Victoria in charge thanks to Wright's five
Victoria 0 for 4 trail Tasmania 222 (Paine 69, Wright 5-49) by 218 runs
Damien Wright continued his outstanding season with a five-wicket haul that restricted his former state Tasmania to 222 on the opening day in Melbourne. Tim Paine, the acting captain of the Tigers, did his best with 69 but by the close of play Victoria had significantly boosted their chances of hosting the Sheffield Shield final.
Rain delayed the start of play and when things did kick off, Wright helped Victoria make a strong start as the Tigers stumbled to 4 for 48. Jon Wells made a drawn-out 38 that took nearly three hours as Tasmania tried to rebuild from the early losses but he was the fifth man to depart, caught behind off Wright when he tried to leave the ball.
The first innings of Daniel Marsh's final game didn't go to plan as was out for 7, before Paine and the lower order provided some resistance. Paine was the key man with 69 but his fightback ended when he was lbw to Bryce McGain, to leave Tasmania at 8 for 178.
Wright grabbed the final two wickets to finish with 5 for 49 and now has a remarkable 30 victims at 14.76 in his fifth match of the summer. Victoria faced three overs before stumps and reached 0 for 4 with Michael Hill having scored all the runs and Nick Jewell yet to get off the mark.
The Bushrangers and Queensland are guaranteed of places in the decider but the hosting rights will be determined by the current round of matches. Victoria are three points clear of the Bulls and if they take first-innings points they will be well on the way to securing the final, as Queensland were on the back foot after the opening day of their match against Western Australia.