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February 29, 2008
Tasmania 6 for 291 (Di Venuto 144) v New South Wales
Michael Di Venuto reminded his home state of his fine batting powers during a century that kept New South Wales relatively quiet on the opening day at Bellerive Oval. The Blues are trying to stay ahead of Victoria, who have also confirmed their finals place, and both teams sent in their opponents after winning the toss - and soon wished they hadn't.
The opener Di Venuto, who will retire from the Australian scene after next week's match, fired against a young New South Wales bowling attack and his 144 was responsible for the Tigers making a strong start, but a lack of support led to them being 6 for 291 at stumps. While his partner Dane Anderson laboured over 96 deliveries for 28, Di Venuto sprinted towards his 45th first-class century in 121 balls.
He has always been an aggressive batsman and he pounded 18 fours and two sixes in the 216-delivery stay, which ended when he pulled Beau Casson to short mid-on. A chance had come on 85 off Mark Cameron, but Di Venuto was not bothered by the lapse and continued to attack in an innings that was of vital importance for his team.
Anderson went to Dominic Thornely shortly after lunch as the Blues started to hit back. Travis Birt (15) gave Burt Cockley his maiden first-class wicket and George Bailey (6) was run-out following a deflection from a straight Di Venuto drive, leaving the Tigers at 3 for 174. The captain Dan Marsh was bowled by Cameron for 15 and Luke Butterworth managed 13 before becoming Casson's second wicket. Di Venuto left at 6 for 243 and Tim Paine and Jason Krejza ensured there would be no further damage in an unbroken stand of 48.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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