Thornely and Rohrer stage amazing fightback
New South Wales 53 and 5 for 441 (Rohrer 142*, Thornely 138, Forrest 61, Wright 3-55) lead Tasmania 370 by 124 runs
Dominic Thornely and Ben Rohrer resurrected New South Wales' slim hopes of a home final, driving the visitors 124 runs in front of Tasmania. Rohrer's century on debut and Thornely's fighting hundred ensured a Hobart decider was not a foregone conclusion with one day remaining at Bellerive Oval.
The pair put the ignominy of the Blues' first-innings 53 behind them in a 120-run stand after Thornely and Peter Forrest together added 144. Thornely, the stand-in captain, reached triple-figures for the second time in two games, which was a remarkable effort having come to the crease at 2 for 25.
He batted for six and a half hours to compile 138 and somehow helped the Blues into a position where they could feasibly steal an incredible come-from-behind win. Rohrer, the debutant who only played because of Simon Katich's late withdrawal, was unbeaten on 142 at the close, having made his century from 210 balls.
The Tigers, who claimed 12 for 202 on day two, managed only 3 for 292 on day three as New South Wales set out to prove their collapse was an aberration. Forrest, in his second game, was out early for 61 but Daniel Smith (30) and Grant Lambert (44 not out) made valuable contributions.
The Blues' chances of reaching the final were boosted by Victoria's loss at Brisbane and South Australia's fightback against Western Australia. The only way they can host, however, is to set Tasmania a target on day four and bowl the Tigers out in around two sessions.