Victoria v NSW, Sheffield Shield, Melbourne, 2nd day March 9, 2012

Victoria face tough chase for final spot

ESPNcricinfo staff

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.

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  • Roo on March 9, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    One day to play & Vic really needing the 6 pts it looks like they are out of the SS finals race... Still its been an intriguing match so far with the bowlers keeping the batsmen under control in what is surely becoming a dead rubber match... Qld, Tas or WA now look like being in control of their own destinies...

  • Roo on March 9, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    No Haddin in the NSW team must be a relief for them... Having batted in 3 innings for an average of 5.33 must also be a concern for the NSP with spots up for grabs in the Tests in the WI's... This is one of the reason why I have often said that Test players must play more domestic cricket so they can be compared to other Shield players... Also looks like a couple of NSW players are looking to move interstate for better opportunities to play more regularly at the FC level...

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