Finch, however, experienced delayed concussion symptoms during the break and was withdrawn in accordance with Cricket Australia’s concussion policy.
“When he first got hit there was nothing, he was fine, then he chased a ball and a headache started to kick in,” Victoria captain Peter Handscomb said.
“Then he come down did the CogSport [concussion test] and failed that.
“Solid whack, when you’re a metre from the bat and it gets middled straight into your grill. He’s doing well to walk off the ground.”
His place in Victoria’s XI was taken by fellow batsman Travis Dean, who had been playing grade cricket in Essendon about 20 minutes’ drive from the stadium.
Dean has not been required due to an unbroken 95-run partnership between Pucovski and Handscomb which has given the home side the upper hand.
At stumps on the second day, the Vics were 2-205 in reply to NSW’s first innings of 294. Though the pitch continues to challenge batsmen, rain is forecast for Sunday and Monday which will impede both sides in their push for full points.
“It seems like you never really feel in and you can still play and miss, nick the odd one so you have to be as switched on as you can,” Handscomb said.
Though the dominance of Australia’s top order has put talk of Test spots on the backburner, Pucovski and Maddinson put Victoria in a strong position to push for a much-needed victory against the unblemished Blues.
In his first game since being discarded from the Test side, Marcus Harris was out leg before wicket for 23 to O’Keefe.
If referrals were in use in Shield games, Harris may have challenged in the belief it had pitched outside leg stump though on available evidence umpire Gerard Abood’s decision appeared sound.
Maddinson breezed to his half-century against his old side before encountering difficulties.
Put down on 50 by Peter Nevill, the left-hander was unable to capitalise on his good fortune after getting himself into an awkward position to a bumper from Sean Abbott which ballooned high off his bat to gully.
NSW will be ruing the life they gave Pucovski, who was put down on six by Daniel Solway at short leg off O’Keefe’s bowling.
Pucovski, who was also tested with some short stuff, otherwise showed why he is one of the brightest young prospects in the country.
NSW manufactured some valuable runs in the lower order with Abbott and Nevill completing half-centuries and Trent Copeland and O’Keefe putting on 45 for the ninth wicket.
Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald