Victoria v SA, Sheffield Shield, MCG November 25, 2012

South Australia eye rare MCG victory

ESPNcricinfo staff

Victoria 346 and 6 for 86 (Handscomb 32*, Putland 3-14, Sayers 3-25) trail South Australia 443 (Hughes 158, Ferguson 73, Head 66, Hastings 5-66, Maxwell 4-42) by 11 runs

Gary Putland and Chadd Sayers bowled South Australia into a strong position to push for victory on the final day at the MCG, where Victoria went to stumps on the third evening at 6 for 86. The Bushrangers still trailed by 11 runs they were relying on Peter Handscomb, who was on 32, and John Hastings, who had 10, and the pair had formed a 45-run stand after the top order was demolished.

Sayers got rid of Chris Rogers, Ryan Carters and Aaron Finch before Putland took his wicket tally to ten for the match when he removed Glenn Maxwell, David Hussey and Cameron White. Those strikes left the Bushrangers at 6 for 41, and although Handscomb and Hastings were able to stage a recovery of sorts, the damage was done.

The Redbacks can now dream of their first Sheffield Shield win at the MCG since 1998, after earlier cruising to first-innings points. Phillip Hughes made 158, Callum Ferguson scored 73 and Travis Head made 66 as South Australia made 443, with Hastings (5 for 66) and Maxwell (4 for 42) the most threatening of Victoria's bowlers.

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  • Brenton on November 26, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Only change in batting line up for Perth will be Quiney out and Watson in. For Sri Lanka series Ponting should retire and give Hughes a go. Bat him at 6 if they have to with Clarke at 4 and Hussey at 5. Hughes needs to be persisted with. There will be a position in the top order at some stage and Hughes will be ready. Hughes will be better than Hayden and will rival Ponting at the end of his career.

  • Peterincanada on November 25, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    It is good to see Hughes batting so well. If he can return to the form of 2008-9 before he was messed up by well-meaning coaches, it will sure help the suspect top order. As Ian Chappell once said, no coaching is much better than bad coaching.

  • Dylan on November 25, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    Ferguson would just be another failed experiment like Marsh, Forrest and now Quiney. Would like to see more of Doolan before throwing him in the deep end. Hughes and Khawaja are the clear standouts.

  • Mariam on November 25, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    @David Carbone i think the top 3 batsman in line for top honours are Hughes, Khawaja and Doolan. Hughes to open and Khawaja to come in at 3 as he is the best option for number 3 for Australia.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    Gee, Hughes is batting well, surely him, Doolan and Ferguson would be the shortlist to replace Hussey/Ponting when they retire.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    We might just see Hughes replace Ponting in the next test, although there may be some sentimentality for the great man too allow him one more game. Would be great to see him lose the fear he's batting with now - hes simply overthinking things. I wish him all the best and iwhatever happens he should remain part of the team environment.

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