South Australia – 2nd
5 wins, 5 losses – 47.24 points
South Australia made its second consecutive Sheffield Shield final thanks to a very even display of contributors across the board the entire season.
Tom Cooper (736 runs), Jake Lehmann (692), Travis Head (645) and Jake Weatherald (634) all surpassed 600 runs and knocked up a combined six hundreds between them.
Captain Head was the only one to reach triple figures in the Final, scoring an unbeaten 137 in the second innings, but it was too little, too late.
It was an all-or-nothing season for Test discard Callum Fergunson however, scoring two hundreds but only racking up 507 runs at an average of 25.35.
The emergence of Alex Carey the Redbacks’ full-time gloveman is extremely exciting for South Australian and Australian cricket alike. 25-year-old Carey broke the all-time Shield record for dismissals in a season and amassed 594 runs of his own.
Of course, it was apt that Chadd Sayers took 7-84 and 1-54 in the Shield Final, because his season had been nothing short of dominant. His 62 scalps put him third on the all-time list behind Colin Miller and the recently retired Shaun Tait.
Kane Richardson was second best with 32 wickets at 25.93, but wasn’t selected for the Final. Joe Mennie (six games, 27 wickets) and Dan Worrall (six matches, 26 wickets) were handy sidekicks, and Adam Zampa showed he might become a reliable first-class bowler after all, with 30 wickets at 38.3.
Victoria – 1st
7 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw – 60.31
The Vics lead from start to finish and thoroughly deserved their third straight Shield title.
The two openers played every match, and Marcus Harris (808 runs) and Travis Dean (664 runs) both had very good seasons, and very good finals.
Aaron Finch’s 581 runs came from only seven matches (average 52.81) and Cam White’s 520 runs came at a typically reliable 34.66.
The loss of Peter Handscomb (410 runs at 68.33), Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis didn’t prove detrimental to the side, as the depth proved to be good enough to fill the gaps.
The Bushrangers’ bowling was led Jon Holland (50 wickets at 20.78) and Chris Tremain (42 wickets at 18.97), who both took regular wickets and their averages reflect that.
James Pattinson was very handy on his return, taking 24 wickets in five matches at the princely average of 17.41. His 5-7 against Queensland was a season highlight.
Like Sayers, Holland took eight wickets in the Shield Final, 7-82 and 1-70, and also took home the player of the match award.