Lewis gives Vics the upper hand after day one
MELBOURNE, Nov 22 AAP - Paceman Mick Lewis became the silent assassin today as he took a career-best 6-64 to give Victoria the upper hand over South Australia on day one of the crucial Pura Cup cricket clash at the MCG.
Lewis ripped through the Redbacks' top order to help the Bushrangers dismiss South Australia for 202 and also notched his first five-wicket haul since the 2000-01 final against Queensland.
In reply, Victoria was 1-75 at stumps with Matthew Elliott (38 not out) and Graeme Rummans (12 not out) steadying after the loss of Jason Arnberger, caught behind off Ryan Harris for 25.
Lewis' pace wrecked South Australia's batting after Shane Harwood (1-34) gave Victoria a dream start.
Harwood had Ben Johnson caught in slips with the score on three after Redbacks captain Greg Blewett won the toss.
Lewis then took the next five wickets in bursts to blunt any chance of a decent Redback recovery.
The Victorian hardman credited his figures to curbing his sometimes fiery on-field manner although he was tempted to give former teammates John Davison and Damien Fleming a spray when they batted today.
"I've tried not to say much this year," Lewis said.
"I've just tried a different approach, I found last year I used to get aggro and direct my anger at the batsman verbally and I'd just get more frustrated then.
"So now I've just sort of gone away from that - still be physical at them and get in their face, but try not to mouth off as much."
Lewis said he had bowled well without reward this season and felt today's haul was a fair reward since "busting to get a five-for".
"I used to get really uptight and try really hard and now if I just relax it'll all just come along," he said.
Lewis showed good pace to dismiss Blewett (11) with a ball that quickened on him as he tried to pull and next over yorked Chris Davies for a duck.
After lunch, Lewis knocked over David Fitzgerald (31) and Shane Deitz (2) in successive overs to have the Redbacks reeling at 5-68 before allrounder Mick Miller steadied the innings with a gritty 63, his maiden first-class half century.
Victoria and South Australia are locked on 14 points atop the Pura Cup table