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Boland returns from knee complaint, takes critical wickets to strengthen Vic's Shield position

Jarred Cross -

Scott Boland has overcome an injury scare to help put Victoria within reach of second spot on the Sheffield Shield ladder with wickets in South Australia's second innings in Melbourne on Monday.

The Gulidjan quick took 2-35 from 16 overs after passing a fitness test two days on from exiting play with knee soreness.

Boland underwent scans on Saturday night after failing to complete his 17th over on return from a largely unused summer in the Australian side's camp across five tests.

It was the 34-year-old's first spell with the red-ball in a competitive match since November.

He featured in just one BBL match for Melbourne Stars after Australia's 3-0 Test series win over Pakistan.

The 34-year-old returned to add five runs at no.11 in Victoria's first dig.

"He's got pain in his anterior knee/knee tendon," a Cricket Victoria spokesperson said at the weekend.

"Precautionary MRI but we're confident that he'll bowl in the second innings."

Boland helped reduce a middle-over fightback when SA middle order batter Thomas Kelly chased a wide delivery, edging the ball through to 'keeper Sam Harper before sending number 10 Wes Agar back to the sheds without scoring.

It left the hosts with a 157-run chase for victory.

Victoria sat at 2-49 at stumps on Monday, before losing early wickets on Tuesday morning.

With second-placed WA defending a modest total against NSW in the west, Victoria can leapfrog into their place behind only Tasmania should they hold out on the final day.

In either case, Boland might have saved his spot for flight to New Zealand before Australia's two-test series in seam-friendly conditions.

Boland last donned the whites for an international fixture in the second Ashes test mid-way through 2023.

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