Western Australia 109 for 4 (Short 39) beat Victoria 107 (Behrendorff 3-14, Tye 3-14) by six wickets
Jhye Richardson ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/jhye-richardson-774223) has made a successful return from injury as Western Australia crushed Victoria by six wickets in their Marsh Cup match at the WACA Ground.
Player of the match Jason Behrendorff ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/jason-behrendorff-272477) snared 3 for 14 off five overs on Monday and Richardson chipped in with 2 for 36 as Victoria were skittled for 107 in 21.1 overs.
In reply, WA raced to victory with a whopping 158 balls to spare, giving them a bonus point and a perfect 3-0 start to their title defence. The Marsh Cup ladder-leaders have now won 12 straight matches in the 50-over competition and again loom as the team to beat having won the last two titles convincingly and three of the last four overall.
Sam Whiteman (38 not out off 51 balls) and D’Arcy Short (39 off 39) made light work of the run chase in an easy win for the hosts.
WA captain Ashton Turner’s decision to bowl first proved a masterstroke as Victoria crashed to 22 for 3. Richardson, playing for the first time since hamstring surgery last summer, got the ball rolling with the early scalps of Sam Harper and Campbell Kellaway.
But it was Behrendorff’s spell that truly ripped the heart out of Victoria’s batting line-up. Behrendorff trapped opener Tom Rogers lbw before having Jonathan Merlo caught at gully. The 33-year-old then produced the ball of the innings to knock over Peter Handscomb for 7. Handscomb simply had no answer as Behrendorff’s delivery swung back sharply to crash into the top of leg stump, leaving Victoria reeling at 45 for 5.
AJ Tye ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/andrew-tye-459508) and Lance Morris ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/lance-morris-1125317) joined in on the fun to leave Victoria at 62 for 8 and in danger of not passing their lowest score in the competition, 65 against Queensland in 2003.
Tail-enders Fergus O’Neill ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/fergus-o-neill-1304286) and Todd Murphy ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/todd-murphy-1193685) ensured Victoria avoided a new nadir. O’Neill top scored for the innings with 22 while Murphy scored 20 all in boundaries but the total was never going to be enough against a stacked WA line-up.
Victoria’s insipid display came just a day after Jake Fraser-McGurk, who moved from Victoria to South Australia for greater opportunities, scored a 29-ball century ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/marsh-cup-2023-24-jake-fraser-mcgurk-29-ball-ton-breaks-ab-de-villiers-list-a-record-1401703) for the Redbacks in their loss to Tasmania. Fraser-McGurk’s final score of 125 off 38 balls comfortably eclipsed Victoria’s team total on Monday.
The heavy defeat capped a bad few days for Victoria, who lost to WA by an innings and 53 runs in the Sheffield Shield ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/sheffield-shield-2023-24-1391768/western-australia-vs-victoria-3rd-match-1391772/full-scorecard) on Saturday.
Richardson, who has been plagued by shoulder and soft tissue injuries in recent years, is aiming to produce a strong summer in order to work his way back into the international arena. His performance on Monday was an important first step, though it remains to be seen when WA will unleash him in red-ball cricket.
Glamorgan 403 for 9 dec (Neser 176*, Swepson 69) drew with Leicestershire 451 for 6 (Patel 179, Hill 78) Rishi Patel ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/rishi-patel-857653) struck a career-best 179 to continue an increasingly