Victoria v South Australia, Sheffield Shield, Melbourne December 1, 2013

Finch, Maxwell fight but SA on top

ESPNcricinfo staff

Victoria 118 and 8 for 353 (Finch 97, Maxwell 82, Putland 3-93) lead South Australia 343 by 128 runs

Aaron Finch made his highest first-class score for nearly two and a half years but missed out on a century as Victoria fought to stay in the match against South Australia at the MCG. At stumps on the third day, the Redbacks were in a strong position to push for victory with the Bushrangers 128 in front with only two wickets in hand, with Jon Holland on 32 and Scott Boland on 13, and the total on 8 for 353.

Victoria batted throughout the day and added 275 to their total for the loss of eight wickets, with the majority of the resistance coming from Finch and Glenn Maxwell. Finch has been in outstanding limited-overs form for some time but has been unable to adapt that to the red ball, and has not scored a first-class hundred since he made 122 for Australia A against Zimbabwe in Harare in July 2011.

He was unable to break that drought but reached 97 from 248 deliveries before he was caught off the bowling of Kane Richardson, the fourth Victorian wicket to fall. Maxwell scored much quicker and his 82 came from 121 deliveries with ten boundaries before he was bowled by Gary Putland, who picked up 3 for 93.