Choosing to bat on a green wicket in Brisbane proved the wrong decision for Test hopeful Peter Handscomb who was one victim in the batting carnage in Queensland as Victoria lost eight first season wickets before being rolled for their lowest Sheffield Shield score in 50 years
Fresh off being picked in the Prime Minister’s XI as two of the “leading first-class performers” this season, Bulls bowlers Mark Steketee and Michael Neser continued their dominant start to the summer by destroying the Vics at Allan Border Field
The duo snared seven wickets in the opening session to take their tally to 39 this season with the visitors crumbling to 8-47 at lunch, before each took another scalp after lunch to dismiss Victoria for just 63
Neser finished with figures of 4-22 and Steketee, who took 6-38 against WA last week, snared 5-18 in the disastrous Victorian effort.
Only second-gamer Ashley Chandrasinghe, who made a century on debut against Tasmania, defied the onslaught, facing 84 balls, but for just 18 runs before he was out and his 19-run stand with Scott Boland was the biggest for Victoria.
The minuscule total was the smallest since the Vics were all out for 73 against WA in 1971, and is the fourth-lowest total in more than 150 years of the Shield.
Both Victorian openers, including Marcus Harris who was this week recalled to the Test squad to face the West Indies, fell for ducks.
Travis Dean, last year’s joint player of the year in the Shield, lasted just three balls and Harris seven, but neither scored and the Vics were 2-0 inside four overs.
That became 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 for one.
It only got worse for the VIcs just before drinks when Will Sutherland was caught for five and the visitors slumped to 6-22.
But while Chandrasinghe did his best to keep the Bulls at bay with Boland and Mitch Perry (11) even he succumbed on on a dark day for the team.
The Vics did go past their three lowest ever Shield totals, scored more than a century ago, the only times they have ever failed to reach 50, but the meagre now total sits in their lowest five of all-time.
LOWEST EVER VICTORIAN SHEFFIELD SHIELD SCORES
31 v NSW Sydney 25 Jan 1907
35 v NSW Sydney 26 Jan 1927
43 v South Aust Melbourne 21 Feb 1896
63 v Qld, Brisbane, 10 Nov 2022
73 v West Aust Melbourne 10 Dec 1971
76 v South Aust Melbourne 31 Dec 1900
76 V v Queensland Brisbane 7 Mar 1975