Disgruntled Victoria captain Peter Handscomb lamented South Australia’s refusal to set up a final-day run chase in their Marsh Sheffield Shield clash, as the match he labeled “boring” and “pointless” descended into farce on Saturday.
The reigning Shield champions elected not to use their frontline bowlers for the majority of the third day’s last session as Tom Cooper (188 not out) and Tom Andrews (75 not out) filled their boots on a lifeless Junction Oval surface that has seen just 11 wickets fall for a combined 1,143 runs across 287 overs.
Cooper was caught in the middle of negotiations while he batted during a “weird” evening session as the two sides failed to come to an agreement on a fourth-day target for the Redbacks to chase.
Where James Pattinson should have been proving his Test credentials with repeated spells in a competitive fixture, the fast bowler instead bowled two overs of off-spin as shadows extended across the ground.
Handscomb and Marcus Harris, neither of whom have taken a first-class wicket in their 102- and 86-game careers respectively, bowled 18 overs between them and stationed up to six fielders on the boundary as their lead gradually dwindled.
“There can’t be anyone listening to this,” one-Test spinner Bryce McGain said on commentary for the game’s live stream.
Handscomb said his opposite number Travis Head, who had earlier in the day struck a hard-fought half-century, declined an offer to set-up a fourth-day target.
“We were trying to get a game going – we thought 350 off 80 overs was going to be a fair target to chase,” said the home side’s skipper.
“We couldn’t come to an agreement on a pretty flat wicket. We thought that (our offer) was fine but turns out it wasn’t. Eighty overs still isn’t long enough to get 10 wickets but it sure as hell is long enough to get 350 runs, which we thought was pretty good.”
Asked if he was annoyed, Handscomb said: “Yes … just annoyed the game is dead on day three. Read More