Two thrilling Sheffield Shield matches came down to the final day, and it was a surprise name in Peter Handscomb who shone brightest with a match-saving ton for Victoria against NSW.

The Victorian skipper ended a two-year first-class century drought to salvage a draw.

Meanwhile, Western Australia captain Shaun Marsh is locked in a last-ditch attempt to salvage a draw in the final session against South Australia.

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AGELESS MARSH STILL WORKING WONDERS

Shaun Marsh continues to guide his Western Australian side with aplomb.

The 37-year-old, earlier this month awarded a second-straight domestic player of the year award, scored 24 from 41 in the first innings against South Australia, before shoring up a crumbling side on the final day at the WACA.

Marsh bagged three centuries at the start of the Shield season late last year, and while he couldn’t build on that in this round, he still contributed immensely.

While WA suffered a mini-collapse of 4-26 on the final day, Marsh steadily batted his way to an unbeaten 35* off 73 at tea.

At 5-98, Western Australia need 234 from the final session of the match.

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Shaun Marsh and Hilton Cartwright of Western Australia.Source: Getty Images

GREEN CAN’T BACK UP HUGE KNOCK

Young gun Cameron Green failed to add to his first-innings ton when the Test lock copped a second-ball duck for Western Australia on the final day against South Australia.

The Australian No.6, batting at four for the WA side, smashed an unbeaten 168 off 298 balls to notch his sixth first-class ton on day three.

Then WA captain Shaun Marsh boldly declared their first innings at 5-409 on day three, a deficit of 101 runs to the winless Redbacks.

The Redbacks slumped to 4-61 early Saturday, but fought back to finish the day 4-142 and set up a juicy final day.

Alex Carey (82*) and Harry Nielsen (67) both reached their half-centuries on Sunday before declaring on 9/230, leaving Western Australia needing 332 to win.

But WA’s centurions in the first innings, Cameron Bancroft and Cameron Green, both failed to fire.

Bancroft, who scored 126 in the first innings, made a good start in the second before falling for 30 off 57, then Green was dismissed for a second-ball duck as David Grant struck twice in the over.

Nevertheless, it’s been a superb season to date for Green, who is averaging 88.50 this season with 531 runs from eight Shield innings.

With two tons and two fifties to his name, he’s averaging at least a half-ton from every two innings.

With the ball, Green finished with figures of 1-55 off 13 overs in the first innings then 0-22 off three expensive overs in the second innings.

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HANDSCOMB WINDS BACK THE CLOCK

Meanwhile 29-year-old Peter Handscomb ended a run of lean form with the bat with a match-saving century for Victoria against NSW.

Handscomb averaged just 18.9 with a top score of 30 across 13 innings for new team Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL season.

But the Victorian captain ended a run of over two years without a first-class ton by holding off the star-studded NSW bowling attack to rescue a draw on the final day in Sydney.

Handscomb, who hasn’t played internationally for two years, brought up his 15th first-class hundred from 251 balls – and his first since November 2018 – before ending the final day unbeaten on 124 when the captains shook hands shortly after tea.

“Just tried to stay in my bubble the best I could, score when the ball was there,” he said. “It was nice to spend some time in the middle … hadn’t scored a hundred for a while as well so good to get that feeling back

“And more just mentally being out there for that time and getting back into the routine of it’s never enough, never being satisfied, trying not to leave it to someone else. All that stuff I probably hadn’t been doing for a little while so nice to be able to do that.”

Nic Maddinson earlier struck 61 from 187, while Marcus Harris (34) and Seb Gotch (26*) also batted well in the gutsy display.

With Matthew Wade dumped form the No.5 role in Australia’s Test squad, the 16-Test veteran Handscomb could earn a surprise recall.

He managed two tons and four half-centuries for Australia in red-ball internationals, with a top score of 110.

“My job is just trying to win games for Victoria,” Handscomb said. “If anything happens at the next level, that’d be great.

“But that’s not my focus.”

Handscomb, in seven innings, is averaging 49.5 in the Shield this competition, with one half-century alongside today’s breakthrough ton.



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