Wright bowls Tasmania to historic victory
Tasmania 340 and 460 beat New South Wales 230 and 149 (Wright 5-13, Hilfenhaus 4-22) by 421 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Damien Wright and Ben Hilfenhaus bowled Tasmania to their first Pura Cup title after 25 years in the competition, obliterating New South Wales by 421 runs. Wright claimed 5 for 13 and Hilfenhaus 4 for 22 as Tasmania dismissed the Blues for 149 on a historic day at Hobart.
After a slow fourth day when the Tigers ground New South Wales out of the match with determined batting, the speed of the visitors' collapse was surprising. They crashed to 7 for 108 at lunch and added a quick 41 after the break while Wright wrapped up the tail.
There was a mad rush to collect memorabilia as the Tigers enjoyed their moment, and a jubilant Michael Di Venuto, who had previously lost three finals with Tasmania, snared two stumps and the ball. Wright had ended the game with two lbw decisions within three balls, removing Matthew Nicholson and Doug Bollinger.
Ben Rohrer's resistance finished on 30 when he edged behind off Wright shortly after the break and any outside hopes of a fighting draw vanished. Fittingly it was Hilfenhaus, the competition's leading wicket-taker this season, who set up the win with four of the seven dismissals in the dramatic morning session.
Simon Katich looked in the best touch for the Blues, confidently striking a run-a-ball 34 before he pulled Hilfenhaus straight to Tim Paine at square leg. Hilfenhaus also removed Grant Lambert, who was promoted to open and played a couple of outstanding cover-drives on his way to 18.
Ed Cowan and Dominic Thornely both failed to use their feet properly, playing on when they misjudged Hilfenhaus' swing. Wright's excellent match - his fifth of the season - continued when he bowled Daniel Smith with an offcutter and caught the edge when Nathan Hauritz tried a wild drive. The day began badly for the visitors when Phil Jaques was adjudged lbw to Adam Griffith for 5 from the third ball.
The win was set up by Sean Clingeleffer and Luke Butterworth, whose day-four centuries put the Tigers in an unbeatable position. Butterworth earned the Man-of-the-Match honours for his innings of 66 and 106 and his 4 for 33.
Dan Marsh, the captain, said the lower order's determination under pressure was outstanding. "Seven, eight and nine - Clingeleffer, Butterworth and Wright - have had three of the best games you'd ever want to play," Marsh said.
Tasmania only received full admission to the then Sheffield Shield competition in 1982-83, after five seasons of part-time membership. Until this season they had played in three finals away from home but lost them all. Marsh said there was no reason why the win could not be the first of many.
"We've got a great young group of cricketers and hopefully this is the start of things to come," he said. "I think we're building towards something really big and hopefully we can win a few more of these titles and also get a few players playing for Australia."
Katich said his Blues outfit had been outplayed but showed a lot of promise throughout the season. "We didn't take our opportunities in this game," he said. "We've got a lot of young guys in the team and hopefully they learned a lot. It's obviously disappointing but it's better to be here than not to be here."