Victoria 106 & 194 (Short 50, Conway 4-50) beat New South Wales 135 and 102 (Nevill 26*, Pattinson 5-35, Siddle 3-34) by 63 runs
Ashes hopefuls Peter Siddle and James Pattinson shared eight wickets between them as Victoria rolled New South Wales to all but guarantee a home Sheffield Shield final at Junction Oval after a low scoring affair in Sydney ended comfortably inside three days.
Set 166 for victory, the Blues never recovered from the early strikes by Siddle and Pattinson with the new ball, as the latter plucked 5 for 25 on his return to the Victorian team from injury, while Siddle finished with six victims for the match.
Pattinson's speed and swerve were particularly striking, while Siddle's reliability and experience made him the ideal counterpoint. Uncertain injury returns for Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have left the national selectors thinking more broadly in terms of their Ashes options, with Harry Conway's swing and bounce also a feature of the match.
The hosts slipped as low as 9 for 54 in their pursuit of the target before the captain Peter Nevill and the last man Steve O'Keefe added a last gasp 48 to briefly give the visitors something to worry about. However Scott Boland teased out O'Keefe to finish the match, and leave the Victorians a game clear of the rest on the Shield table, pending the outcome of Western Australia's match against Tasmania in Hobart.