On an action-packed second day, Victoria clawed back into the Sheffield Shield final against Western Australia courtesy a brilliant five-wicket haul by pacer Will Sutherland. The 22-year-old tore through the hosts’ middle order, picking figures of 5 for 78 as Western Australia, who started the day at 290/3, were bowled out for 386.
Sutherland struck in the second over of the day, removing nightwatchman Matthew Kelly and then went to add two wickets in the next two overs. Teague Wyllie, 17, was the next man to fall before the crucial wicket of Cameron Bancroft, the centurion from the first day who could only add six runs to his overnight tally. It was a bit of an unlucky dismissal, strangled down the leg side, but Sutherland was in the middle of a very good spell and making things happen every over. His seven-over spell read 3-8.
How WA managed to reach 386 despite Sutherland’s spell was down to an attacking 29-ball 50 by Corey Rocchiccioli at No 10. He hit 4 fours and 2 sixes before becoming Sutherland’s fifth wicket.
In response, Travis Dean and Will Pucovski put on a 75-run opening stand for Victoria, with the latter hitting a few crisp boundaries in his half-century. Pucovski fell to Joel Paris later in the day, and not long after Aaron Hardie had got the better of fellow opener Dean. Hardie also got rid of Matthew Short before stumps to spoil Victoria’s party to an extent. An uphill third day awaits the visitors but they would go in with a lot of confidence on the back of a superb bounceback from Sutherland and co.
Brief Scores: Victoria 147/3 (Will Pucovski 59, Peter Handscomb 39*; Aaron Hardie 2-35) trail Western Australia 386 (Cameron Bancroft 141, Corey Rocchiccioli 50; Will Sutherland 5-78) by239 runs