Harris out cheaply, Vics on top in Shield

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Incumbent Test opener Marcus Harris fell cheaply for the second time in three days but Victoria are still closing in on another Sheffield Shield victory over NSW.

The Blues went to stumps at 3-61 on Sunday, still requiring 361 runs for a mission impossible victory.

Victorian quicks Scott Boland, James Pattinson and Will Sutherland all struck blows in the last session to put the home side in the most commanding of positions heading into the fourth and final day.

NSW captain Kurtis Patterson was out lbw to Sutherland in the final over, leaving opener Daniel Hughes (19 not out) and Jack Edwards to walk out to the crease when play resumes on Monday.

Captain Peter Handscomb (90) and Matthew Short (90) powered Victoria to 5(dec)-248 after rolling the Blues for 140 in their first innings.

Handscomb, who played the last of his 16 Tests for Australia in 2019, was caught by NSW wicketkeeper Peter Nevill off Edwards (3-47) when in reach of his second century of the summer.

Short went slogging with a declaration in sight and finished 10 runs away from his second first-class career ton.

But teammate and Test aspirant Harris failed for the second time this match in a bitterly disappointing Ashes audition.

Harris followed up a score of one on Friday with a second-innings duck, falling lbw to NSW quick Sean Abbott.

The 29-year-old could consider himself slightly unlucky, with the wicket ball appearing to hit him high on the pads.

But it was the third time in four first-class knocks this season he has been dismissed for single figures.

New Australian selector Tony Dodemaide was a keen observer in the stands.

Harris had impressed with a second-innings century in last week's Shield game against NSW but he is not yet considered a lock for Australia's first Test against England at the Gabba on December 8.

After 10 Tests, Harris is averaging 23.77 and his top score of 79 came against India at the SCG in 2019.

He played in Australia's last Test in January, but sat out the first three matches of that series against India.

Queensland veteran Usman Khawaja has been in blistering form for the Bulls to start the summer and could force his way back into the Australian team for the first time since 2019.

Former Australian batter Nic Maddinson again looked promising but was bowled by NSW paceman Jack Edwards for 33.

The 29-year-old hit a brilliant 128 on Friday, after scoring 87 in Victoria's opening Shield match of the season.

"It was pretty much just bat normally up until tea, and then come out after that for half-an-hour to 45 minutes and try to bat with a bit more intent," Short said.

"We weren't too worried about how many runs we were scoring, it was more about the time we had to bowl at NSW."

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