New South Wales v Tasmania, Pura Cup, Sydney, 4th day December 22, 2003

Scores tied in thriller at the SCG


New South Wales 462 and 3 for 175 (Jacques 85, Bevan 53) drew with Tasmania 322 and 315 (Watson 157) - scores tied

Xavier Doherty: kept his cool to bowl the final over
© Getty Images

A 65-ball 85 from Phil Jaques and a brisk 53 from Michael Bevan took New South Wales to the brink of victory over Tasmania at the SCG, but in the end they had to settle for a draw as with ten needed from the final over of the match, NSW managed only nine. For the second time in three weeks Tasmania were involved in a match which ended as a draw with the scored tied.

Simon Katich hit two runs off the final ball instead of the three required for an outright victory during a frenetic final session. Xavier Doherty, Tasmania's left-arm spinner, was bowling the last over, and Katich stroked the last ball to mid-on, scampered through for two, turned for a highly doubtful third ... and Nathan Pilon ordered him back.

"We stuck at it well all day and thought we were a chance to have a chase late this afternoon but as it turned out, we were just short," said a downcast Katich. "It's very disappointing."

Asked if he blamed Pilon for not attempting a third run, Katich said: "You can't blame anyone. We never got back for three. That's the nature of the game. We didn't get there. I'm not disappointed about anything apart from the fact we didn't get six points. We nearly made something out of nothing at the end there."

Jaques motored to his half-century off only 33 balls and with Bevan milking 53 from 49 balls, NSW were right in the hunt. Jaques' stumping off the impressive bowling of Doherty, so cool under pressure, stemmed the run flow at a crucial moment and left NSW at 2 for 131 in the 18th over. Katich's 13 runs from eight balls and Pilon's 19 off 14 got them close, but the draw still leaves them second from bottom in the table.

Brett Lee, recalled to the Test squad this morning, along with Katich and Nathan Bracken, took the field in high spirits, but failed to take a wicket all day as Shane Watson made a career-best 157.

Bracken gave NSW a glimmer of hope when he trapped Sean Clingeleffer lbw for 20, had Andrew Downton caught behind for 2, and also took care of Watson from another catch by Pilon behind the stumps. Katich also chipped in with 4 for 42 from 13.1 overs.

Lee, meanwhile, bowled 11 wicketless overs today to finish with 1 for 67 off 21, compared to Bracken's more prosperous 3 for 55 from 27.

"It was a bit of a bummer," said Lee of the draw. "I'd be sitting here with a much more happy smile on my face if we'd gotten that extra run."