Adam Zampa was the headline act heading into the match, but a spinner eight years his junior stole the show as Todd Murphy’s hopes of securing a spot in the Aussie squad for next year’s tour of India received a massive boost as he and Will Sutherland bowled Victoria to a stunning win over NSW on the final day.
A week after he impressed for the PM’s XI against the West Indies, Murphy had the Blues in a spin to continue his hot start to first class cricket.
NSW headed into the final day requiring 175 runs with nine wickets in hand as they chased their first win of the season having parted ways with coach Phil Jaques earlier in the week.
But they crumbled under the searing Melbourne sun to fall 69 runs short as Murphy (4/42) and Sutherland (5/58) combined to roll the visitors for 163 to give Victoria a much needed win before the Big Bash break.
Sutherland started the procession when he trapped Jason Sangha in front but it turned into the Murphy show after that with the young spinner knocking over Daniel Hughes who left a ball that uprooted his off stump.
Matthew Gilkes was the next to go, caught brilliantly by Nic Maddinson who made no mistake under a swirling ball that would have brought rain if the conditions hadn’t been so good.
The match was still in the balance when Murphy picked up the crucial wicket of Moises Henriques to a catch close to the bat before Sutherland’s swing ran through the lower order.
The wickets tumbled quickly as the visitors’ impressive order lost their final nine wickets for 101 runs after totally dominating the first day of the contest.
It was fitting that Ruwantha Kellepotha took the final wicket having only come into the match as one of two Covid replacement players, while the Vics also subbed Sam Elliott out of the match due to concussion.
The result is Victoria’s first win of the season while the Blues have plenty of work on their hands as they remain winless after six rounds.