Victoria’s quest for a fourth straight JLT Sheffield Shield crown came to an end at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval on Friday afternoon, but while the Bushrangers went down to Tasmania former Western Zone quick Chris Tremain shone with the ball once again.
Closing out his best First-Class season to date and pressing his claim for a Test spot once again, Tremain took match figures of 8-144 to push past the 50-scalp mark for the summer and move even further ahead in the wicket-taking stakes.
The standout bowler in the tournament, Tremain finished his season with 51 wickets at an impressive average of 21.07 and a strike rate of 41.1, with two five-wicket hauls and innings-best figures of 7-82.
With only the final left to play, Queensland plays Tasmania starting on March 23, Tremain is 13 wickets in front the next best bowler, who happens to be Victorian teammate Scott Boland (38 wickets at 26.92).
Only Queensland’s Michael Neser (37 at 19.70) is any hope of catching the Yeoval product, but considering he’d have do something absolutely remarkable in the final to move past Tremain, that hope is slim at best.
It’s the third straight year Tremain’s been in the competition’s top five wicket-takers, after finishing third with 42 at 18.97 last summer and fifth with 36 at 21.05 the season before.
Making Tremain’s summer even more impressive is the fact Victoria played four of its games on a flaccid and batter-friendly Melbourne Cricket Ground wicket, as did Boland.
Tremain snared 6-81 in Tasmania’s first dig of 344, Jake Doran (57) and Jordan Silk (55) were the Tigers’ best bats.
Victoria only managed 182 in reply though, handing the Tigers the upper hand, with Dan Christian’s 69 one of just two scores above 20 in the innings.
Tremain picked up another 2-63 as the Tigers pushed to 215 and a lead of 377 in their second innings.
The win was never realistic but the Vics pushed hard, Tremain smashing 45 from 47 balls at the end as his side finished with 221.
Tremain’s huge season also led to selection in cricket.com.au’s Sheffield Shield team of the summer, released on Saturday afternoon.