In-form Short takes Vics past NSW in Sheffield Shield

Matt Short has continued his rich vein of form to help Victoria to a 61-run lead at the midway point of their Sheffield Shield match against NSW in Albury.

Victoria batted with increasing confidence at Lavington Sports Ground to end the day at 6-264 in response to NSW's 203.

Short ended the day unbeaten on 81, with wicketkeeper Sam Harper on 4 not out.

Short came to the wicket with the Vics at a shaky 4-108, but struck nine boundaries in a watchful 150-ball knock.

It was the fifth time in the past seven innings that Short has passed 50 at state level.

Batting at No.6, Short shared a 92-run stand with Campbell Kellaway before the latter fell just shy of helping the Vics pass the NSW first-innings total.

Test opener Marcus Harris built an early platform with a watchful 53 at the top of the order, while nightwatchman Mitch Perry hit 45 to ensure NSW commenced the day on the back foot.

Fast bowler Liam Hatcher picked up the wickets of Perry, Harris and Will Sutherland (18) to end with 3-80.

Veteran paceman Trent Copeland was unrelenting during a long hot day, returning 2-48 from 24 overs.

Starting the match in second spot on the table, Victoria are one of four sides hoping to join likely Shield final hosts Western Australia in the season decider.

Bottom-placed NSW need a victory to avoid the longest winless streak in the state's history.