The Victoria-SA Sheffield Shield match has descended into farce, with a dull draw now inevitable.
The two teams were unable to agree on what a day-four run chase for SA might look like, leading to plenty of frustration and finger pointing.
It was also a black eye for the Shield competition and its ongoing struggles to draw crowds.
The flat, slow Junction Oval pitch is showing no signs of breaking up after three days.
So SA ended day three on 5-527 in reply to Victoria's massive first-inning 6 (dec)-616.
Tom Cooper has top-scored with an unbeaten 188 and Tom Andrews is 75no.
Victorian captain Peter Handscomb and fellow trundler Marcus Harris bowled nine overs apiece in the late session on Saturday, once the two sides could not agree on a sporting declaration.
Victoria wanted SA to chase 350 from 80 overs on the last day, while apparently the visitors wanted the target to be 30-50 less.
But the flat pitch has not helped.
Handscomb was adamant that SA was offered a fair run chase.
"I would have set up a game. We've done it before," he said.
"I'm just annoyed the game is dead. At the end of day three we have two more sessions tomorrow that we have to play of dead cricket," he said.
"We'll shake hands at tea and tell everyone 'thanks for coming, sorry for such a boring game of Shield cricket'."
Cooper and Andrews had several visits from 12th man Wes Agar in the last session as the two sides negotiated behind the scenes.
"I can't say I've experienced it before, it was a weird sort of feeling," Cooper said.
"I was caught in the middle of it, they obviously couldn't come to a compromise."
In SA's defence, they finished bottom last season and have gone 13 Shield games without a win, while their hosts are defending champions.
Facing a massive first-innings total, they rallied from the loss of two early wickets.
"The pleasing thing was we were able to not throw it away," Cooper said.
The bizarre final session - James Pattinson also bowled off-spin - was in stark contrast to Saturday's middle session.
With the field kept up to entice SA, Cooper and Alex Carey seized the moment.
Carey blasted 117 from 115 balls and they put on 207 for the fifth wicket in only 138 minutes, from 215 deliveries.
Cooper said it helped no-one that the wicket is yet to start breaking up.
"It was surprising how flat it's stayed, (there's) hardly a scratch on it"
Henry Hunt (75) and captain Travis Head (51)were left kicking themselves when centuries went begging.
Victorian opener Nic Maddinson, who top-scored with 224, had to leave the field with a finger injury as he was struck while fielding at short leg.