New South Wales will need to pull off a record Sheffield Shield run chase after ripping out Victoria’s tail early on day four.
Trent Copeland and Sean Abbott made light work of the Victorian bowlers, dismissing the home side for 219, setting the Blues 388 runs to win the final.
But NSW copped an early blow when Vics quick James Pattinson ripped out Nick Larkin’s leg stump, with the opening chopping on for four.
NSW is 1-48 in the 14th over with Daniel Hughes (10*) and Kurtis Patterson (26*).
MATCH CENTRE: Live scoreboard, video
Victoria: Travis Dean (c), Marcus Harris, Will Pucovski, Cameron White, Matt Short, Seb Gotch (wk), James Pattinson, Chris Tremain, Peter Siddle, Scott Boland, Jon Holland
NSW: Nick Larkin, Daniel Hughes, Kurtis Patterson, Moises Henriques, Jason Sangha, Jack Edwards, Peter Nevill (c/wk), Trent Copeland, Sean Abbott, Stephen O’Keefe, Harry Conway
DAY THREE REPORT
Young gun Will Pucovski has guided Victoria to an ominous second innings score in the Sheffield Shield final.
Captain Travis Dean was the first batsman to fall, LBW off the bowling of Sean Abbott for 25. Australian batting prodigy Will Pucovski and Seb Gotch combined for a partnership of 68, before Gotch (20) became Harry Conway’s first victim of the innings.
At the other end, Pucovski’s stroke play was elegant with his trademark cut shot bringing about multiple boundaries, with his innings of 51 including eight fours.
Abbott claimed his third wicket when he trapped the young Victorian LBW on the stroke of Tea as the Vics’ lead crossed 300. But the Blues could’ve dismissed the 21-year-old earlier after he was dropped in the slip cordon on seven.
“It’s been sort of quite tough going all game for the batters, I think both teams have bowled really well. Pretty challenging conditions,” Pucovski told Fox Cricket.
“[It’s] good to have some luck as a batter always you’ve got to try and make the most of it.
“I think it’s just one of those wickets where it’s sort of shooting a little bit and it’s just one of those wickets where that dismissal is probably more prevalent than the faster, bouncer wickets where they are more edges, so I just think it’s probably just one of those wickets and hopefully we can come out on top.”
In what could be his final innings for Victoria, veteran Cameron White compiled a well made 36 before becoming spinner Steve O’Keefe’s first victim of the match.
Matt Short then became the fifth LBW victim for the day when Conway trapped him on the crease for 26 — but his partnership of 56 with White had put the result beyond reasonable doubt.
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