Pucovski, Maddinson fifties take Victoria towards NSW’s 294


New South Wales 6 for 223 (Larkin 50, Siddle 2-40) v Victoria

New South Wales opener Nick Larkin held firm with a half-century against an in-form Victoria attack on a low-scoring day at the MCG.

Larkin was the only Blues player to pass 50 as they were reduced to 6 for 149 before an unbeaten 74-run stand from Peter Nevill and Sean Abbott saved the day for the visitors.

Victoria’s attack led by Peter Siddle and James Pattinson gave nothing away with four of the five bowlers used conceding less than two runs an over. Larkin faced 116 balls for his 50 with just three fours, weathering some high-quality fast bowling from Siddle and Pattinson. His patience eventually wore thin, falling to a top-edged slog sweep off Jon Holland.

When Siddle induced a false stroke from Nick Bertus after tea, the Blues looked in danger of being bowled out for under 200. But a steadying partnership from Nevill and Abbott steered them to stumps. Nevill reach 40 not out without a boundary, while Abbott made an enterprising 45 to frustrate Victoria late on day one.

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