In pursuit of the visitors first innings total of 333, Victoria looked to be in control midway through the day’s play, but South Australia have reduced them to 7/201 at the halfway point, climbing into the driver’s seat ahead of a crucial day three.
The maiden milestone
Day two begun with the enjoyable juxtaposition of Chadd Sayers and Sam Kerber sharing the crease together, one in his final first-class game and the other making his debut. While Sayers was unable to extend his knock much further, Kerber looked more than comfortable at the level, keeping out the good balls and punishing the bad balls.
There is nothing quite like reaching a milestone on debut, and although the allrounder would have been eyeing off an even bigger score, his high-quality half-century, plus a vital wicket in the final session of the day, showed that South Australian cricket is likely to see plenty more of Sam Kerber in the coming years.
An early celebration
Coming into his final first-class fixture, the stats lines showed that Chadd Sayers’ fourth delivery of his opening over would be the 19,000th time he had hurled a cricket ball towards a waiting batsman. That moment would pass quietly by however, because Sayers’ 18,998th delivery had stolen its thunder.
Taking the new ball, Sayers opened the second innings of the match with a ball that beat Victorian opening batsman Travis Dean outside the off stump, drawing some muffled excitement from the slips cordon. His next delivery sent the entire Redbacks XI into a cacophony of joy, brought about by the fresh red mark in the centre of Dean’s front pad.
Sayers, having turned to request the dismissal from the umpire, spun to face his teammates with a leap and a grin before being thoroughly engulfed in celebration. Sayers has charged into the crease thousands upon thousands of times in his career, and his final fixture has already provided yet another special moment at the end of that familiar run.
Scott the golden arm
The final session began with Nic Maddinson and debutant James Seymour in the middle for Victoria, with the score 3/128. The two had come together at 3/83 and looked untroubled heading into the tea break. Kerber and David Grant asked plenty of questions with the ball, but the Redbacks attack was unable to pry either batsman from their crease.
In the 54th over of the innings, skipper Travis Head asked allrounder Liam Scott to showcase his skill, and the 20-year-old did not let him down. Conscious that time was beginning to ebb away on day two, Scott wasted no time taking a wicket. He delivered the much-needed breakthrough with his first delivery, finding Maddinson’s edge and sending him on his way.
Kerber gets the ball rolling
The debutant is doing it with both bat and ball in St Kilda, so it seemed fitting to get him at both ends of this article. As a new batsman walked to the crease, Head turned to the allrounder in search of another wicket, and the left-armer obliged by turning one right into James Seymour’s stumps.
The wicket energised the Redbacks for the final overs of the day, as Franky Worrall began a new spell that would prove devastating for the Victorians. The home side lost 3/3 in quick time as stumps approached, and it could easily have been worse had several edges gone to hand in the slip.
Evenly poised at tea with Victoria 3/128, the Redbacks were sublime in the final session of the day, taking 4/73 to wrestle control of the game.
04 April 2021