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Finch century but SA dominate Shield clash

AAP logoAAP 26/11/2016 Roger Vaughan

Aaron Finch's first Sheffield Shield cricket ton in more than six years has boosted Victoria as they struggle against SA.

The competition leaders were 6-263 in their first innings at stumps on day two at the MCG, trailing the second-placed Redbacks by 142.

Finch has scored seven international one-day tons and one for Australia in T20s, but Sunday was only his sixth first-class century.

Finch was asked when he had scored his last four-day ton for Victoria and he replied: "no idea - I couldn't tell you. It's disappointing."

His most recent four-day ton was in July while he was playing for Surrey.

Finch and Sam Harper combined for a sixth-wicket stand of 119 after tea that steadied the shaky Victorian innings.

But late in the day Finch top edged a Kane Richardson delivery and Alex Carey took a great diving catch.

It was typical of how the match has panned out for the unbeaten Victorians so far.

Opener Travis Dean looked set on 46 when he misjudged the length of an Adam Zampa delivery and was given out lbw, even though the ball appeared to hit him too high.

Captain Cameron White (18) also was settling in when he chopped on, trying to play a back-foot drive off Richardson.

Harper was 55 at stumps and John Hastings had made five.

Play was delayed briefly when a Chadd Sayers bouncer hit Hastings in the helmet, but he kept batting and Finch made light of it.

"It probably shook him up - it's never easy to get a bouncer that high," Finch said of the tall all-rounder.

"I think he'll be okay, he kept batting and he seems okay."

While SA have control, Finch praised the Victorian fast bowlers for their fight back at the start of day two.

Victoria's attack had bowled too short on day one and SA capitalised, making 5-360.

But Chris Tremain snared four wickets as SA lost 5-45 and were bowled out for 435.

"Our bowlers this morning were unbelievable - we had our backs against the wall," Finch said.

Tom Cooper was denied an emotional century when he was the second wicket of the day for 97.

Sunday was the second anniversary of Phillip Hughes' death and Cooper, his teammate and housemate, was at the non-striker's end when he was felled at the SCG.

SA players wore black armbands on day two as a tribute to Hughes.

"Two years on, it's never easy," Finch said.

"You think about him every day, at different times.

"It was nice to get a hundred today, especially."

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