Victoria v Western Australia, Sheffield Shield, MCG, 1st day November 17, 2009

Victoria on top despite Voges century

Western Australia 9 for 275 (Voges 112*, McGain 4-40, McKay 3-46) v Victoria
Scorecard

A fighting century from Adam Voges couldn't prevent Bryce McGain and Clint McKay from giving Victoria the upper hand on the opening day at the MCG. At stumps, Western Australia had reached 9 for 275 with Voges unbeaten on 112 and Michael Hogan on 6.

Voges is unlikely to be in the mix for the first Test but regardless, his effort was well-timed ahead of Thursday's announcement of Australia's squad for to take on West Indies at the Gabba. It was an uncharacteristically grinding innings from a man who has spent the past couple of months in the ODI squad, and he took 24 balls to get off the mark.

He survived for 223 balls and brought up his century with one of 14 boundaries, a drive for four through extra cover from his 209th delivery. Care was required after the rest of his batting colleagues struggled against McKay and McGain, who justified Cameron White's gamble to send the Warriors in on a good batting pitch.

Western Australia were 2 for 15 when Luke Towers gloved behind fending a short ball off McKay and he followed with the wicket of Shaun Marsh, who tickled an outside edge to the keeper. For a while, McKay couldn't be kept out of the game - he took a brilliant one-handed catch running back at mid-on when David Bandy pulled John Hastings.

There was also early success for McGain, who finished with 4 for 38 and picked up wickets in each of his first two overs. Marcus North, whose sudden illness was the only reason McGain made his Test debut in Cape Town, attacked the spinner's second delivery and drove a catch to mid-off on 31.

McGain was rested straight away and when he returned, he immediately ended the stodgy resistance of Wes Robinson, who edged a top-spinner behind to finish with 32 from 153 minutes. It was left to Voges and Luke Ronchi to rebuild for Western Australia and they put together an 87-run stand before Ronchi (39) pulled McGain to midwicket.

In his next over, McGain trapped Ashley Noffke lbw and was eyeing a five-wicket haul in a match when the Warriors had left out their only frontline spinner, Josh Mangan. McGain's form justified Victoria's decision to stick with him as their sole spinner despite the return of Jon Holland from one-day international duties in India, and eased any pressure on McGain with four young spinners in Victoria's Futures League team today.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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