After a dynamic showing on day one, Victoria elected to take the slow road to success on day two in Alice Springs as they chase a third successive Sheffield Shield cricket title.
The day was built around an important – though drawn-out – stand of 139 for the seventh wicket between wicketkeeper Seb Gotch (52) and fast bowler James Pattinson (80).
That partnership – which allowed both batsman to pick up career-best scores – helped Victoria reach an intimidating first innings tally of 487.
South Australia were unable to survive a tough 11-over session late in the day without loss, and they ended at 1-19 with Pattinson bowling John Dalton for a duck.
The partnership between between Gotch and Pattinson produced a litany of unflattering statistics, with the first two sessions producing just 120 runs.
The stand chewed up 64 overs and at one stage there were 14 overs without a boundary amid six consecutive maidens.
But for Pattinson the slow scoring was more about halting South Australia’s momentum than it was settling for a draw in a match the Redbacks must win to end their 21-year Shield drought.
“If we lost another three wickets there we could have been all out for 350 and it is a completely different ball game,” Pattinson said.
“Me and Gotchy just said lets give them nothing and really try to capitalise.
“It was more about putting the pressure back on them.
“It was more about the fact that they had momentum after we lost three for twenty-something.
“Getting close to 500 was really good and then to get a wicket near the end made for a good day.”
Victoria’s dominance overshadowed another sterling bowling display from the ever-consistent Chadd Sayers under the gaze of Australian selector Trevor Hohns.
Sayers, having taken four top-order wickets, then ripped through the tail as the Vics lost 4-3 to end their 11-hour innings.
That late flurry left Sayers with 7-84 from 34.2 gruelling overs in the Northern Territory heat.
Five of his wickets were caught by impressive wicketkeeper Alex Carey who equalled the most dismissals in a Shield season (58).
“The new ball has done the damage (so far),” Sayers said.
“Once you get through the first 20-30 overs it was good to bat on.
“The wicket is still good, but now we need to get through the new rock (ball).
“Hopefully I will get a day off tomorrow and I can rest up.”