Victoria v Queensland, Pura Cup, Melbourne, 1st day March 7, 2008

McKay helps Victoria tame new-look Bulls

Dirk Nannes picked up two wickets as Victoria's fast men toiled against a brick-walling Queensland line-up © Getty Images

Victoria 1 for 0 trail Queensland 191 (Broad 75, McKay 4-35) by 191 runs

Victoria's chances of hosting the Pura Cup final took a hit with New South Wales' strong efforts in Sydney, but Clint McKay helped the Bushrangers keep their hopes alive at the MCG. McKay grabbed four wickets in a nagging Victoria bowling effort as Queensland crawled to 191 from 93 overs.

The Bushrangers faced one over before stumps and they fell to 1 for 0 when Scott Brant had the night-watchman opener Darren Pattinson caught at slip without scoring. Nick Jewell remained at the non-striker's end without having faced a ball.

Apart from Ryan Broad's 75 there was little for Queensland to cheer after they were sent in and their inexperienced line-up seemed unconcerned at the speed of their scoring. For most of the day they struggled along at less than two an over as they tried for some batting practice with nothing to play for besides the chance to climb off the bottom of the table.

It was one of the most unfamiliar-looking sides Queensland has fielded in recent memory, following the retirement of Jimmy Maher and the late withdrawal of Ashley Noffke due to a foot injury. Coming in to the game Victoria's Brad Hodge had played 205 first-class matches, one more than the entire Bulls outfit combined.

Broad's 215-ball innings set the pace but Victoria could have had him for 13 when the first slip Andrew McDonald put down a catch off Bryce McGain. It was an unproductive day for McGain but the fast men toiled away for two wickets each to McDonald, Dirk Nannes and Pattinson.

McKay did most of the damage with 4 for 35 from 20 overs - he collected 4 for 5 from 37 balls when he was switched to the Great Southern Stand end - as he pushed to hold his place for the Pura Cup final with Shane Harwood and Peter Siddle both likely to return. The Bulls lost their last seven wickets for 41, including the key man Broad, who played on to McKay.

McKay added Chris Hartley, who was caught down leg-side when the reinstated wicketkeeper Adam Crosthwaite justified his inclusion with a diving one-handed grab, and Daniel Doran, who fell to a blinder from Cameron White at first slip. The Queensland captain Chris Simpson was McKay's other victim, trapped lbw after labouring for 66 minutes for his 4, which came from one scoring stroke.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo