Victoria captain Cameron White was left frustrated and hamstrung by strict Cricket Australia directives limiting the use of pace ace James Pattinson during the Bushrangers' heart-breaking one-wicket Sheffield Shield loss to South Australia at Adelaide Oval.
As skipper, White was under instructions from CA to bowl Pattinson for no more than 12 overs in each innings.
After bowling 12 of the 99 overs in the Redbacks' first innings, the Test spearhead used up his 12th and last over just after the fall of the seventh wicket, with 28 runs still required, leaving him unable to bowl at SA's tail, who hung on to reach 9-191 and secure a tense victory.
"He only bowled 12 and 12 (overs in each innings)," White said. "That's all he was able to bowl.
"He's our best bowler so you'd like to have free restrictions.
"But when you're under guidelines from above you stick to them."
White hinted Pattinson would have preferred to have bowled more overs, while a longer stint at the bowling crease could have been beneficial for the Test spearhead who is on the comeback trail in his first game in more than two months since sustaining a rib injury at this venue in the second Test against South Africa.
"He probably needs another game but it's probably not going happen," White said.
"It's probably more frustrating for James than it is for the team.
"You can bowl as much as you like in the nets but fast bowling, especially with James, is about rhythm and finding a groove.
"Every time he finds that in a spell, he's bowled two, three, four overs max, then you've got to take him off to look after him.
"It's out of my hands but if I was taking a guess at what James feels he needs it's more bowling in the middle to find some more rhythm.
"You can't replace that sort of stuff in the nets."
With the Redbacks' tail exposed, White was powerless to unleash his premier strike weapon.
The Victoria skipper was unwilling to test the patience of the authorities and risk a sanction.
"I don't know what it (punishment) is but I would imagine it wouldn't be that pretty," White said.
"(CA High Performance Manager) Pat Howard wouldn't be that happy with it, I would imagine."
White was also hamstrung by a slow over-rate, which meant, the Pattinson issue aside, he was forced to bowl debutant leggie James Muirhead and part-timer David Hussey more than he would have liked at the death, while Pattinson, John Hastings and Will Sheridan were left to cool their heels.
"We were about seven minutes down in the overs so I didn't have a choice," White said.
"The game was probably at that stage where you've got to roll the dice a bit and try and take a punt.
"We took a couple of wickets (with spin) that gave us a slight chance."
The fact the gripping contest even went down to the wire like it did was a testament to SA's diligence with the ball as well the Bushrangers' poor skill level, according to White.
"We were on top at 2-279 (on day one)," White said. "Then the second new ball was taken and that's when the momentum shifted.
"We struggled to wrestle it back from there.
"I thought South Australia bowled really well.
"Our skills let us down, definitely not our effort or our commitment to trying to win.
"SA outplayed us from a skill point of view."That's why they got six points and we got two."