Western Australia charge as leaders slip
Western Australia 3 for 82 (Davis 42) trail Victoria 199 (Jewell 55, Knowles 3-66) by 117 runs
Victoria are the only team in this contest with something to play for but it was Western Australia who controlled the opening day. The Warriors, who are officially out of the race for the final, were 117 behind at stumps after dismissing the visitors for 199 in the first two sessions.
Western Australia posted 3 for 82 after losing Wes Robinson (18), who offered no shot to Darren Pattinson, and the captain Marcus North. This is a crucial game for North as he is running out of chances to confirm his spot at No. 6 in the Test side, but he edged Andrew McDonald to first slip on 20. In the last over the opener Liam Davis (42) nicked Bryce McGain's first ball while trying to cut, ensuring a tense session on the second morning.
Victoria were docked a point for a slow over rate in their previous game, which cut their lead over Queensland to three, so they began the match desperate to re-seal their spot in the final. They were sent in and the situation looked bright when the opener Nick Jewell moved to a half-century.
Jewell's post-lunch exit to Brad Knowles on 55 started a costly collapse of 6 for 54 that dropped the Bushrangers to 8 for 155. Andrew McDonald (6) was run-out chasing a risky single before David Hussey was caught behind off Michael Hogan on 17. The wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi was also responsible for Matthew Wade's exit and when Damien Wright was bowled by Steve Magoffin the home side was in command.
John Hastings' unbeaten 28 extended the innings, which finished when Knowles gained his third wicket by bowling McGain. Magoffin and Hogan provided useful support with two each.