Tasmania v New South Wales, Pura Cup, 3rd day, Hobart March 2, 2008

Blues aim for final-day chase

Cricinfo staff

Tasmania 398 and 5 for 198 (Bailey 79, Cameron 3-36) lead New South Wales 9 for 298 dec (Katich 129, Hughes 73, Geeves 4-92) by 298 runs

Brett Geeves continued his excellent season with 4 for 92 © Getty Images

New South Wales will rely on a fourth-day chase after Simon Katich's fifth Pura Cup century this season was not enough to earn first-innings points against Tasmania. The Blues declared 100 runs behind, instead hoping for six points from a victory as they jostle with Victoria for the right to host the decider.

At the close the Tigers had extended their lead to 298, reaching 5 for 198 with Daniel Marsh on 42 and Tim Paine on 11. George Bailey made 79 and Mark Cameron grabbed three top-order wickets but the Blues' fate remained in the hands of Marsh, who must now decide how generous to be with his target-setting.

Fortunately for the Blues, even though they conceded first-innings points Victoria also failed to gain an advantage against Western Australia. Katich declared at 9 for 298 after it became clear his 129 would not be sufficient.

Katich did not get much support on the third day as the in-form Brett Geeves collected 4 for 92. Tim Macdonald, who switched from Western Australia to Tasmania during the off-season, earned his initial two Pura Cup wickets and the first was the very handy removal of Katich caught behind.