Victoria 1 for 22 trail New South Wales 208 (Smith 86, McDonald 3-8, Herrick 3-50) by 186 runs
Andrew McDonald and Jayde Herrick kept Victoria's hopes of reaching the Sheffield Shield final alive as the Bushrangers strangled the New South Wales batting line-up on the first day in Melbourne. Steven Smith scored 86 for the Blues, who were dismissed late in the day for 208, and by stumps Victoria head reached 1 for 22 with Rob Quiney on 7 and nightwatchman Jon Holland on 2.
They had lost Chris Rogers for 9 to the bowling of the debutant Chris Tremain, but Victoria would be pleased with their efforts on the opening day. They need at least two points from the game to have any hope of making the final and although an outright win would give them a much better chance, their fate also rests on the results of the other two matches this round.
William Sheridan struck two early blows when he got rid of Phillip Hughes for 22 and Nic Maddinson (19), who was caught behind by the part-time wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb. Victoria had taken the risk of playing Handscomb behind the stumps in an effort to strengthen their batting, leaving out the more regular wicketkeeper Ryan Carters.
Handscomb dropped a catch early but gloved two throughout the innings, including Usman Khawaja off the bowling of Herrick, who took 3 for 50. But it was McDonald whose bowling really increased the pressure on the Blues as he sent down 14 overs, including nine maidens, and collected 3 for 8.