Dawson and Birt lead Tasmanian recovery
Tasmania 5 for 299 (Birt 93, Dawson 73) v Victoria
Travis Birt and David Dawson rescued Tasmania from a disastrous start as they ended a wind-swept opening day of their Pura Cup match against Victoria on a respectable 5 for 299. Gerard Denton, the right-arm fast bowler, snaffled both openers, Jamie Cox and Michael Di Venuto, for ducks, but Birt (93) and Dawson (73) put together 171 for the third wicket to steady the Tasmanians at Bellerive Oval.
After the early success, Victoria had to wait more than 50 overs for their next wicket, when Cameron White, their captain, nailed Birt. White claimed two more dismissals as well, ending the day with fine figures of 3 for 48, but Tasmania continued to build useful partnerships - Scott Kremerskothen and Sean Clingeleffer added an undefeated 71 for the sixth to frustrate the Victorians. At the close of play, Kremerskothen was on 32, with Clingeleffer unbeaten on 44.
"It would have been nice to get three figures up on the board ... as it turns out we're in a fairly strong position," Birt said. "We were going to bat first anyway but how it turned out ... me and 'Daws' really stuck together and really fought it hard out there and yeah, we're pretty happy with that."
The strong winds may have been to Dawson's advantage as the umpires were forced to remove the bails after they kept blowing off. At one stage, Dawson appeared to play the ball into his stumps, but neither umpire could be sure that it had actually struck the wicket.