Victoria have one foot in the Sheffield Shield final after a tense and potentially pivotal two-wicket win over Tasmania in Melbourne.
A see-sawing final day at Junction Oval ended in the Vics’ favour thanks to a 47-run unbeaten tail-ender partnership between 21-year-old Mitch Perry and second-game rookie Todd Murphy.
The pair displayed maturity beyond their years to bat for an hour and get the home side over the line with 8.2 overs to spare.
Perry ended on 32 not out – three short of his highest first-class score in 14 matches – while Murphy hit the winning runs to finish unbeaten on 24.
With both teams seeking to become the only state with three wins, the result pushes Victoria top of the standings going into next week’s final round.
Earlier, Victoria had seemed well in control in pursuit of 231 to win from 82 overs.
Travis Dean piled on a boundary-laden 47 at just over a run a ball as the Vics quickly reached 74 for the first wicket.
However, a middle-order collapse – they lost 5-40 – changed the momentum completely.
Tom Andrews picked up the key wickets of Nic Maddinson (23) and wicketkeeper Sam Harper (8), while debutant fellow spinner Ben Manenti returned 3-89.
Earlier, Tasmania advanced from their overnight 7-170 to be all out for 209.
Tasmania can still reach the season decider with victory at home against Queensland, while Victoria will shore up hosting rights if they win in Perth.