Tasmania lost five wickets for three runs as they lost their Marsh Cup encounter against Victoria by one run at the WACA. (Image credit: Getty Images)
In cricket, the word 'chokers' has been associated more often with the South Africa cricket team. The method of choking is defined as when a team squanders a winning advantage from an unlikely situation to lose by a very close margin. However, the 'chokers' tag will now have to be shifted to the Tasmania team as they suffered one of the most epic chokes in the history of cricket. Chasing 186, Tasmania were on course for a win in the Marsh Cup, the Australia Domestic One-Day Cup tournament at the WACA. In the 39th over, they needed just five runs and they had five wickets remaining. It looked to be plain sailing.
Ben Coleman, the Victorian left-arm pacer, was tasked to bowl the over with Ben McDermott batting brilliantly on 78 and Australia international James Faulkner on strike. The first ball was short and Faulkner looked to ramp it to third man but ended up being caught by Jon Holland. The next ball was McDermott top-edging a pull shot to midwicket and Will Puckovsi took a brilliant catch. After two runs off the next three balls, Victoria sensed an opening when Gurinder Sandhu departed cheaply.
The opening soon turned to big hope heading into the 41st over. Chris Tremain got rid of Jackson Bird for 0 but Riley Meredith managed a single. Tasmania needed two runs for a win nd one for the tie but on the fourth ball, Nathan Ellis shuffled a bit to the off side and looked to nudge a length ball to the leg side. However, he missed and was trapped LBW in front as Victoria secured a close one-run win.
Victoria narrowly got out of jail and it summed up their roller-coaster match when they chose to bat on a fresh WACA wicket. The Victoria top order was blown away by the combined efforts of Faulkner, Bird and Riley Meredith but Glenn Maxwell staged a recovery with a composed 34. His 45-run stand with Matthew Short gave Victoria some hope but when Maxwell became one of Nathan Ellis' three wickets, Tasmania held the upper hand.
It needed a superb knock of 53 from Will Sutherland and a crucial partnership of 28 with Jackson Coleman for the final wicket to help Victoria reach 185. Sutherland was severe on Faulkner as he launched him for two sixes but Ellis wrapped up the innings to finish with 3/35.
In response, Tasmania started poorly with Caleb Jewell and Alex Doolan falling cheaply. McDermott was steady as he stitched partnerships of 43 and 38 with skipper Jordan Silk (22) and veteran George Bailey (27). However, Sutherland, Coleman and Tremain continued to chip away but with Tasmania needing just 13 runs for victory, there were no alarm balls. When Beau Webster was out to Tremain for 20, Tasmania still had five wickets left and Victoria's chances of winning negligible. No one told Tasmania that as they suffered an epic collapse.