The home side could only manage a very narrow first-innings lead in tricky conditions

Tasmania 188 and 2 for 64 lead Victoria 199 (Handscomb 73, Bird 4-43) by 53 runs

A tight, low-scoring contest was unfolding at the MCG with Tasmania having their noses in front after restricting Victoria to a first-innings lead of just 11 and then slowly starting the process of building a target.

Despite losing Jordan Silk, lbw to the impressive James Pattinson, and Charlie Wakim who was sharply caught at second slip they held a lead of 53 at stumps with Mac Wright having fought doggedly for 110 balls.

As it had on the opening day, the ball held sway throughout starting with Peter Handscomb and nightwatchman Scott Boland, who took 43 balls to get off the mark, weathering the early excellent of Jackson Bird.

Handscomb had 73 out of a total of 96 when he fell to a brute of a delivery from Nathan Ellis that jagged away late to take the edge then Bird was rewarded when Boland drove to mid-off to leave Victoria 5 for 96.

The scoring rate was rarely much about two an over but having battled against the excellent seam bowling it was the offspin of Jarrod Freeman which undid the middle order. Seb Gotch (cover), Jake Fraser-McGurk (mid-on) and James Pattinson (mid-off) all fell to lofted catches to the in-field as they tried to take on the spin.

Will Sutherland played a handy innings, pushing Victoria into the lead, before Peter Siddle, who was bowling with a heavily bandaged left thumb after injuring himself earlier in the day, and Bird wrapped up the innings.