Hurry finish for Vics, Bulls on final day

THE Bushrangers need nine wickets and Queensland 365 runs for outright points on the final day of their Sheffield Shield match at the MCG.

At stumps on day three the Bulls were 1-35 in their second innings after being set 400 to achieve their sixth win from six starts in the Shield this season.

At the crease are Joe Burns on 27 and Wade Townsend, four.

The only Queensland wicket to fall was that of opener Ryan Broad who was trapped in front by Clint McKay for four in the third over of the innings.

An outright win for either side will be a real achievement.

The MCG wicket has offered little to the bowlers over the first three days, though the Bulls will be mindful that Western Australia managed to score 5-363 from 106 overs in the fourth innings to beat the Bushrangers at the same venue just two games ago.

Victoria skipper Cameron White opted not to enforce the follow-on after the Bulls were dismissed for 295 in their first innings 45 minutes after lunch on Sunday in reply to Victoria’s 7-498 declared.

White declared Victoria’s second innings closed at 3-196 giving his bowlers 11 overs at the Bulls before stumps.

After the dismissal of openers Rob Quiney (2) and Chris Rogers (26), David Hussey and Aaron Finch applied themselves to the task of building quickly on the Vics’ 203-run first-innings lead with relish.

They added 129 from just 121 deliveries when Finch, on 82, holed out to cover off Broad providing the Bulls opener and part-time medium pacer with just the second wicket of his Shield career.

Earlier White took the bowling honours with 5-59 from 26 overs, just the second five of his Shield career.

Resuming on Sunday morning at 5-153 with Burns (58) and Chris Hartley (2) at the crease, the Bulls faced a huge task to remain formidable.

Their cause wasn’t helped when McKay found the edge of Burns’ bat inside the first 20 minutes of play for the addition of just eight runs.

White, who claimed three wickets in the final session of play on Saturday, followed up with two more – Ben Cutting trapped lbw for seven and Matthew Gale caught at cover by Chris Rogers for five.

At 8-194 the Bulls were sinking fast but Hartley combined with Cameron Boyce for an 86-run ninth-wicket stand that wrested the initiative, briefly, the Bulls’ way.

Boyce raced from 39 to 57 in the space of four deliveries from Jon Holland, who got his revenge the next over when he bowled the Bulls’ No.10 without further addition.

Hartley was last to fall for a defiant 62.

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