Siddle helps set up tight final day
Tasmania 326 and 9 for 226 (Birt 68, Pattinson 4-38, Siddle 3-24) lead Victoria 276 (Quiney 62*, Doherty 5-83, Butterworth 4-36) by 276 runs
Peter Siddle enjoyed a strong workout in the lead-up to the Ashes but Travis Birt kept Tasmania on track to set up a fascinating final day at the MCG. The Tigers finished the third afternoon with one wicket in hand and a lead of 276 - the exact total Victoria managed in the first innings - and both teams can still dream of victory.
Tasmania could add a few more runs in the morning, although they will need to rely on the tailenders Xavier Doherty, who was on 5, and Adam Griffith, who was yet to score. Darren Pattinson bowled Victoria back into the contest with three breakthroughs in the final four overs, including the key wicket of Birt, who was caught at deep square leg for 68.
It left the in-form Pattinson with 4 for 38 and he was chasing his second five-wicket haul for the summer. Pattinson is comfortably the leading wicket taker in the Sheffield Shield, but he has about as much chance of a late call-up for England's Ashes campaign as Graham Gooch.
Siddle is a much more likely Ashes prospect and he did his chances no harm with 3 for 24 from 14 overs, including the important wicket of Luke Butterworth, who made 39 in a good partnership with Birt. Butterworth had earlier collected two wickets to finish off Victoria's tail cheaply in the morning, and he ended up with figures of 4 for 36 on a personally satisfying day.