Victoria a turned a likely deficit into a lead then claimed early wickets to set up the chance of victory
South Australia 333 and 5 for 151 (Hunt 73*) lead Victoria 365 (Harper 106*, Seymour 60, Worrall 3-86, Kerber 3-92) by 119 runs
Henry Hunt held South Australia’s faltering third innings together after Sam Harper’s first century for Victoria gave the hosts an unexpected first innings lead in the Sheffield Shield match at Junction Oval in Melbourne.
Resuming 132 runs behind with just three wickets remaining, Harper fashioned stands of 54 with Mitch Perry, 88 with debutant Todd Murphy and 28 with the last man Jon Holland to allow Victoria to regain the upper hand against the lowly Redbacks, assured of finishing bottom of the Sheffield Shield table for the fourth consecutive season.
Harper was on 91 when the ninth wicket fell but moved to his century with a scoop and a ramp over the slips then a scampered single to mid-on.
As if conforming to this trend, SA’s second innings began with a rush of dispirited exits, as Jake Weatherald, Liam Scott, captain Travis Head and Alex Carey all departed inside the first 20 overs. Carey’s dismissal, top edging a reverse sweep to backward point after being tied down by Holland, was particularly galling.
At that point, a three-day finish was not out of the question, but Hunt found allies in Harry Nielsen and Jake Lehmann to at least ensure that the Redbacks would have something to bowl at in the last innings of Chadd Sayers’ long and reliable domestic career on the final day.