New South Wales’ Sheffield Shield misery continues with MCG thrashing

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Victoria 196 (Tremain 4-32) and 284 (Handscomb 90, O’Neill 70*, Tremain 4-50) beat New South Wales 102 (O’Neill 4-23) and 173 (Sangha 78, Sutherland 3-21, Murphy 3-34) by 205 runs

New South Wales slumped to a 15th-straight match without a Sheffield Shield win after going down to Victoria by 205 runs at the MCG.

They were rolled for 173 midway through the first session of day four to extend the proud cricket state’s painful run in the historic competition.

NSW fought harder than they had for most of the match after beginning play on Sunday at 124 for 8, still well behind the victory target of 379.

Nathan Lyon dug in with Jason Sangha in his first-class return after tearing his calf during this year’s Ashes series in England.

Lyon, unbeaten on 17, was the last man standing as Sangha attempted to lift the run-rate and was caught off the bowling of Todd Murphy.

Jackson Bird, who top-scored in NSW’s dismal first-innings total of 102, lasted just 11 balls and was the last batter out.

NSW are without a victory since February 2022, with this current streak considerably worse than their previous low of 10 winless matches.

“We’re going to have to look deep and have a bit of an analyse and learn; see what we’re doing and see what the best are doing,” NSW captain Moises Henriques said. “They’re the age-old cricket questions but unfortunately we’re just not doing it very well at the moment.”

The result brought sweet relief for Victoria after they started the season with thumping defeats to Western Australia and Queensland.

They were in some trouble at 131 for 6 in their second innings, but led by Peter Handscomb‘s 90 they added 153 for the final four wickets to take complete control of the match.

Tailender Fergus O’Neill was dangerous on his way to an unbeaten 70 as he combined in a 58-run final-wicket stand with Scott Boland.

“[Handscomb] might have got a little clip from the coach after [how he was out in] the first innings,” Victoria captain Will Sutherland said. “The way he responded, they were incredibly valuable runs.

“We knew it was going to be pretty much impossible for them to chase that total down thanks to him, which takes a big burden off the bowlers’ shoulders.”

Victoria will be back in action next Saturday when they host Tasmania at the Junction Oval in Melbourne, while NSW face the ultimate test against reigning champions WA at the SCG.

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