Peter Handscomb on Sunday ticked off the milestone he’d yearned for all his life, scoring a century at the MCG as Victoria took control of their Sheffield Shield match against NSW.
The Bushrangers boasted a 141-run lead when they declared at tea on day three, Dan Christian and Handscomb both posting tons in an unbeaten 206-run stand.
The visitors were 2-106 in response at stumps, having lost Nick Larkin (25) and Ryan Carters (58) after both openers made starts.
It was Christian’s first Shield century since joining Victoria last year, and an obvious highlight of Handscomb’s burgeoning cricket career.
“It’s an amazing feeling to get one at the ‘G,” the 23-year-old said.
“It’s a childhood dream, a lot of kids grow up wanting to do that.
“It was unbelievable to just get that single, get up the other end and take a second to really enjoy the moment.”
For the most part, Handscomb (108no) and Christian (105no) were far more interested in boundaries than singles as they raced to 5(dec)-507 knowing a declaration was imminent.
Handscomb was on 12 when Christian trotted to the middle following David Hussey’s dismissal early in the morning session.
Blues paceman Gurinder Sandhu had just made a nasty first impression with the second new ball, removing Hussey for 129 with a short delivery that reared off the pitch.
With NSW holding a 65-run lead, the match was relatively well poised.
Handscomb and Christian put paid to that, the latter making the most of lives on 18, 76 and 89 in a dominant display of power batting.
The allrounder smacked six sixes, while Handscomb moved to 99 with a thumping pulled six off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood.
Scott Henry will start the final day on 18, while nightwatchman Will Somerville will resume on one with their team trailing by 35 runs.
The pair will aim to emulate the feats of Christian and Handscomb, who showed what is possible against a tired attack on the drop-in deck.
“We’ll chase anything on a wicket like that,” Handscomb said.
“I don’t think it’s going to break up too much over the course of the game.”
Sandhu, the pick of NSW’s bowlers with figures of 3-96 off 28 overs, agreed.
“Hopefully it doesn’t rain too much overnight,” he said.