New South Wales v Victoria, Pura Cup, Sydney, 3rd day January 18, 2007

Klinger century puts match in the balance

Cricinfo staff

Victoria 129 and 5 for 241 (Klinger 102, Hussey 62*, Jewell 57) trail New South Wales 189 and 299 (Thornely 89, McGain 6-112) by 118 runs

Michael Klinger's second first-class century gave Victoria hope © Getty Images

A century to Michael Klinger gave Victoria every chance of pulling off a remarkable win before New South Wales bounced back with late wickets on a wearing SCG pitch. Klinger helped the Bushrangers rein in the target of 360 but fell late in the day and at the close the visitors were 5 for 241, needing a further 119 for victory with David Hussey looming as the key.

Klinger, who has been in outstanding limited-overs form but was playing his first Pura Cup game for the season, reached his second first-class hundred before Stuart MacGill drew an edge to slip when he was on 102. That dismissal proved a catalyst for New South Wales, who went on to claim Jon Moss and Andrew McDonald without scoring. The chase will rely heavily on Hussey, Victoria's stand-in captain, who was unbeaten on 62, and Adam Crosthwaite (1 not out).

Hussey, who made 212 when Victoria chased down a record 455 at Newcastle in 2003-04, again frustrated the Blues in a 114-run partnership with Klinger after Nick Jewell (57) helped with the strong start. A Victoria win looked unlikely as New South Wales built a substantial lead thanks to Dominic Thornely and the lower order.

Thornely made 89 and received vital support from Beau Casson, Matthew Nicholson and MacGill as they pushed the score to 299. Bryce McGain did his best with 6 for 112 - his best first-class figures - but Shane Harwood (3 for 95) was the only other bowler to make a dent in the Blues' line-up. McGain, playing just his fourth Pura Cup game in a career spanning six seasons, removed Thornely for 89 but received a hiding from MacGill, whose 15-ball 33 included three sixes.