Sheffield Shield 2015-16
Bushrangers close in on outright win
Redbacks stumble in pursuit of 408 at Adelaide Oval
16 February 2016, 06:00 PM AEST
Two late wickets to spinner Fawad Ahmed and strong batting from Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell have placed Sheffield Shield ladder leaders Victoria in a strong position to take outright points against South Australia at Adelaide Oval.
Set 408 in just over four sessions, SA were 4-126 at stumps on Tuesday's third day, still requiring another 282 runs for an unlikely outright win.
Captain Travis Head was unbeaten on 35 and night watchman Joe Mennie survived 26 balls without getting off the mark.
The Redbacks were fighting hard at 2-99 before Ahmed struck.
Sam Raphael (28) was trapped lbw and young gun Jake Lehmann (7) was caught at cover by Chris Tremain.
Victoria declared at 5-306 just before the dinner break after some strong batting through the first two sessions.
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Handscomb (102) and Maxwell (63) boosted their overnight partnership to 134, 124 of them coming in the first session.
Maxwell, who notched his second 50 of the game, after top-scoring with 79 in the first innings, was dismissed in the first over of the second session.
The renowned big hitter only notched his first four with the stroke that brought up his half-century, but still scored at a decent strike rate of just under 60.
Handscomb went on to compile his sixth first-class century, striking 17 boundaries in his 151-ball knock.
An unbroken stand of 70 off 13.3 overs between Matthew Wade (41) and Dan Christian (40) helped push the visitors' lead beyond 400.
Spinner Adam Zampa (2-54) and debutant medium pacer Cameron Valente (2-90) were the Redbacks' only multiple wicket takers.
SA made a decent start to their formidable chase with Mark Cosgrove (33) and Tom Cooper (18) combining for a 44-run opening stand.
Cosgrove struck six boundaries in a breezy 40-ball knock before driving Clint McKay to Marcus Stoinis at short extra cover.
Tremain then had Cooper caught behind after a patient 60-ball vigil and Raphael and Head added 33 before Ahmed struck for the first time.