Tasmania hang on for thrilling draw
South Australia 349 and 5 for 270 dec (Elliott 81, Ferguson 65*) drew with Tasmania 305 and 7 for 275 (Paine 82, Birt 60, Tait 4-59)
Travis Birt and George Bailey almost pulled off a remarkable win for Tasmania with a last-session batting blitz but late wickets forced the Tigers to settle for a draw against South Australia. Tasmania were initially cautious in their chase of 315 but after tea, needing 249 more, they launched an all-out attack and with seven overs remaining required only 64 with five wickets in hand.
But two dismissals in the next Shaun Tait over halted their progress and despite the Redbacks pressing hard for the last three scalps, Tasmania held on to avoid defeat. It was a thrilling end to what had been one of the more dull Pura Cup matches this season as the Tigers looked for their third win to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Tim Paine anchored the chase with 82 but it was the fast-scoring Bailey, with 47 from 28 deliveries, and Birt (60 from 61 balls) who breathed life to the game. Bailey and Daniel Marsh were set for a last-minute assault on the target but when Tait claimed Bailey and Brett Geeves (0) in one over, the Tigers shut up shop and finished at 7 for 275.
The Redbacks, who took first-innings points, added 162 to their overnight total and declared at 5 for 270 shortly after lunch. Matthew Elliott top-scored with 81 before Callum Ferguson (65 not out) and Shane Deitz (50 not out) gave Tasmania a target of 315.
Ben Hilfenhaus picked up two wickets and could have taken his third - and tenth for the match - when he almost had Deitz caught-and-bowled but prematurely attempted to throw the ball in the air in celebration and spilled the catch.