Stoinis, Handscomb seal Victoria's eliminator berth
Victoria 6 for 320 (Stoinis 109, Handscomb 67, Faulkner 3-71) beat Tasmania 7 for 230 (Dunk 54, Pattinson 3-35) by 48 runs on D/L method
Victoria eased past Tasmania at North Sydney Oval to become the second team after New South Wales to qualify for the Matador Cup finals, after two Australian players of the future combined for a stand that left Tasmania chasing more than they could handle.
Marcus Stoinis and Peter Handscomb had a brief taste of life in Australia colours during the limited-overs leg of this year's Ashes tour. While Stoinis made his debut in Headingley, Handscomb was called-up as an injury replacement.
Chris Rogers, a sound judge of cricket talent, had singled them out as players to keep an eye on in the future following his retirement ahead of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval. "I have high hopes for Pete Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis," Rogers had said. "They've really impressed me at Victoria and they're at the point where they can self-manage, and they will be able to step up when they get the opportunity."
Neither Stoinis (109) nor Handscomb (67) have enjoyed an overly productive tournament so far. But on a muggy day, they combined to put together 130 in 18 overs, showing brands of batting that work well in concert with each other.
Stoinis' powerful frame allowed him to muscle six sixes over the North Sydney boundaries in what was his first List A hundred. Handscomb, meanwhile, used deft placement and crisp footwork to manoeuver the ball around the outfield on his way to a run-a-ball 67. After they were dismissed, Dan Christian provided some late fireworks as James Faulkner came in for some heavy punishment.
A target of 321 to secure a berth in the final was steep, but wickets began to fall after a 99-run opening stand in 15 overs between Tim Paine and Dom Michael.
The watching selector on duty, Trevor Hohns, would have been enthused by what he saw from James Pattinson, who continued to grow in rhythm and poise across the tournament. All of Pattinson's three wickets came off balls that were full and fast, greater control evident than against New South Wales on Sunday.
Also of interest to Hohns was the left-arm spin of Jon Holland, who showcased his teasing loop and not inconsiderable spin. If he were he to stay fit for a full summer or two, Holland could well find himself in contention for looming tours of Sri Lanka and India.
Tasmania looked likely to finish well short of the target when a thunderstorm enveloped the ground, causing an early abandonment and a rain calculation. Victoria are now through to Friday's day-night elimination final. They may yet play Tasmania again, depending on whether or not South Australia can beat the Cricket Australia XI on Wednesday.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig