South Australia 224 and 4 for 126 (Head 35*, Fawad 2-10) need 282 to beat Victoria 9 for 325 dec and 5 for 306 dec (Handscomb 102, Maxwell 63, Zampa 2-54, Valente 2-90)

Victoria closed in on an outright victory over their nearest challenger South Australia on the penultimate night of the floodlit Sheffield Shield match at Adelaide Oval.

Victoria saw off four South Australia batsmen before stumps, two falling to Fawad Ahmed in a spell of 2 for 10 that was both threatening and economical. The hosts' captain Travis Head (35*) is left with an enormous task to pull his side out of the mire.

There had been plenty of purpose to Victoria's batting earlier in the day as they set up a declaration. Peter Handscomb glided to an attractive century while Glenn Maxwell contributed his second half century of the match, a nicely modulated 63 from 109 deliveries.

Matthew Wade and Dan Christian then accelerated, adding 70 in 13.3 overs before Victoria's captain decided he had a sufficient lead. Should the Bushrangers win, the prospect of a competition final played in Alice Springs will become a distinct possibility.