South Australia 225 and 0 for 3 (Cameron 3*, Deitz 0*) trail Victoria 8 for 331 dec (Elliott 154*, Hodge 73) by 103 runs
Matthew Elliott on his way to an unbeaten century at the MCG
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Matthew Elliott made a magnificent 154 not out, taking Victoria to 8 for 331 declared in their Pura Cup game against South Australia, a lead of 106. His innings helped put Victoria within touching distance of securing home advantage for the final. South Australia survived four nervy overs, reaching 0 for 3 by the close.
Elliott batted for seven hours to move to within reach of the fourth thousand-plus first-class season of his career. His fourth Pura Cup ton of the summer - he also has one ING Cup hundred - gives him 916 first-class runs, just 10 shy of team-mate Brad Hodge, who made a quickfire 73 at the start of the day. More importantly, Elliott's innings took Victoria past SA's first innings 225 and the two points earned means the only way they can miss out on a home final is if they lose this match spectacularly and then suffer two innings losses against Tasmania.
Victoria, who last won the domestic four-day title in 1990-91, are now 12 points clear of second-placed Tasmania but have vowed to continue their aggressive approach in pursuit of outright wins. "We've talked about [the final] but I think we really need to just keep playing for six points, and keep playing to win games," Elliott said. "That's why we've been so good this year, we've always found a way to win games and we need to keep doing that into the final ... we can't take our foot off the pedal. I think tonight if we could have got one wicket it was probably worth 30 runs."
Elliott played anchor role to Hodge at the start of the day and then to Jonathan Moss (46) in the middle before opening his shoulders with the support of Berry (16) and Mick Lewis (16). The tail offered valuable support after Shaun Tait (3 for 55) hit back for South Australia with three wickets in successive overs before tea.