Tasmania secure home Pura Cup final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tasmania secure home Pura Cup final

11/03/2007 06:49:49 PM Comments (0)

Tasmania have earned the right to host the Pura Cup final for the first time in history following a seven-wicket humbling of their final opponent, New South Wales, at Bellerive Oval.

Tasmania have never won the Sheffield Shield/Pura Cup, but have all the running on the back of this historic win.

The Blues started the day at 5-441 - a far cry from their embarrassing first innings of 53 - but lost their last five wickets for 57 runs to close their second innings at 498.

The Tigers needed 182 runs for victory and opener Michael Di Venuto scored a quickfire 79 not out, following on from his 181 in the first dig, to steer his side home.

George Bailey (23) clinched the game with a boundary in the 43rd over, Tasmania finishing up at 3-183.

Western Australia and Victoria were knocked out of the finals race with losses over the weekend, leaving the Tigers and the Blues to fight out the decider in a replay of this match from March 19-23.

Tigers coach Tim Coyle described the result as a huge moment for Tasmanian cricket.

"Tasmania should be proud of the team and hopefully they will really get behind us next week," he said.

"We will put on a good show for them and hopefully we will secure the Pura Cup for the first time."

Coyle paid tribute to his players but said he was aware of the task ahead.

"Doing something we have never done before and to play the way we have played it's no fluke that we have got to this final," he said.

"We've got a huge week next week and we will celebrate today's win as we celebrate every win we have. But we really have done just half the job.

"To host the final obviously gives the home side an advantage and we have got to make sure of that advantage."

Blues acting captain Dominic Thornely said his team were used to playing finals away from Sydney.

"New South Wales has played away from home in all finals now," the allrounder said.

"The last four one-dayers and the last three Shield games have all been away and from that point of view it is great to be together and close which we are.

"We would be confident coming down here to play a game, and can't see us being rolled for another 50 and hopefully we will be boosted by a few extra players back in the side."

"Pressure is what you make of it, it is a game of cricket at the end of the day."

"These guys (Tasmania) deserve to be on top spot, they played really good cricket and full credit to them."

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