Tasmania v Victoria, FR Cup, Hobart February 7, 2009

Tigers stay alive after Birt blasts 86

Cricinfo staff

Tasmania 8 for 197 (Birt 86, Siddle 4-27) beat Victoria 9 for 189 (Rogers 68) by 14 runs on D/L method
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Travis Birt's 86 lifted Tasmania from a tight spot and put them in a winning position © Getty Images
 

Victoria will have to wait to confirm their hosting rights for the FR Cup final after Tasmania knocked over the competition leaders with a 14-run victory in a match shortened to 37 overs a side. Travis Birt made sure the Tigers overcame the strong bowling performances of Peter Siddle and Bryce McGain to post 8 for 197, a total that was improved by six under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

The Bushrangers, who are still two points ahead of Queensland, were on track in their chase of 204 until the opener Chris Rogers hobbled off with a back injury. Rogers had taken the side to 3 for 124 in the 26th over when he retired hurt on 66, but by the time he returned the game was gone and they finished at 9 for 189.

Rogers was run-out for 68 - one of three Victoria batsmen caught short - on a day when only Aaron Finch (30) and Matthew Wade (28) were able to offer assistance against the committed Tasmanians. They sit in third spot on 20 points and remain in with an outside chance of reaching the decider.

Dan Marsh, who was playing his 100th match, won the toss and made the brave decision to bat on a greasy surface, a move which excited the Victoria attack. Siddle has returned to the Test squad for South Africa after recovering from a foot injury and he picked up the first three wickets as the hosts struggled in the tricky conditions. Michael Dighton fell to a superb catch at point from Rob Quiney while Luke Butterworth was yorked on the first ball after a long rain delay in the morning.

Birt struck four fours and the same number of sixes in a powerful 86 off 66 balls that lifted the Tigers from their problems, but he went after Wade's fine diving catch at long-on. The take gave Siddle another wicket and he finished with 4 for 27 while McGain, another South Africa tourist, also showed impressive signs. He picked up 3 for 48 but also suffered from Birt's big striking.