Melbourne: Western Australia (WA) completed an amazing comeback to knock Victoria out of Sheffield Shield contention at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday.
WA skittled Victoria in its second innings for 98 to win by 37 runs after being forced to follow-on. The win gave WA 24 points and second spot on the ladder pending the result of the South Australia vs Tasmania match. It was only the third time in the history of domestic first-class cricket a side had won after having to follow on and WA overcame the biggest margin to do so. Victoria had a lead of 275 on the first innings after declaring at 450 for six and then bowling WA out for 175 to make it bat again. But an unbeaten 200 from Marcus North helped his side to 410 and set a victory target of 136. Former Victorian paceman Brad Williams then snared four for 34 and also ran out Ian Harvey with a direct hit, while Matthew Nicholson took three for 13. Tasmania was eight wickets from an outright victory, which would pitch it into equal second after dominating South Australia on the third day of its match in Adelaide. South Australia was 66 for two at stumps, still needing another 208 runs to make Tasmania bat again after trailing by 274 on the first innings. Captain Jamie Cox top- scored with 174 in Tasmania's declared first innings of 474 for eight. New South Wales (NSW) is facing up to finishing with the wooden spoon after another nightmare collapse against Queensland at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Brad Haddin smacked his maiden century, a classic 102 from 155 balls, but his breathtaking charge on day three was too late to rescue the Blues from a nightmare period after lunch. In reply to Queensland's 528 for four declared, NSW reached 166 without loss only to lose five for 22 and go to stumps at 398 for eight, still 130 runs behind with a day to play.
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