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Wisden Cricinfo staff
February 8, 2004
Close, Day 1 Victoria 1 for 48 (Elliott 23*, Hodge 22*) trail South Australia 225 (Miller 84, Cameron 54; Wise 3-45) by 177 runs
Allan Wise was the pick of Victoria's bowlers at the MCG
© Getty Images
Victoria were handily placed to earn themselves a home final in the Pura Cup after seizing the initiative on the opening day against South Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. At stumps, Victoria were 1 for 48, having bowled South Australia out for 225. Only Mick Miller, with 84, and Ben Cameron - the debutant made 54 - offered any real resistance on what appeared to be a good batting strip.
Matthew Mott inside-edged Paul Rofe on to his stumps to be out for 0, but Matthew Elliott (23 not out) and Brad Hodge (22 not out) saw it through to stumps without too many alarms. If Victoria get points for the first-innings lead, an MCG final would become a certainty.
Darren Lehmann won the toss and decided to bat, but South Australia were quickly in trouble as Matthew Inness (2 for 44) and Allan Wise (3 for 45) made inroads into the top order. Inness had Shane Deitz (0) caught in the slip cordon off the second ball of the day, and then had Greg Blewett (4) driving one straight to point.
Andrew McDonald accounted for Lehmann, who made 21, and it was left to Cameron to try and rebuild from the wreckage. But when Wise had him caught behind moments before lunch, Victoria were right back in the ascendancy.
Miller defied the bowlers for 84, but was forced to refuse several singles as he batted with the tail. He was finally bowled by Mick Lewis an hour before stumps.
Wise was the pick of the bowlers, taking his tally for the season to 27 Pura Cup wickets, while Jonathan Moss chipped in with 2 for 19.
Victoria are ten points clear at the top of the table, though they have yet to play Tasmania - currently in second place - this season.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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