Victoria turned what ought to have been a simple run chase into a desperate, chaotic scramble to beat Western Australia by two wickets off the penultimate ball in Perth. In a thrilling conclusion, Peter Siddle and Adam Crosthwaite held their nerve - and exploited those of Western Australia's fielders - to chase down 226, with Siddle flicking Steve Magoffin to square leg to seal a nail-biting win.
It should not have been this tight, however. Victoria needed 71 from 17 overs with David Hussey and Cameron White both going nicely, before Hussey mistimed a pull to mid-on. White then lost Andrew McDonald before he was, perhaps a little unfairly, trapped lbw for a brisk 46. Victoria needed 25 from 24 and, in the 48th over, Clint McKay reduced his side's nerves with two consecutive fours before he was well caught by Luke Pomersbach.
A haplessly run single cost Darren Pattinson his wicket which left the visitors requiring 10 from the final over, and they were given a helping hand - or rather, a helping glove - by Luke Ronchi, the Western Australia wicketkeeper, who couldn't hold on to an edge off Crosthwaite's bat which then flew down to third man for four. It was the deal-breaker Victoria needed, and Crosthwaite and Siddle nudged and nurdled the last four runs to win a memorable tie under the Perth lights.
Western Australia, hard as their bowlers fought, simply didn't have enough runs to play with. After struggling to 4 for 57, their innings was given an injection of pace through Marcus North's 71 and Theo Doropoulos's 55 from 51 balls, but neither were given the support they needed from a brittle tail. Pattinson's miserly 3 for 14 from seven overs earned him the Man-of-the-Match award, as Victoria closed the gap on Tasmania with a game in hand. Western Australia are left languishing at the bottom.