New South Wales v Tasmania, Pura Cup, Sydney, 1st day December 16, 2004

Bailey and Dawson dig in for Tasmania

Cricinfo staff

Tasmania 7 for 266 (Bailey 70, Dawson 65, MacGill 3-83) v New South Wales

George Bailey on his way to 70 © Getty Images

Half-centuries by George Bailey and David Dawson rescued Tasmania on a difficult opening day of their Pura Cup match against New South Wales at the SCG.

Tasmania, who were severely weakened with injuries ruling out Jamie Cox, Michael Di Venuto and Dan Marsh, looked to Bailey for lower-order resistance on his first-class debut after they slumped to 5 for 122. Bailey responded with an aggressive innings of 70, including 11 fours, before he became Stuart MacGill's third wicket.

David Dawson held Tasmania's hand for most of the first two sessions, falling right before tea for 65. He was involved in a 47-run stand with Michael Bevan and a 54-run partnership with Michael Dighton (23).

Bevan, returning to his old home ground after moving south in the winter, hoped for a more promising visit, and he came into the game armed with 496 runs at an average of 99.2 this season. But he made only 21 before being caught by MacGill, miscuing a drive after using his feet to try and smack Jason Krejza, the offspinner, over the top.

MacGill was impressed with his first sight of Bailey. "I thought he batted quite well actually," he said. "I particularly liked the way he played me on the onside to tell you the truth. On an SCG wicket that has a little bit of turn in it ... there were some pretty good shots from him, I thought he played very well."