ADAM Voges is batting Western Australia to within striking distance of first innings points at stumps on day two of the Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales at the WACA Ground.
After bowling out NSW for 344 during the morning session on Friday, WA fell to 1-0, 3-127 and then 5-209 in reply but now at stumps have moved to 5-263 with Voges not out on 73 and wicket-keeper batsman Sam Whiteman with him on 27.
The pair have so far combined for an unbeaten 54-run partnership to have the home side within 82 of first innings points in the match that could have the winner sitting on top of the Shield table depending on results in the other two games currently being played.
WA's innings began disastrously when Doug Bollinger delivered a beauty first ball to Cameron Bancroft to trap him plumb in front and leave the Warriors 1-0, but Marcus North and Marcus Harris steadied things with a 107-run stand.
Harris was looking comfortable at the crease before being caught behind by Peter Nevill off Sean Abbott with the score 2-107 but then North began to dominate and force Bollinger into some poor bowling which he took full advantage.
However, North was struggling with his movement with a lower leg complaint and suddenly when on 69 the Shield's leading run scorer for the season was disappointingly run out by Abbott when he didn’t ground his bat.
Captain Voges and Mitch Marsh then combined for another 68-run stand before Marsh's impatience in the long form of the game again let him down when he was caught hooking at deep square leg off Sean Abbott.
Ashton Turner then failed to impress again caught behind off Abbott for just two but since Voges and Whiteman have safely guided WA to stumps.
Abbott has been the pick of the NSW bowlers claiming 3-29 from 11 overs.
Earlier, Jason Behrendorff collected his first career five-wicket finishing with 5-65 with NSW adding 3-53 in the morning session after being 7-291 on the first day with Ryan Carters adding 104 and Ben Rohrer 77.
Handy runs to Abbott (34), Manjot Singh (12) and Bollinger (6 not out) helped NSW get well beyond 300 and post a more than competitive 344.
A REARGUARD half-century by Victorian David Hussey couldn't loosen South Australia's grip on their Sheffield Shield match in Adelaide.
The Bushrangers were 4-146 at stumps on Friday's second day, in reply to SA's imposing 6(dec)-511.
After watching Redback veteran Michael Klinger post a double-century and his teammate Tim Ludeman crack his maiden first-class ton, the Victorians crashed with bat.
SA swingman Chadd Sayers claimed three of the initial four wickets to fall as the Bushrangers stumbled to 4-50 - they lost 3-0 in a span of 10 balls.
But evergreen Hussey (70 not out) found an ally in Glenn Maxwell (42 not out) as the pair put on an unbroken 94-run stand which stunted SA's momentum.
The Victorian duo both were given lives during their rescue mission.
Maxwell, on 15, was dropped by Adam Zampa when playing a reverse sweep from Johan Botha's bowling.
And Botha turfed a hot caught and bowled chance from Hussey's bat when he was on 52.
The misses came after Sayers (3-35) tore through Victoria's top order.
The Redbacks paceman bowled Rob Quiney for 11, the opener getting an inside edge onto his stumps when attempting a drive.
Next over, paceman Kane Richardson claimed Michael Hill (one) when he chopped a wide ball onto his stumps.
Sayers struck again in the following over when Marcus Stoinis (0) edged to third slip as Victoria lost 3-0 to slump to 3-12.
Hussey and Cameron White dug in, but White (16) fell when Sayers returned for another spell to leave the visitors 4-50.
Earlier, SA's first innings total was underpinned by Klinger's 213, his fourth Shield double-century, and Ludeman's 100 not out.
The Redbacks duo featured in a partnership of 174 runs, a record sixth-wicket stand for SA against Victoria.
Bushrangers John Hastings (3-70 from 27 overs) and Maxwell (3-52) shared the wickets.
AUSTRALIAN limited overs representative Ben Cutting is hopeful of bowling in the second innings of Queensland's Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania at Bellerive.
Cutting will be monitored by Queensland medical staff after failing to complete his 26th over and leaving the ground on day two with hamstring tightness.
The 27-year-old said he'd first felt the injury on Thursday as his long-form workload kicked in after the T20 season.
"It's probably the first time I've bowled that many overs in a day for quite a number of months," he said.
"It's probably too early to tell at the moment so we'll just see how we wake up tomorrow morning."
The 27-year-old, who played in the recent 3-0 T20 sweep of England, grabbed 4-54 as Queensland dismissed the Tigers for a first innings total of 350.
At stumps on day two, the Bulls were 3-136 in reply, 214 in arrears.
In-form young gun Joe Burns held the key to their fortunes, unbeaten on 76, while Peter Forrest was 18.
Burns played superbly on a slow track, smacking seven boundaries in a chanceless knock.
The highly rated 24-year-old has made a century and five 50s in six Shield games this season to average 55.
Tigers pacemen Ben Hilfenhaus (1-42), Sam Rainbird (1-38) and Andrew Fekete (1-31) had a wicket each to have their side in the driving seat in a match both sides need to win to stay in touch with the ladder leaders.
Cutting said Queensland would need to take the game up to the Tigers after the home side's slow first innings.
"We bowled quite a number of half-volleys and they still kept blocking them into the ground," he said.
"It's probably going to take us driving the game to get a result out of it."
Earlier, Tasmania's tail had wagged after they resumed at 5-244 and lurched to 7-267, big-hitting No.10 Sam Rainbird smashing consecutive sixes.
"Before Christmas we were six out all out," Rainbird said.
"To get that extra hundred runs makes a big difference."