South Australia 252 and 49 for 3 (O’Neill 3-27) need 209 more runs to beat Victoria 278 and 231 (Pucovski 65, McAndrew 4-50)
Three late blows from Fergus O’Neill had Victoria on the verge of an important Sheffield Shield victory over South Australia at the Adelaide Oval.
The Redbacks slumped to 49 for 3 at stumps on day three in pursuit of 258. After taking 5 for 28 in South Australia’s first innings, O’Neill stepped up again to continue his breakout season. The bustling quick dismissed openers Henry Hunt and Jake Carder, as well as captain Jake Lehmann to a sharp return catch, to have the hosts reeling at 29 for 3.
Nathan McSweeney and Test wicketkeeper Alex Carey were able to guide South Australia to stumps and give them an outside chance of victory on Friday.
Earlier, one-Test batter Will Pucovski carved out his best score of the Shield season with a patient 65 in Victoria’s second innings total of 231.
After having a 26-run first-innings lead, Victoria recovered from a poor start at 27 for 3 to grind their way towards a competitive total.
Campbell Kellaway (46) and Peter Handscomb (44) both made valuable contributions in the middle order to frustrate the Redbacks.
SA pace bowler Wes Agar finished with match figures of 8 for 97 after adding to his five-wicket haul in the first innings including that of Pucovski to a delivery that nipped back. Nathan McAndrew was also dangerous for the Redbacks, claiming 4 for 50.
The result will be a crucial one as the match is the last for two months due to the upcoming start of the Big Bash League.
Both teams have managed two wins from their first five games, but a victory here would put them as high as third on the ladder.