NSW and Tasmania share top honours - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW and Tasmania share top honours

By Don Woolford 23/11/2002 06:37:06 AM Comments (0)

New South Wales and Tasmania have battled through a long and wintry day to share the honours in the Pura Cup match in Hobart.

At stumps on the first day the Blues, after being sent in, were 6-280.

It was a day of attrition and fluctuating fortunes under grey skies, with a bitter wind sweeping the ground. As Tasmania relied entirely on pace, it didn't end until 6.45 (AEDT).

With the Bellerive Oval wicket lively and the Tasmanian bowlers mostly maintaining good line and length, the formidable Blues batting lineup never dominated.

When Michael Slater (35) and Michael Clarke (one) fell just after lunch, NSW was a precarious 3-72.

But Michael Bevan and captain Simon Katich stabilised the innings with a stand of 104.

Bevan, who hit a double century against Tasmania in Sydney a fortnight ago, struggled with his timing and never got on top of the bowling.

When he finally went for 70, cutting in the air to gully where Damien Wright took a juggling catch, he'd batted for 233 minutes. It was valuable, but hardly vintage Bevan.

Katich, who regularly banqueted at Bellerive in his Western Australian days, played with greater assurance as he produced his biggest innings since moving to NSW.

With Mark Waugh, he finally broke the shackles and ensured the Blues finished the day with a decent total.

Katich timed his drives beautifully and never looked like getting out. His greatest discomfort came when Shane Watson forced him briefly off the field by slamming one into his groin.

Waugh was uncertain early and needed 17 balls to get on the score board.

But the longer he went the better he looked, though one French cut went perilously close to his stumps and he survived a vociferous lbw appeal.

In between, he hit 10 trade mark boundaries before, and to his apparent surprise, he was given out caught behind off Wright for 48.

Two runs later Katich gave workhorse Shane Jurgensen a deserved wicket when he was caught at third slip and the strong position NSW had worked so hard for had been eroded.

Katich's 84 took 243 minutes and included 11 fours.

Brad Haddin (5) and Don Nash (12) will continue the battle tomorrow.

Tasmania, which has struggled for wickets this season, kept up the pressure well and conceded almost nothing in the field.

Adam Griffith, a husky 24-year-old from Launceston, made a promising first class debut and finished with 2-64. He should treasure the scalps of Slater and Bevan.

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