The horror trip to Brisbane for would-be Test opener Marcus Harris and his Victorian teammates continued on Friday after a second setback in as many days.
Less than 24 hours after she was dismissed for just 63, Victoria’s fourth-lowest total in Shield history and the lowest since she was bowled out for 73 in 1971, the visitors were back and struggling with Queensland.
Test team member Scott Boland took three wickets to bowl Queensland out for 205, eventually giving them a massive lead of 142 runs in the first innings, before lunch on the second day.
But the Vics quickly found themselves in dire straits again when Travis Dean was dismissed for his second duck of the game, another Michael Neser victim.
Harris then became Neser’s second victim, pouncing on a rising delivery to keep Jimmy Pierson in his last game before facing the West Indies for the first time in the Prime Minister’s XI before joining the Test squad.
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Victorian captain Peter Handscomb, whose decision to bat first on the opening day, was almost out on the first ball and narrowly missed a foul from Neser, who should be the first man the national selectors call if any of the four quicks becomes unavailable in the test team.
Neser, who also made 31 with the bat, his team’s second-highest score, had six of the 12 Victorian wickets to fall in less than five completed sessions.
With Handscomb and second-stringer Ashley Chandrasinghe doing their best to survive, Vics were 2-13 in the second over, still 129 runs behind and potentially staring at defeat within two days.
The choice of batting on a green wicket backfired for up-and-coming Victorian Test captain Peter Handscomb as he and his side were humiliated in Brisbane and slumped to their lowest Sheffield Shield score in over 50 years.
Victoria lost eight wickets in the first session before being bowled out for just 63 just after lunch as Bulls bowlers Mark Steketee and Michael Neser continued their dominant start to the summer to annihilate the visitors at Allan Border Field.
Freshly picked in the premiership’s 11 as two of the season’s “leading first-class performers”, the duo took seven wickets in the opening session as the visitors slumped from 2-0 to 8-47 at lunch.
Each player then claimed another scalp after lunch to dismiss Victoria from over 32 overs to take their combined wickets to 41 this season and playing only their fourth match.
Neser finished with figures of 4-22 and has 19 for the season, while Steketee, who took 6-38 against WA last week, hit 5-18 in a disastrous Victorian effort and has 22.
Only second baseman Ashley Chandrasinghe, who made a century on debut against Tasmania, withstood the Vics onslaught, facing 84 balls but just 16 runs before he was out, his 19 with Scott Boland the Vics’ highest. visitors.
The paltry total was the lowest since 1971 when the Vics had 73 against WA and is the fourth lowest total in more than 130 years of the Shield competition.
However, the embarrassing score did not make the top twenty lowest scores in the competition and was two runs more than the 61 that Victoria dismissed Queensland just five years ago, in 2017.
Given the chance to bat on the same pitch, the Bulls weren’t without their own problems but they edged out Victoria’s total by just three wickets to take 6-130 at stumps, a lead of 67, with Neser again doing the job to keep them unbeaten . 30.
The only worry for the home team, and potentially for Australia, was the struggles of Test batsman Marnus Labuschagno, who was on nine against Scott Boland.
It was Labuschagne’s fourth consecutive single-figure score as he opened the season with 127 in the opener.
Fellow Test star Usman Khawaja made 22 off 68 balls.
The day got off to a horrendous start for the Victorians after Handscomb won the toss and elected to bat. Both Victorian openers, including Marcus Harris, who was recalled to the Test squad to face the West Indies this week, fell for ducks.
Travis Dean, last year’s joint Shield player of the year, lasted just three balls and Harris seven, but neither scored and the Vics were 2-0 up in four overs.
That was 3-5 when Handscomb was out, then 4-12 when Nic Maddinson’s battles continued and he was removed for just four, then 5-13 when Sam Harper was also out.
While Handscomb and Harris are the competition’s top two run-scorers this season, Maddinson has conceded just 56 runs in five innings at an average of just 11.
It got worse for the Vics after his dismissal when Will Sutherland was caught for five and the visitors were reduced to 6-22 in the opening hour of play.
But even as Chandrasinghe struggled to keep the Bulls at bay in partnership with Mitch Perry and then Boland, he too succumbed on a dark day for the team.
The Vics have surpassed their three lowest shield totals of more than a century ago, the only time they have failed to reach 50, but the meager total is now in their lowest five ever.
VICTORIAN SHEFFIELD SHIELD LOW SCORE
31 in NSW Sydney on 25 January 1907
35 at NSW Sydney on 26 January 1927
43 v South Aust Melbourne on 21 February 1896
63 in Queensland, Brisbane, 10 Nov 2022
73 v West Aust Melbourne on 10 December 1971
76 v South Aust Melbourne on 31 December 1900
76 V at Queensland Brisbane 7 Mar 1975
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