November 25, 2002

Vics complete "comprehensive dismantling" over SA

Adam Cooper

MELBOURNE, Nov 25 AAP - Victoria cricket captain Darren Berry was word perfect today in labelling the Bushrangers' huge Pura Cup win over South Australia as a "comprehensive dismantling".

Berry couldn't have said it any better as Victoria won by an innings and 77 runs after dominating the first-versus-second clash at the MCG from the first half hour.

The Bushrangers today bowled the Redbacks out for 250 to top the Pura Cup table and maintain a perfect home record of three outright wins after last week's away loss to Western Australia.

"It was a good comeback after the disappointment of Perth and we regrouped," Berry said.

"We knew this was a big game given we were both on 14 points and I thought we comprehensively dismantled them over three-and-a-half days."

South Australian captain Greg Blewett won Friday's toss and elected to bat, but his side was rolled for 202 on a flat pitch.

Victoria then declared at 9-529 with Jon Moss (103 not out) building on the foundation set by Matthew Elliott (191) and Brad Hodge (96).

The Vics then systematically tightened the screws late yesterday with Michael Klinger taking two great catches and Hodge pulling off two run outs had the Redbacks 5-161.

Only rain or a big knock from Mark Higgs (71) could have saved South Australia today and while both threatened Victoria moved in for the kill.

Blewett was "pumped" to win the toss but was deflated at his side's first innings batting.

"Even though it was hard to score we really shouldn't have been bowled out on that wicket," Blewett said.

"To actually occupy the crease, we should have done it a lot better.

"(The pitch) quickened up as the day went on and when they came out in the last session they were able to hit through the ball and score quite freely and that set them up for the second day and the wicker was a belter by then.

"So certainly our first innings was where we ballsed it up really."

Berry was happy to take the ball on day one.

"We always feel that first day on the MCG is quite difficult to score so we based our whole game around patience and building up pressure," Berry said.

"I think Mick Lewis (6-64) in the first innings was sensational and to bowl them out on that wicket for 202, I really think that set us up for the match."

Berry said the win highlighted Victoria's emerging depth, with allrounder Ian Harvey (hamstring) likely to return for next month's match against New South Wales.

South Australia could be without paceman Ryan Harris for up to six weeks after he strained his side bowling.