Victoria 2 for 147 (Dean 81*, Handscomb 46*) trail Queensland 444 (Henry 141, Labuschagne 67, Hartley 55, Hastings 4-59) by 297 runs
Travis Dean had a hard act to follow when he walked out to bat in his debut first-class innings. Chosen ahead of international batsman Aaron Finch for Victoria in the opening Sheffield Shield round against Queensland, Dean walked out to bat with Finch having on the same day scored an unbeaten double-century for the Cricket Australia XI against New Zealand in Sydney.
But Dean seemed unperturbed by events at Blacktown, and by stumps had scored a composed 81 not out as Victoria chipped away at Queensland’s first-innings total of 444. At the close of play Victoria were 2 for 147 with Dean batting alongside Peter Handscomb, who had 46; Handscomb had been the last Victorian before Dean to score a half-century on first-class debut, when he achieved the feat in 2011.
Like Victoria, Queensland found that the pink ball offered little assistance once the shine had worn off. Ben Cutting claimed both the wickets from consecutive deliveries, Rob Quiney lbw for 17 and Marcus Stoinis bowled for a golden duck when he failed to get bat and pad close together and saw the ball zip through the gate.
There was little else the Bulls could do and they adopted similar tactics to Victoria, placing fields heavy on men forward of the wicket – at one stage a cordon of three catchers were spread from short mid-on to short midwicket – on the assumption that no edges would be flying to slip. At least their batsmen had made good use of the friendly batting conditions earlier.
Queensland had resumed on 4 for 298 and lost Jack Wildermuth, run out for 8, and Nathan Reardon, who edged to second slip off John Hastings for 36 early in the day. However, the experienced pair of Chris Hartley (55) and James Hopes (33 off 30 balls) ensured some handy late runs, along with 30 from Ben Cutting.
Hopes holed out to long-on off the bowling of Fawad Ahmed and Hartley was caught behind off Hastings, who finished with 4 for 59 from 34 overs and was the most effective of Victoria’s bowlers. Peter Siddle was typically hard to score off but went wicketless, with 0 for 57 off 23 overs.
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