Victoria v Western Australia, Pura Cup, Melbourne, 3rd day October 28, 2007

Hogg wins battle of Brads as Warriors sniff victory

Victoria 114 and 4 for 116 (Hussey 62*, Hogg 2-34) trail Western Australia 277 and 6 for 289 dec (Marsh 67, Hussey 59, Hogg 58*) by 336 runs

Michael Hussey was one of several Warriors to find form with the bat © Getty Images

It was a tale of two Brads at the MCG, where Brad Hogg put Western Australia in a winning position and Brad Hodge watched his Test hopes slip further away with a first-ball duck. Hogg made a fiery half-century and snared a late pair of wickets as Victoria finished the day at 4 for 116, needing a further 337 for victory with David Hussey on 62 and Michael Klinger on 2.

The Warriors set Victoria 453 from just over four sessions and the chase started badly with Hodge failing to use his feet and wafting at a Mathew Inness outswinger, edging to second slip. It continued a horror game for Hodge, who made 2 in the first innings while trying to make himself a contender for the vacant Test opening spot.

Nick Jewell and Hussey were consolidating when Jewell played back to a Hogg wrist-spinner and was lbw for 34, and Hogg followed up with Cameron White (10) caught at silly point. Like Hodge, Hogg will be discussed when the selectors choose Australia's Test squads this summer and his day was far more productive than his Victorian counterpart.

Hogg appeared to be still in limited-overs mode with the bat as he launched an entertaining assault on Victoria's slow bowlers, striking 58 not out from 42 balls before the Warriors declared at 6 for 289. His most spectacular effort was a massive six that went 20 rows into the crowd at long-on off Hussey's part-time offspin.

The half-century was particularly frustrating for the Bushrangers after Matthew Wade fumbled what should have been a stumping off Bryce McGain when Hogg was yet to score. However, Western Australia's lead was already more than 350 by that stage as Shaun Marsh (67) and Michael Hussey (59) set a solid platform.

Brydon Coverdale is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo