Victoria face tough chase for final spot
New South Wales 208 and 6 for 149 (Maddinson 51) lead Victoria 185 (White 39, Rohrer 4-13, Tremain 3-61) by 172 runs
Victoria were set to face a tricky chase on the third day in Melbourne as their hopes of reaching the Sheffield Shield final hung in the balance at stumps on day two. At the close of play, New South Wales were 6 for 149 in their second innings and already led by 172 runs, with Peter Nevill at the crease on 24 and Steve O'Keefe on 4.
The Blues had taken first-innings points after a surprisingly effective spell from the occasional slow-medium bowler Ben Rohrer, a batsman who before this match had not taken a first-class wicket. He picked up 4 for 13, including three wickets in an over, as the Victoria tail collapsed to hand the advantage to New South Wales, who cannot make the final.
Rohrer had already picked up the wicket of Andrew McDonald for 23 when he snared his three in five balls to finish the innings and dismiss Victoria for 185. Cameron White had top scored for the Bushrangers with 39 and the debutant Chris Tremain picked up 3 for 61 for the Blues.
In their second innings, New South Wales lost Phillip Hughes for a duck in the second over before Nic Maddinson (51) and Usman Khawaja (33) steadied the side. But Peter Siddle collected two wickets and helped Victoria make inroads into the New South Wales line-up and by the close of play Victoria held out some hope of a sub-200 chase, but in a low-scoring game even that didn't promise to be an easy task.