NSW Metro trail by 258 runs at stumps on day three of its round two Toyota Futures League match against South Australia at Karen Rolton Oval on Wednesday and need early wickets tomorrow to keep the possibility of a win alive.
The visitors declared at 9/396 on the third day trailing by 47 runs and, in reply, South Australia are 4/211 at stumps in Adelaide. A tremendous 230-run partnership between Nick Bertus (147) and Blues’ rookie Ryan Hackney (94) across days two and three kept NSW Metro in the contest.
Liam Hatcher (2-43) and fellow Blues’ speedster Harry Conway (1-14) have three of the four of the South Australian wickets in the second innings so far.
In its second innings, the hosts are again enjoying the friendly batting conditions at Karen Rolton Oval, as they did in the first. South Australian No. 3 Bradley Davis (94 not out) is nearing his second century of the match and remains unbeaten with allrounder Tom Andrews, who is yet to get off the mark.
A brisk 66 not out from 73 balls from Blues’ rookie gloveman Baxter Holt helped reduce the deficit for NSW Metro before the declaration was made.
His 85-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Hatcher (30) was invaluable after the visitors lost 4/44 in the morning session.
Hackney fell six short of his maiden Toyota Futures League century early on day three. He was dismissed for 94 from 234 balls. He provided fantastic support to Bertus who was the first wicket to fall on day three.
NSW Metro resumed day three at 3/235 with Bertus (136 not out) and Hackney (81 not out).
Bertus fell for a tremendous 147 from 231 balls, caught behind from the bowling of Luke Robins (4-90), with the score on 249.
At that point, Robins had claimed all four wickets for South Australia.
A feature of the marvellous century by Bertus was his driving exhibition through the covers. The left-hander endured some tough periods throughout his innings, but rarely missed the opportunity to score.
Hackney was just as tough throughout his knock. He hit 14 boundaries and spent just over five and a half hours at the crease.
Robins and Eliot Opie (4-107) between them claimed the majority of the wickets for South Australia.
In response, Davis picked up from where he left off in the first innings. He shared a 155-run partnership for the second wicket with Kelvin Smith (82) to help build the lead for the hosts. A run-out ended the stand with the score on 182.