Test discard Matthew Wade opened his summer in sublime form by hitting a scorching century for Tasmania to set Victoria a massive run-chase in the domestic one-day cup match in Townsville.
Tasmania posted 8-321 off their 50 overs leaving Victoria with a mountain to climb if they are to avoid a second straight defeat.
Wade flayed the attack from the outset at Riverway Stadium scoring 117 off just 74 balls, in a knock that included half a dozen sixes.
The wicketkeeper-batsman became the fastest Tasmanian centurion in domestic one-day cricket, reaching three figures off just 65 deliveries.
So fast was Wade’s scoring that he improved on the record – Dan Marsh’s 81-ball ton in 2001-02 – by a remarkable 16 runs.
His new mark has slotted in at seventh on the list of fastest centuries in Australian domestic one-day cricket, with Luke Ronchi’s 56-ball century in 2006-07 remaining well clear on top.
Wade eventually departed prior to the midway mark of the innings with the score at 2-181 after 23.5 overs.
Fellow opener Ben McDermott played a solid supporting role in scoring 56 off 69 balls as the pair put on 170 for the first wicket.
It was a poor day at the office for Vics’ Test hopeful Chris Tremain with the fast bowler returning figures of 1-80 off eight overs.
WA account for NSW in Perth
One-day cup holders Western Australia commenced their title defence with a strong four-wicket win over a rusty NSW at the WACA on Tuesday.
Ashton Turner helped steer WA home with an unbeaten four-laden innings of 70 from 55 balls as the home side reached 6-206 to pass the Blues with 17.4 overs to spare, earning a bonus point.
The match was highlighted by the performance of two debutants with WA opener Josh Philippe hitting an impressive run-a-ball 59.
Philippe was dismissed by another new face in Daniel Sams who took 3-46 with his sharp left-arm pace to give the Blues a sniff as WA slipped to 5-100.
However, Turner and Ashton Agar (28) survived some shoddy NSW fielding to put on 96 for the sixth wicket.
Sams earlier hit 62 to help NSW reach 204 off 43.4 overs after being 6-107.
In the process Sams became one of a handful of players to score a half-century and claim three wickets in a domestic one-day cup debut.
NSW got off to a poor start slipping to 4-56 with key men Daniel Hughes (12), Moises Henriques (5) and acting captain Kurtis Patterson (23) soon back in the pavilion.
Jack Edwards, one of four debutants in the match, also impressed with a confident 32.
WA’s Test aspirant Jhye Richardson collected 2-44, while Andrew Tye returned the best figures (3-30).
There was a brief scare for Test squad member Agar who left the field early in NSW’s innings after landing awkwardly in the field, but the spinner returned after a few overs and bowled as normal.
NSW suffered a blow on match eve with Peter Nevill suffering a broken thumb at training. Ghe consistent wicketkeeper is likely to miss the one-day cup campaign.
Western Australia went into the opening match of the season without three injury absentees in Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Kelly and bizarrely D’Arcy Short, who had not recovered after being bit on the hand by his dog.