Victoria v New South Wales, Sheffield Shield 2015-16, Alice Springs, 4th day March 18, 2016

Cameron White delivers South Australia home final

ESPNcricinfo staff

Victoria 251 (Stoinis 107, Abbott 3-60) and 7 for 234 (White 97*, Copeland 3-59) drew with New South Wales 341 (Patterson 82, Lyon 75, Tremain 4-47) and 178 (Copeland 47, Christian 5-40)

Nathan Lyon finished with a match haul of five wickets © Getty Images

South Australia will host their first Sheffield Shield final in 20 years after a Cameron White rearguard secured the most unlikely of draws to foil New South Wales in the last match of the regular season at Traeger Park in Alice Springs.

Victoria faded in the second half of the season to surrender a vast lead at the top of the Shield table to a fast finishing SA, but White's performance - with help from Scott Boland - denied NSW their own home final, after the Blues seemed certain winners early on the final day.

White, who has spent time out of the Victoria side over the past two seasons as his domestic career seemed to be winding down, played the most stubborn of innings. This meant Victoria were lifted out of a deep hole, which had worsened from the unpromising overnight score of 3 for 20.

When Victoria captain Matthew Wade was pinned lbw by Nathan Lyon at 5 for 56, White and the lower order were left with the faint hope of surviving no fewer than 74.2 overs to secure a draw and a place in the final.

However White was not disheartened, and a stand of 62 in 24 overs with Dan Christian took the Bushrangers somewhat closer before the allrounder fell to Lyon's wiles.

The tall paceman Chris Tremain then offered staunch support for a further 20 overs, and took Victoria to tea with four precious wickets in hand.

A second new ball loomed on resumption, and Trent Copeland used it effectively, coaxing Tremain to drag the first delivery he faced after the interval onto the stumps.

From that position the Blues looked to be favourites, but Boland steadied after a nervy start to provide vital support as White proved more or less impassable at the other end.

NSW tried no fewer than seven bowlers including the captain Nic Maddinson and Ed Cowan, but could not find a way to disturb White's concentration, nor his sturdily straight bat.

Boland's sense of security grew, and in the closing overs White even allowed himself the extravagance of a late flurry to reach a most deserved hundred. Having led the Shield table for most of the season, the Bushrangers ultimately stumbled over the line.

Their reward will be a final match up against a young SA team, that has confounded expectations plenty of times already this season, and now have the advantage of needing only a draw to secure the Shield, as they did in 1996 by a mere one wicket against Western Australia.

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  • Scott on March 21, 2016, 7:31 GMT

    Redneck there is no way I'm complaining re NSW should have been in the final. They did not win enough games but it would be to our best advantage to play home games at the SCG. My beef is with Cricket NSW. I really hope it is a good sporting pitch prepared at Adelaide and a good, hard fought game is played out. Full credit to SA they have been working towards this and have an excellent bowling crew. IIRC it was said by the powers that be that we wouldn't have a domestic 50 comp if it wasn't in the current format, maybe one day it might have a run in Melbourne or another city with sufficient quality grounds. Looking forward to following the final from a distance.

  • hayden on March 21, 2016, 5:54 GMT

    those questioning the shield table points formula, it was redone a year or two ago to reward and encourage teams to play for the win. the previous points system rewarded batting the opposition into the ground in the first innings and playing for the draw by awarding first innings points. the way points are scored now is very much how australians want their test side to play, for the win no matter what. south australia won more matches than nsw simple as that!!! can hardly feel for nsw on the home games count, yes they lost one to christchurch but they still had 4 others, the scg debacle was of their own fault and last time i checked coffs harbour and bankstown were in nsw and therefore home matchs!! also nsw are the only side to play home 50 over matches in the last 3 years so fair suck of the sauce bottle!!! this shield final will be the highest attended in years, sa have been waiting along time for this!!!!

  • dan on March 20, 2016, 14:32 GMT

    I agree with @ryansmith how NSW only lost one game and didn't make the final. SA had 5 wins and 5 losses, exactly the same as Queensland, but OLD were fourth on the table...? I realise there must be some complicated formula, but 4 wins and 3 draws out of 10 matches (NSW), seems better than 5 wins, 0 draws and 5 losses (SA and QLD). Why publish a Win/Draw/Loss table if it is meaningless. The reasons for the standings on the table (hence understanding why teams reach the final) need to be more obvious, if CA wants the public to take more of an interest in the Sheffield Shield..

  • Scott on March 20, 2016, 1:09 GMT

    RYANSMITH keep in mind the blues only played one home match at the SCG (which was the abandonment) and even scheduled one game in NZ! Talk about making it hard for your team. Champion work (NOT!) Cricket NSW! Something needs to be done about the final becoming a poor advertisement for the game rather than the jewel in the crown but what? Maybe the do away with the toss suggestion and give choice to the away team will be a step in the right direction but is that enough? I don't know but I'm sure there's some ideas out there worth exploring.

  •   Patrick Clarke on March 19, 2016, 19:03 GMT

    What a relief to see some coverage of a proper cricket match and some sensible comments about it instead of the wall-to-wall saturation T20 coverage of recent weeks.

  • Rohan on March 19, 2016, 9:19 GMT

    @Baggygreenmania, with respect, I disagree with a couple of things you say. First Cam White. Maybe, at his very best, he was capable at International level, in ODI, but certainly not now. A good, stubborn innings yes, but he hasn't exactly made his career on those, so something of a fluke really. Vics deserved to make the final on the basis of being the best team, and probably would've continued that way had the BBL biased schedule and key injuries destroyed their momentum. But that's history. SA deserve the final with great recent form and have had the wood over the Vics for the most part for a while. As for the argument over the hosts only having to draw, well how do you make it fairer?? If there was no final as was the case decades ago, SA would still win for finishing top. The final is a bonus game, sometimes boring, sometimes fantastic, and the best team doesn't always win. But it can't be timeless. So how is not fair now?

  •   Jono Makim on March 19, 2016, 8:13 GMT

    Well it is going to be interesting as the Vics have a much better spin attack than the Redbacks so they may indeed decide to leave a bit of grass on at Glideroll, it would certainly make for a good final if they do with a pair of handy seam attacks. Would love to see the Redbacks get up. @Shaggy, good points on the home grown talent, it will always outperform imports if it is nurtured properly. I can see Head and Lehmann playing a fair bit for Australia at some point and I like Ross a lot too, though he might not get to that level he's an exciting batsman to watch.

  • Craig on March 19, 2016, 1:57 GMT

    I agree the side that finishes first should be handed the home final. I do not concur that that side should only have to draw the match to carry away the silverware. This absurdity has to be changed.

  • Craig on March 19, 2016, 1:54 GMT

    AS a true Blue I will be sitting on the fence. Probably just in favor of the Redbacks as they came from the clouds to make the final. Just want a close fought, exciting game not like the dirge that was last year's final.

  • Craig on March 19, 2016, 1:51 GMT

    If we have a tedious draw like last year I will agree with you. But if we have an enthralling one like Friday then I say bring it on.

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