Vics, Bulls make history in Shield draw

VICTORIA and Queensland have played out one of the most remarkable draws in Bupa Sheffield Shield history after both team’s scores finished level following four days of battle at the MCG.

Chasing 400 for victory, Queensland were given a fighting chance thanks to centuries from Joe Burns (123) and Peter Forrest (115) but the Bulls ultimately finished on 9-399.

Queensland looked like they were going to cruise for victory at one stage in the final session as Forrest and Chris Hartley (39) combined for a devastating 126-run sixth-wicket partnership.

But the Bulls experienced a dramatic collapse to lose 4-13 in the last five overs, including the valuable scalp of Forrest who was caught in the deep by Rob Quiney off Glenn Maxwell, and be denied a remarkable victory.

Queensland needed two off the last ball for the win but Luke Feldman (one not out) could only manage a single.

Victoria will be ruing the many chances they had to clinch the win.

Glenn Maxwell (2-38 off 10 overs) missed a run-out chance that could have sent Burns packing for 27 in the second over of the day and Forrest was given a life on just two when David Hussey grassed a very difficult chance diving to his right at second slip off Clint McKay (2-88 off 24).

Making matters worse was McKay dropping Ben Cutting (two not out) after he smashed Maxwell down to deep mid-off with seven balls to go and Jayde Herrick (3-105 off 26) grounding a throw from Rob Quiney at the bowler’s end with Cutting well short of his crease in the final over.

The result meant Victoria missed the chance to move to second on the Shield table and they remain fourth (12 points) with four matches remaining.

And their poor record at their home ground continued with the Bushrangers now victorious in just one of their last eight Shield matches at the MCG.

The Bulls required a testing 163 runs at 4.79 in the final session to win with six wickets in hand.

And when McKay dismissed Nathan Reardon lbw for 13 in the sixth over after tea, a draw appeared the likely result.

Queensland’s asking rate almost stretched to six an over at one stage in the final session, but Forrest and Hartley were unfazed as they combined for a magnificent union.

Forrest swatted 10 boundaries, including three off a Jon Holland over, and wasn’t deterred by the introduction of the new ball either as he hit McKay’s first two deliveries with the fresh pill in the eighth-last over for four and six respectively.

Burns also played a starring role in the visitors’ run chase.

Barring a few confident lbw shouts from Holland (0-33 off 12) and Cameron White (1-68 off 19), 22-year-old Burns’ innings contained little incident before Andrew McDonald (1-44 off 16) finally found the Brisbane native’s edge five overs before tea to gift David Hussey a simple catch.

Burns showed maturity beyond his years and carefully chose his strokes throughout his impressive knock.

The considered Burns hit 12 boundaries and a magnificent six over long on off Holland.

Burns and Wade Townsend (46) got the ball rolling for Queensland, who started the day 1-35, as they put on 118 runs for the second wicket to stabilise the innings after the Bulls found themselves 1-5 late on day three.

Chris Lynn (29) came to the crease when Townsend was dismissed by White and he also combined well with Burns for 62 runs in their third-wicket union.

However, Lynn couldn’t make Victoria pay after being dropped by Andrew McDonald at third slip off Jayde Herrick when on 25 and was caught by substitute fieldsman Daniel Salpietro at short mid-wicket in Herrick’s next over.

Meanwhile, Victorian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade suffered from back spasms and as a precaution didn’t appear after lunch.

In his absence, Aaron Finch assumed the gloves but Wade is expected to line up for Victoria in their must-win Ryobi Cup clash against Queensland on Wednesday.

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