Victoria has escaped the dubious prospect of claiming back-to back wooden spoons after a see-sawing domestic one-day cricket clash against fellow struggler Tasmania here at the Melbourne Cricket Ground today. The Bushrangers' hopes of staying in fifth place on the ING Cup table were compromised by a brilliant all-round exhibition from Damien Wright but ultimately honoured when they staved off the Tigers by 19 runs.

The battle for the right to avoid the fate of cellar dwelling was a keen one but was settled by the Bushrangers' ability to better overcome a bad start with the bat.

After winning the toss under overcast skies, they were swiftly undone by the accuracy, skill and determination of the persistently underrated Wright (4/23), lapsing to 5/74 before Jon Moss (64*) and Nick Jewell (39) rebuilt the innings.

The Tasmanian paceman mined a rich vein of seam, involving himself in each of the game's opening five dismissals. The scalps of makeshift opener Michael Klinger (14), Brad Hodge (5), Ian Harvey (27) and Cameron White (0) were all a tribute to Wright's unerring line, while the fifth - Matthew Elliott (10) - came courtesy of a spectacular running and diving catch as the blond-headed speedster roared in a distance of around 25 metres from his position on the third man boundary.

He later top-scored in Tasmania's faltering reply, clubbing 40 from just 36 deliveries as the Tigers pursued Victoria's 9/206.

But, while it all brought him his best bowling figures and highest score in his one-day career with Tasmania, it still wasn't enough to reverse the trend of the Tigers' dismal limited-overs season.

In the main, this was due to the batting of Moss and Jewell.

Moss' unbeaten 64 was the focal point around which the Bushrangers constructed their recovery. Jewell's patience and his risk-averse accumulation of runs through the middle stages of the innings, meanwhile, represented the catalyst that allowed the home team to put an end to Tasmania's early domination.

Though each enjoyed significant early fortune, their 56-run stand for Victoria's sixth wicket was crucial to the outcome of the contest.

Jewell had looked palpably lbw to Wright with his score at just 1 but breathed again when umpire Richard Patterson's right arm remained stationary, and Moss enjoyed the luxury of an even closer shave in surviving a run out chance at 17.

Television replays suggested a stump had even been tilted back before Moss had beaten home a direct hit throw from mid wicket fieldsman Scott Mason. But, with bowler Xavier Doherty obscuring the view of exactly when a bail was dislodged, third umpire Tony Soulsby ruled in favour of the Victorian all-rounder.

It seemed a cruel decision at the time for the Tigers; subsequent events showed it to be even more unkind.

With the trampolining bounce that has blessed many MCG pitches this season giving way instead to progressively slower and lower movement, the visitors' capcity to mount a successful chase was always likely to be sternly tested.

An inability to resist Victorian pace quartet Harvey (2/24), Mick Lewis (2/27), Damien Fleming (1/32) and Mathew Inness (1/47) made matters even more difficult than they might normally have been.

Wright, debutant George Bailey (33) and wicketkeeper-batsman Sean Clingeleffer (22) kick-started an impressive rescue act. But, once the visitors had stumbled to 5/61, it was obvious that too many wickets had been frittered away too quickly.

In the process, the Victorians secured their third win of a limited-overs season that started poorly but, like the day itself, finished far more brightly.

The Tasmanians, meanwhile, were left to rue a miserable campaign that has yielded only one victory from ten appearances.

Just as well for them that action in the Pura Cup, a competition in which they remain a much more serious contender this summer, resumes here as early as tomorrow.