Victoria v New South Wales, Pura Cup, Melbourne, 3rd day December 14, 2003

Bevan hundred sets up tense finale

Victoria 326 and 0 for 25 need another 205 runs to beat New South Wales 287 and 268 (Bevan 106, Waugh 58, Wise 5-59)

Michael Bevan on his way to 106
© Getty Images

Another Michael Bevan century gave New South Wales a chance of outright points in the Pura Cup match against Victoria at the MCG.

Bevan made 106 - his 32nd Pura Cup century - out of 268, which gave the defending champions a lead of 229 runs with one day to play and a target to defend on a pitch that is expected to start to crumble. Victoria were 0 for 25 in their second innings at the close, needing another 205 runs to win

Victoria should have had the match wrapped up before lunch, as two wickets from Allan Wise helped reduce New South Wales to 4 for 62, a lead of only 23. Mark Waugh joined Bevan and was dropped by Cameron White before he had scored, and then by Jason Arnberger when on 5. Waugh dug in, and with Bevan added a crucial 116 for the fifth wicket.

Victoria's frustration mounted with every one of Waugh's nine boundaries, but a sharp take in the gully by Ian Harvey off Mick Lewis (3 for 79) before tea ensured Waugh, who is likely to retire at the end of the summer, left only with a standing ovation from the small crowd and not a century.

Once Bevan was caught at first slip off the bowling of Wise, New South Wales's innings was over quickly as they lost their last five wickets for 20 runs to make up in part for some early lapses in the field. Wise had Matthew Nicholson caught in the slips - White's fourth catch to help make amends for his earlier spill - to record 5 for 59, his maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.

New South Wales missed a great chance of their own to strike an early blow in the final overs when Arnberger was put down by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin off Brett Lee.