Victoria v Western Australia, Sheffield Shield, MCG, 2nd day November 12, 2011

Match in balance after bowlers' day

ESPNcricinfo staff

Victoria 301 and 3 for 60 (Marsh 3-14) lead Western Australia 218 (Birt 63, Pattinson 3-27) by 143 runs

A team performance from Victoria's bowlers on the second day of the Sheffield Shield match at the MCG gave their side the edge against Western Australia. However, Mitchell Marsh fought back with quick wickets for the visitors, to bring the game back into the balance.

Western Australia were 2 for 6 overnight, and the Victoria bowlers did not let the pressure ease off in the morning session. New-ball bowler James Pattinson - who had picked up the two wickets that fell on the first day - struck early, removing Wes Robinson caught behind for 2. The visitors' captain Marcus North fell not long after in debutant Scott Boland's first over, leaving the side gasping at 4 for 26 in the 19th over.

Victoria continued to peck away at the line-up - regular wickets at short intervals reduced Western Australia to 5 for 76 and then 7 for 126, before some late resistance minimised the damage. No. 7 batsman Travis Birt scored the only half-century of the innings and put on 35 with tailender Jason Behrendorff. The most dominating - and valuable - partnership of the innings came from Behrendorff and last man Michael Hogan. The pair put on 55, with Hogan slamming 41 off 22 balls including four fours and three sixes. While all the Victoria bowlers struck, Pattinson, with 3 for 27, finished with the best figures.

That tenth-wicket stand reduced the deficit to 83, and when Victoria returned for their second innings Marsh knock over three batsmen cheaply. As a result, Victoria went to stumps effectively 143 for 3 with Robert Quiney and Jon Holland at the crease.