to be able to pull back an early Victorian charge, with his catch to dismiss Handscomb, which he had to juggle after falling over the line, playing a crucial role before he led the way with the bat.
“The thing on my side at the moment is having a bit of experience … feeling like the senior head,” he said.
“It has been the most consistent and comfortable I have felt in white-ball cricket.”
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