Victoria v South Australia, Pura Cup, Melbourne, 2nd day January 27, 2007

Hussey and Hodge fight back

Cricinfo staff

Victoria 2 for 191 (Hussey 105*, Hodge 72*) trail South Australia 398 (R Harris 74, Borgas 66, Gillespie 61, Bailey 54, Pattinson 4-87) by 207 runs

David Hussey made his third Pura Cup century from his last three games © Getty Images

David Hussey and Brad Hodge led a solid counter-attack for Victoria after South Australia showed more spirit than they have for months as their lower order fired to reach 398. Hussey raised a century for the third consecutive match and at the close he was 105 and Hodge was 72 as Victoria reached 2 for 191.

The pair added an unbeaten 182 for the third wicket after South Australia's quality fast-bowling attack struck two early blows, removing both the openers within three overs. When Jason Gillespie had Lloyd Mash caught at slip for 2 and Nick Jewell was lbw to Shaun Tait for 5 the Bushrangers had stumbled to 2 for 9. But as they have done so often for Victoria, Hodge and Hussey proved reliable in a tight spot and reduced the deficit to 207.

Three Redbacks made career-best scores and the visitors added 136 to their overnight total of 7 for 262 to frustrate Victoria for much of the second day. Ryan Harris (74) and Cullen Bailey (54) registered their maiden first-class half-centuries, as Jason Borgas had on the first day with 66.

The Bushrangers had trouble ending a 112-run ninth-wicket stand between Harris and Gillespie, who uncharacteristically belted two sixes in his 61. Darren Pattinson, the fast bowler making his debut for Victoria, impressed with 4 for 87 and Mick Lewis claimed 4 for 104 but Shane Harwood was unable to break through in his 31 overs.