McKay, Bird star on 13-wicket day
Victoria 3 for 18 (Bird 3-10) trail Tasmania 217 (Johnston 59, McKay 6-40) by 199 runs
Victoria's Clint McKay cut through Tasmania's top order with figures of 6 for 40 to keep them to 217 at the MCG, before Jackson Bird brought the match back into balance with three wickets in four balls, reducing the hosts to 3 for 18.
McKay's effort was his best in first-class cricket and accounted for the first five wickets to fall, after Tasmania had chosen to bat. McKay had missed Victoria's previous game, against Western Australia, due to injury. He was particularly lethal early in the second session, when he picked up four wickets in a six-over spell. At one point McKay was on a hat-trick, dismissing Steven Cazzulino and Evan Gulbis of successive balls. For Gulbis, this was his third consecutive first-class duck.
With Tasmania wobbling at 6 for 109, Matt Johnston and Tom Triffitt put on a half-century stand. Both batsmen could not convert their starts into big runs, though, and they fell within six overs of each other to fast bowler Jayde Harris. Johnston was the innings' top-scorer with 59. No. 3 batsman Jonathan Wells was hit on the forearm during the innings and retired hurt, before returning only to fall cheaply to rookie Scott Boland.
Victoria had nine overs to negotiate before stumps, but came up short against new-ball bowler, Bird, playing his second first-class game. Bird had opener Chris Rogers nicking to the keeper off the first ball of his third over, before trapping Boland and Peter Handscomb for ducks off the fourth and fifth deliveries.
Both teams had lost key players to the Australia A side that will play New Zealand in Brisbane from November 24. Victoria were without keeper Matthew Wade and bowler James Pattinson, while captain George Bailey, opener Ed Cowan and bowler Ben Hilfenhaus were missing for Tasmania.