The lower order dug in but Victoria wrapped up victory midway through the final session
Victoria 199 (Maddinson 87, Abbott 6-38) and 3 for 290 dec (Harris 137, Handscomb 115) beat New South Wales 151 (Boland 4-34) and 134 by 204 runs
Friday’s centuries from Harris and Handscomb put their side in the box seat for victory, while also sending a timely reminder of their talent to national selectors. Harris then held catches to dismiss Matthew Gilkes and Abbott on Saturday, with the former a sensationally sharp effort at gully.
“I’m not sure he saw that,” Handscomb said. “It happened to stick…it was awesome. In terms of his batting, he’s picked up where he left off last season for Victoria and also in England this year.
“He’s in red-hot form. Great for him to come out here and do this in the first game. Especially with the Ashes coming up, he can take a lot of confidence going into that.”
Handscomb noted he would relish a chance to play for Australia A or Australia in coming months but was looking no further ahead than the MCG clash with NSW that begins on Friday.
“If that opportunity came, I’d grab it with both hands,” Handscomb said.
Prodigy Will Pucovski, who sat out this match because of concussion, and express paceman James Pattinson, who recently retired from international cricket, are likely to return next week.
“What a good problem to have. You have a win then two Australia players coming back into the fold,” Handscomb said. “I’m sure all the right protocols are happening [with Pucovski] and when he’s ready to go, he’ll be out there.”
NSW coach Phil Jaques indicated allrounder Moises Henriques was an unlikely starter in the next Shield match. Jaques praised the venue-record stand of 261 runs between Harris and Handscomb, while lamenting his own charges’ batting.
“We were on the wrong end of a pretty good partnership between two pretty good players at the top of their game,” former Test opener Jaques said. “I know they’re hurting. We’ll bounce back really quickly…we’ll be looking to try to get some revenge on them next week.”