Report

Pair share 165-run unbeaten stand with Harris 88 not out at stumps in his last match before the Pakistan Test tour

Victoria 1 for 172 (Harris 88*, Handscomb 74*) trail Queensland 349 (Clayton 109, Bazley 64, Short 4-74) by 177 runs

Marcus Harris made another statement ahead of the Test tour of Pakistan while Peter Handscomb continued his outstanding form as Victoria made the most of a beautiful day-two batting surface at Junction Oval after bowling Queensland out for 349.

Harris and Handscomb shared an unbeaten stand of 165 with Harris cruising to 88 not out, coming off his Marsh Cup century last week while Handscomb finished 74 not out at stumps following on from his brilliant match-saving Sheffield Shield century against South Australia.

Earlier in the day, 22-year-old Queenslander Jack Clayton made a century on Shield debut while James Bazley made his highest first-class score of 64 to help Queensland post a decent first-innings total.
But the afternoon belonged to Victoria’s senior pros as Harris and Handscomb batted with typical control following the early loss of Travis Dean. Both men struck nine fours and Harris added a six as Queensland’s spin duo of Mitchell Swepson and Matt Kuhnemann couldn’t break through after Victoria’s part-time offspinner Matthew Short had earlier claimed four wickets.

Harris’ staggering record at the Junction Oval continues. If he reaches 96 unbeaten on day three he will have 800 runs at an average of 100 at the ground, and if he can find 12 more runs for his century it will be his fifth at the Junction Oval in just nine innings. Handscomb is gunning for his third Shield century of the season after revealing during the week that a slight technical adjustment with his feet and hip alignment had been the catalyst for his run glut this season.

Earlier, Clayton showed he has the makings of a top-class Shield player after handling Victoria’s experienced attack on debut. He unfurled some outstanding pull shots off the quicks and the spinners bringing up his century of 216 balls. He fell to a pull shot not long after picking out square leg off Will Sutherland who finished with three wickets. Sutherland and Short threatened to clean up the tail. Handscomb took a phenomenal reflex catch at slip to hand Short his third scalp. But Bazley and Kuhnemann added 53 for the final wicket to push Queensland’s first innings just shy of 350, with Bazley making his second career half-century. Scott Boland finished with 0 for 24 from 19 overs having delivered 10 maidens.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo