Recent Match Report – South Aust vs Victoria 16th Match 2023/24

Victoria 278 (Harper 151, W Agar 5-45, Doggett 4-73) and 12 for 1 lead South Australia 252 (Fraser-McGurk 101, Manenti 51, Scott 50, O’Neill 5-28) by 38 runs

Sam Harper‘s record-breaking century helped Victoria to a 38-run lead over South Australia on day two of their Sheffield Shield match, but Jake Fraser-McGurk‘s maiden first-class hundred rescued the home side after a bizarre reprieve.

After belting the third-fastest Shield hundred in history during some early evening fireworks on Tuesday, Harper kept going on Wednesday morning. He was eventually out for 151, the best score of his first-class career, as the visitors were all out for 278.

Victoria were reeling at 29 for 4 before Harper went to work with a masterclass of controlled hitting.

But former Victorian batter Fraser-McGurk was not to be outdone, hitting 101 from 106 balls to steer South Australia within distance of the tourists’ total.

Fraser-McGurk, who left Victoria at the end of last season, was particularly impressive when you consider the Redbacks were in trouble at 16 for 4.

However, he was involved in a strange incident when he had 19 and was initially given caught at slip off spinner Doug Warren. It was clear on replays that he had not hit the ball and, after starting to walk off, was recalled to the middle.

He made the most of it until carving Fergus O’Neill high into the off side shortly after reaching his century. This innings followed his spectacular record-breaking 29-ball Marsh Cup hundred earlier in the season.

Cameos from Ben Manenti and Liam Scott helped South Australia reach 252, trailing Victoria by just 26.

O’Neill continued his breakout season for Victoria, claiming his maiden first-class five-wicket haul by snaring 5 for 28 including removing Test wicketkeeper Alex Carey who behind from round the wicket for 1. Carey had been hoping for some time in the middle ahead of the series against Pakistan.

He was given excellent support by evergreen veteran Peter Siddle, who caused significant issues for South Australia’s top-order by taking 3 for 53.

In response, Victoria’s second innings got off to a rocky start as they had to negotiate a tricky period before stumps.

Test contender Marcus Harris failed for the second time in as many days with the opener out to Wes Agar for 6. However, he will have another chance to impress the selectors when he plays for the Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra next week.

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