The 29-year-old Boland, who has played 14 one-day internationals and three T20 matches for Australia, was irresistible, having six South Australians caught either by wicketkeeper Seb Gotch or in the slip cordon, and almost decapitating Nick Winter with a flier that the SA tail-ender parried away from his face to Peter Handscomb at slip.
His case for reinstatement to national colours is strong. In his three Shield matches to start the season, Boland has 22 wickets at an average of 12. Big and strong and brave, he is one of the form bowlers of the Australian domestic scene right now.
The South Australians had reached 4-231 at tea on the back of Tom Cooper’s second consecutive Shield century, a fine 118 with 18 fours and a six. But they lost 6-13 in the final capitulation, having chosen to bat first on a greenish MCG strip, after the Victorian bowlers copped what Boland called "a bit of a bake" from their coaches at the break.
Cooper was superb, driving and pulling with authority and timing the ball so well that he found the boundary with regularity against a high-quality attack that included Test paceman Peter Siddle. Cooper should have been out at 80 when he slapped an on-drive straight to Boland at mid-on from Chris Tremain’s bowling, but Boland grassed the catch.