<
>

Victoria in command despite Sayers' seven

South Australia 1 for 19 trail Victoria 487 (Harris 120, Dean 94, Pattinson 80, Gotch 52, Sayers 7-84) by 468 runs
Scorecard

Chadd Sayers claimed seven wickets and South Australia gloveman Alex Carey equalled the all-time record for most dismissals in a Sheffield Shield season, but Victoria remained in control on the second day of the final in Alice Springs. The Bushrangers piled on 487 and snared an early wicket in the Redbacks' reply, leaving South Australia on 1 for 19 at stumps.

Given that a draw would be sufficient for Victoria to secure the title, a hefty task remains ahead for South Australia, who lost opener John Dalton in their first over when he was bowled by James Pattinson. Callum Ferguson was on 12 at the close of play and Jake Weatherald was on 5, but South Australia were still looking at a daunting 468-run deficit.

The morning had started with Victoria on 3 for 322, but Sayers pegged them back with three important wickets. Rob Quiney edged behind for 48 and was well taken by Carey diving across in front of first slip; Cameron White drove a Sayers outswinger to cover and was caught for 17; and Daniel Christian edged another Sayers outswinger behind to Carey for 4.

However, Pattinson and Victoria wicketkeeper Seb Gotch then combined for a patient 139-run seventh-wicket partnership that proved a significant frustration for the Redbacks, who had been hoping for a quick finish to the innings. Pattinson was fortunate to survive on 18 when a glance off his pads was stopped by the diving Carey, who was unable to throw down the stumps with Pattinson well short.

Pattinson went on to register his highest first-class score, eventually falling for 80 when he too was caught by Carey off Sayers. Chris Tremain, who had scored his maiden first-class century when Victoria last played at Alice Springs earlier this month, failed to score and was well taken by Carey, diving to his right one-handed, again off Sayers.

Gotch was trapped lbw to Joe Mennie for 52 - his first half-century in first-class cricket - and the innings was wrapped up when Carey and Sayers again combined to dismiss Jon Holland for a duck. Sayers finished with 7 for 84, which took his tally to 61 wickets this Shield campaign. Already it is the third-highest wicket tally for any bowler in a Shield season, and he could yet add more.

The final wicket lifted Carey into even rarer air. It was his 58th dismissal for the Shield summer - the equal highest tally for any wicketkeeper in a Shield season, alongside Wade Seccombe's 58 from 2000-01 and Chris Hartley's 58 from 2011-12. A single dismissal in the second innings will make Carey the all-time record-holder, though it will take something remarkable for it to be in a winning cause.