Harris in the runs again as Vics fightback

Peter Smith |

Marcus Harris has cracked a confident unbeaten half-century before next month’s Test series against Pakistan to set Victoria up for a strong first innings total in their Sheffield Shield match against Queensland.

Harris ended day two unbeaten on 88 to help the Vics to 1-172 in reply to Queensland’s 349.

Harris hit nine boundaries and one six in his 197-ball knock and shared a 165-run stand with captain Peter Handscomb.

The 29-year-old Harris was dropped for last month’s fifth Ashes Test but retained his position in Australia’s squad for the touring squad for Pakistan.

Over the past week Harris has hit a domestic one-day cup century, in addition to a half-century in the Sheffield Shield.

Handscomb also continued his good form in posting an unbeaten 74 to follow up his match-saving century in Adelaide last weekend.

The pair’s run spree in in Melbourne allowed Victoria to overcome the early loss of Travis Dean (4) who came into the side for Will Pucovski after his latest concussion injury.

There was little joy for newly-named Test squad member Mark Steketee who went wicketless across 14 overs, conceding 45 runs in the process.

Steketee was called up to Australia’s touring roster on Thursday as a replacement for injured fellow Queenslander Michael Neser.

The visiting Bulls turned around their dour showing on day one to flourish in an action-packed morning session.

Queensland scored at barely two runs an over on Friday but, thanks to Jack Clayton and James Bazley, they cracked 128 runs before being all out just prior to lunch.

Having resumed on 72, Clayton dominated the bowling to notch up an impressive century in his maiden first-class outing.

His 235-ball knock ended on 109, caught at square leg off the bowling of Will Sutherland (3-78) as the debutant sought further quick runs.

There was more pain for the Vics as Bazley (64) and Matt Kuhnemann (24 not out) combined for a 53-run 10th wicket stand.