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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tasmania deservedly within sight of trophy: Pura Cup final Day 4

Today Tasmania exceeded perhaps even its own expectations and worked itself into a position from where it is inconceivable that it will lose, and quite likely that it will win, against New South Wales. The other possibility, a draw, will also deservedly give it the Pura Cup/ Sheffield Shield for the first time, a considerable achievement for the state team with the smallest player pool (which has also produced the current best batter in world cricket).

Overnight Tasmania were 6/203, a lead of 313. As I said yesterday, they were on top but not home and hosed. Today it took the NSW bowlers almost all day to take the last four wickets, and in doing so conceded another 257 runs.

The heroes were the same three who had pulled the first innings up by its bootstraps: Luke Butterworth, not content with his first innings maiden fifty, topped that with 106, his maiden century; Sean Clingleffer who made his first century for several seasons; and Damien Wright, a valuable 47 which took his match aggregate beyond a hundred.

The match has been well supported by the locals: more than 14,000 attended the first three days. I won't be surprised if that number is exceeded tomorrow, when NSW 0/3 after one over tonight, try to bat out the 90 (why not 96?) overs remaining.

A comment on online coverage.

Despite what I've said before, Cricket Australia's commentary doesn't hold a candle to Cricinfo's.
Compare how each described the first over of Tasmania's second innings.

Cricket Australia

2007-03-21 11:06:56Over 0.2: Bollinger to Paine: FOUR! driven square of the wicket, off the mark with a lovely shot
2007-03-21 11:05:05A bit of a delay as the Blues are waiting to see who will take strike, it's Paine so Bollinger grabs the ball

[When play is in progress the last five overs are shown in scorebook format, ie for this over .4...; once play stops so do the details.]


0.1 Bollinger to Paine, no run, left outside off
0.2 Bollinger to Paine, FOUR, shot, positive cricket from the out-of-form Paine, not going to shoulder arms this innings, he blasts a cover drive away for confidence-building funs. And runs
0.3 Bollinger to Paine, no run, left
0.4 Bollinger to Paine, no run
0.5 Bollinger to Paine, no run
0.6 Bollinger to Paine, no run, bouncer, under it ... well navigated by Paine

End of over 1 (4 runs) - Tasmania 4/0

TD Paine 4* (6b 1x4) DE Bollinger 1-0-4-0
MJ Di Venuto 0* (0b)

Cricinfo's commentary is a bit quirky for some tastes perhaps, but it gives more details not only of each ball and also summarises each day and session using its well established house style.

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