Vics go to top of table - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Vics go to top of table

By Adam Cooper 15/12/2003 06:37:35 PM Comments (0)

Victoria survived a near-fatal case of the batting wobbles to beat New South Wales by two wickets at the MCG and jump to the top of the Pura Cup cricket table.

Allrounder Andrew McDonald took two off the last ball of Stuart Clark's first over after tea on the fourth and final day to take the Bushrangers to 8-230 and send Victoria top, making the win over the old enemy more the sweeter.

In a nailbiting finish, Victoria lost 5-28 before tea and went to the break - amid boos from an impatient crowd - needing just two runs to win.

McDonald remained cool after the interval, but it could have ended disastrously for Victoria, which was cruising at 3-200 with Jonathan Moss and David Hussey in full flight.

The pair hit 16 fours and three sixes in a sparkling 106-run stand before Hussey (50) became the first of three wickets in eight balls.

Moss went for 63, Ian Harvey for a pair, and to complete the yips, wicketkeeper Peter Roach (0) was run out after McDonald hit the ball to mid-on and charged down the pitch despite his partner's reservations.

But McDonald's timely 16 not out sent Victoria to equal top spot with Tasmania, on 14 points from four matches, with percentage giving the Bushrangers top perch.

It could not have been a more heart-wrenching day for NSW however, as despite the Blues' valour in defending, the reigning champions left the MCG with less than what they started with.

NSW is likely to be docked one point for a slow over rate - half a point for each of the two overs it was behind - meaning the Blues will go to the bottom of the table despite calls from captain Mark Waugh for leniency for bowling his strike bowlers.

"I was trying to win the game," Waugh said.

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