Tasmania v Western Australia, Sheffield Shield, Hobart, 3rd day February 18, 2009

Calm Marsh guides Tasmania to second spot

Cricinfo staff

Tasmania 163 and 5 for 197 (Marsh 58*) beat Western Australia 189 and 168 (Magoffin 59*, Duval 4-29) by 5 wickets
Points table

Dan Marsh has given Tasmania a chance for more first-class success after they moved to second on the table © Getty Images

The captain Dan Marsh showed a cool head as Tasmania completed a fine comeback against Western Australia that increased their chances of making the Sheffield Shield final. The Tigers, who were 26 behind on first innings, are now second after Marsh steered the closing stages of the chase with 58 not out as they reached their target of 195 with five wickets in hand.

In conditions that no batsman mastered, the Tigers were nervous until Marsh, who scored 64 in the first innings, took charge. When he hit three fours in a Drew Porter over they needed only 13 and he finished the match with a lofted boundary from Adam Voges.

It was the fourth time in a row at home that Tasmania had successfully chased a fourth-innings total, which is a strong record considering the damage caused by the bowlers during the matches. Tasmania's 5 for 197 was the highest total of the game that finished a day early.

The Tigers started solidly with the openers both reaching 18 before Jonathan Wells and Rhett Lockyear both fell with the score on 37. Alex Doolan and George Bailey made important contributions of 33 and 36, but they were still looking to Marsh when Tim Paine departed with 25 still needed. Victoria lead the competition while Tasmania, who have 24 points, are two ahead of Queensland with two matches remaining.

Western Australia began the third day at 8 for 97 with a quick finish looking likely, but the No. 10 Steve Magoffin had other ideas and registered an unbeaten 59. Magoffin, who would later take 3 for 59, lost Josh Mangan for 12 early in the morning before he combined with Brett Dorey (16) in a 48-run stand. Unfortunately for the Warriors, it only delayed the defeat.