Tasmania v New South Wales, Pura Cup final, Hobart, 4th day March 22, 2007

Tigers on brink of history-making win

Cricinfo staff

New South Wales 230 and 0 for 3 trail Tasmania 340 and 460 (Clingeleffer 107, Butterworth 106, Di Venuto 64, Nicholson 3-94) by 567 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Luke Butterworth's maiden first-class century put Tasmania in an almost unbeatable position © Getty Images

Centuries to Luke Butterworth and Sean Clingeleffer drove Tasmania to the brink of their first Pura Cup title as they set New South Wales a virtually impossible target of 571. The Blues were 0 for 3 at stumps and the main question was whether Tasmania could secure victory or would take the prize via a draw at home.

Butterworth's 106 was his first time into triple-figures in first-class cricket, while Clingeleffer, who made 107, posted his third hundred. The pair put on 163 for the seventh wicket and Damien Wright's 47 was also useful in lifting the score to 460 and dragging the match away from the Blues.

Clingeleffer's marathon seven-hour innings - he nearly batted through the day - gave him his first century since 2001-02. It would be especially satisfying given he was dumped from the side earlier in the season.

Dominic Thornely missed a crucial opportunity when Clingeleffer was on 48, juggling then dropping a sharp chance at first slip off Stuart MacGill. Clingeleffer hit only six fours and pushed mostly ones and twos, but did just what his side required under the circumstances.

Butterworth almost certainly earned himself Man-of-the-Match honours in his fifth first-class outing, following on from his first-innings 66 and his 4 for 33 that helped rattle the Blues. He used his feet to MacGill - who managed only 2 for 130 from 49 overs - and struck 15 fours in his composed 194-ball effort.

New South Wales started the morning with the chance to knock over the Tasmania lower order quickly and begin a gettable run-chase. However, no wickets in the first session and only one in the second left the Blues demoralised. Thornely bowled offspin late and pinched two dismissals but the fast bowlers earned no breakthroughs on day four.

Ben Hilfenhaus looked threatening when the visitors faced one over before the close and Dan Marsh, the Tasmania captain, said the aim was now to win the match. "We definitely want to have a crack at them but we certainly weren't going to [declare] tonight," he said.

"Hopefully we get a really big crowd here tomorrow and take ten wickets. It will be interesting to see how the Blues approach it." Marsh said the efforts of Butterworth and Clingeleffer far exceeded Tasmania's hopes.

"We talked about getting through [this morning] and building partnerships, probably push on past lunch if we could," he said. "[Butterworth] is going to part of our future and hopefully play for Australia one day. [Clingeleffer] is a real fighter. That was the perfect situation for him, he's mentally very tough."