Tasmania bowlers turn screws on Blues
New South Wales 8 for 207 (Jaques 82, Wright 3-38, Hilfenhaus 3-79) trail Tasmania 340 (Wright 67, Butterworth 66, Bollinger 5-73) by 133 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Ben Hilfenhaus and Damien Wright bowled Tasmania into a strong position to launch a bid for their first Pura Cup title, despite a solid 82 from Phil Jaques. Grant Lambert loomed as a key for New South Wales and remained unbeaten on 43 with Doug Bollinger on 3 as the Blues battled to 8 for 207.
New South Wales lost 6 for 70 in the final session, handing the momentum to Tasmania, who should secure a first-innings lead. Early strikes to Hilfenhaus followed by late ones to Wright meant the only substantial partnership the Blues could develop was the 89 between Jaques and Dominic Thornely.
Jaques drove and pulled his way to a half-century from 68 balls but eventually played on to a wide delivery from Wright. His was the fourth dismissal in a lively post-tea period that began with Thornely (41) hooking to deep square-leg in the first over after the break.
Luke Butterworth returned tremendous figures - 2 for 20 from 14 overs - and gave good support to Wright and Hilfenhaus. Wright, who earlier made 67, drew edges to slip from Nathan Hauritz and Matthew Nicholson late in the day to complete a promising Tasmania effort.
Hilfenhaus, the competition's leading wicket-taker, started the slide for the Blues when he removed Ed Cowan and Simon Katich in his first spell. Adam Griffith was the only Tasmania bowler who struggled and Lambert - a dominant batsman at club level - cut and drove Griffith for four fours in one over.
New South Wales need Lambert to instigate the sort of tail-end partnership that saved Tasmania. Wright and Butterworth completed their 111-run stand before lunch and were instrumental in the Tigers creeping up to 340. Butterworth's 66 was the first time he had passed fifty in first-class cricket and the Blues' inability to halt the late resistance could prove costly.