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.

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  • Redbackfan on December 2, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    Go the Redbacks its nice to finally have something to cheer about in the shield. Putland back from injury and straight in the wickets. All the batsmen for SA performed in this match except for Head who had a quiet game for a change. Might actually have a real chance at the final heres hoping.

  • Chris_P on December 1, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    @Mitty2. What is happening to Victoria? They are a better side that this. The Redbacks are a little bit of a surprise package to date, look forward to seeing them when they play the Blues.

  • Shaggy076 on December 1, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    Finch maybe has done enough to get another game for the Vice, but with D Gusset not in the side and how poor they have been in the last few games where they have lost the matches on first innings I'm not sure its good for the vics if a serial non performer like Finch continues to play. Welcome back to Putland from injury, I suspect if he had played more games this year he would be talked about as a possible test inclusion as well.

  • Barnesy4444 on December 1, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    Looks like there might be just enough time for Hughes to score a second innings 70*. If he did that would take his run tally to 500 at an average of 83. Rogers and Watson had better start scoring some runs.

    Mitty2, Finch is a limited over specialist. His t20 & ODI average are both better than his FC average!

  • dummy4fb on December 1, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    Unfortunate to see some of our more talented guys fall short of their 100s lately.. Finch, M Marsh, Head, Agar. It is a mental thing.

  • Mitty2 on December 1, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    Finch I think is proving as not a limited overs specialist but rather showing his general all-round batting problem. If he gets a start he'll most of the time go on to make 50 but he gets way too many under 10 scores. This is true for him in FC cricket, ODI cricket and T20 cricket. He needs to find a balance. The same goes for Maxwell - although he is good enough so far at FC level.

    Putland in the wickets again and Sayers not proving penetrative enough without the assistance from last year's green pitches (but CA may have overdone the flatness of these pitches)

  • xtrafalgarx on December 1, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    A 100 would have been a good statement for Finch but unfortunately for him, he fell short. Maxwell pretty decent at FC cricket but he too would have hoped to convert.

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