Tom Cooper was climbing the mountain.
Tom Cooper was climbing the mountain.

Insane records in Shield farce

TOM Cooper was left unbeaten on 271 with South Australia 6-671 before the Sheffield Shield clash with Victoria was finally put out of its misery with a declaration on the final day of play.

South Australia's declaration just before the tea break allowed the two teams to call it a draw after four days where 1287 runs were scored and just 12 wickets fell.

SA resumed their first innings at 5-525 on day four at Junction Oval on Sunday, in reply to the home side's 6(dec)-616 as bowlers continued to struggle to make headway on the slow, flat wicket.

Nick Winter finished with Cooper, who belted 27 fours and seven sixes on his way to a new career-best total.

It was the first time Cooper had ever gone past 203 in first class cricket.

Alex Carey and Tom Andrews also belted centuries, but it was Cooper's record knock that stole the show.

With a win for either side off the table, the main talking point from the contest is the soured relations between the teams.

Victoria skipper Peter Handscomb has expressed bitter disappointment over counterpart Travis Head's refusal to set up a run chase on the final day with a sporting declaration.

"I'm just annoyed the game is dead," Handscomb said on Saturday evening.

"At the end of day three we have two more sessions tomorrow that we have to play of dead cricket.

"We'll shake hands at tea and tell everyone 'thanks for coming, sorry for such a boring game of Shield cricket'."

Tom Cooper was left 29 runs short.
Tom Cooper was left 29 runs short.

On a pitch that has offered bowlers little assistance, the match descended into farce soon after tea on day three when it became clear SA would keep batting rather than declare.

Handscomb bowled himself and fellow trundler Marcus Harris for 18 meaningless overs.

Paceman James Pattinson eventually returned to the attack but only to bowl off- spin for the first time in his first-class career.

The tense situation has taken the sheen off some fine batting. Nic Maddinson top-scored with 224 in the Vics' first innings, with Test opener Marcus Harris (116) and young gun Will Pucovski (123) making hundreds.

Carey made a polished 117 for SA, with Tom Andrews (101) breaking through for his maiden first-class century.

Maddinson had to leave the field with a finger injury in the middle session on day three after he was struck at short leg and Aaron Finch is resting after suffering back spasms during his quickfire 57.

News Corp Australia

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