Vics overcome SA in Shield final rematch

29 November 2016

Title-holders Victoria fight back to seal five-wicket win over Redbacks

Sheffield Shield 2016-17, Round four


Cameron White and Sam Harper were the last-day heroes as Victoria completed their stunning comeback Sheffield Shield cricket win over South Australia.

The Redbacks could smell blood when Alex Carey took a brilliant catch off Kane Richardson's bowling after lunch to dismiss Aaron Finch for 33.

That left the Bushrangers 5-152, needing 201 to win.

But White continued his outstanding form and Harper showed he was a teenager with massive potential as they steered Victoria home.

White was unbeaten on 40 and Harper made 26no in his third first-class game as the Bushrangers scored a five-wicket win.

First innings: Harper notches fighting maiden Shield half-century

It gives the two-time defending champions a perfect start to the Shield season after four games.

Victoria were floundering after day one when White's decision to send in SA backfired badly.

The Redbacks were in control at 5-360 thanks to a century from skipper Travis Head but Victoria first stayed in the game and then bundled out SA cheaply in their second innings to set up the win.

Head cracks fourth first-class ton at the 'G

"It was fantastic - after day one, we sat down and had a good, hard look at ourselves," Finch said.

"The bowlers really dug deep on the morning of day two ... we were probably staring down the barrel of 500.

"The way our lower order hung on and got us within 37 (after the first innings), that showed a real lot of character from our group.

"And what we did over the last two days was fantastic."

Finch, who top-scored with 102 in the first innings, was full of praise for White and Harper.

Recalled Finch posts first-innings ton for Victoria

White is averaging 102 in the Shield this season after also scoring the most runs in the domestic one-day competition.

While the 33-year-old is out of the three national teams, Finch says he is making his presence felt.

"He keeps talking about how he only learned to bat two years ago," Finch said.

"He rode the ups and downs, stuck with it and stuck true to his game and he's definitely reaping the benefits now.

"It's great to see Cam getting rewarded with runs - and a power of runs.

"Whenever you have an experienced guy putting big scores on the board consistently, it always puts pressure on."

Harper, 19, returned to the Victorian team to fill in for Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and scored a crucial 80 in the first innings.

"It's never easy when you're the second wicketkeeper, especially behind Matty Wade, who's obviously the skipper and a lock every time he plays," Finch said.

"But the way he approached his innings to get 80 ... and really give us a chance to get back in the game was outstanding.

"And to finish if off the way he did was brilliant.

"For a guy who's 19 to have such a mature head on his shoulders, albeit very small ones (Harper is only 168cm), it was nice."

SA pushed Victoria hard on the last day, with Richardson taking 3-36.

But they were left ruing their second-innings collapse on day three, when they went from 3-107 to all out for 162.

Dumped Test seamer Joe Mennie finished with six wickets for the match after trapping Marcus Stoinis lbw for 11 and getting opener Marcus Harris caught behind for 34 in the Vics' second dig.

First innings: Mennie grabs four on Shield return

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Meg Lanning Steve Smith

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