Butterworth slips into match-winning mode
The allrounder Luke Butterworth had a dream day to give Tasmania the advantage in their push to reach the Sheffield Shield final as they earned a 337-run lead. In the morning Butterworth claimed the second five-wicket haul of his career and in the afternoon he dragged them from a tight spot with a team-high 77 in their 9 for 289.
The Tigers needed Butterworth's contribution after tumbling to 5 for 88, but by the end of the day they wanted 10 wickets to seal a place next to Victoria in Friday's final. If they win they will jump over Queensland, who are having a horrible time at the MCG.
Tasmania had a 48-run buffer on first innings when Butterworth cleaned up the final two tailenders early in the morning to gain 5 for 43. Graham Manou, who was unbeaten on 32, then watched his bowlers make two quick breakthroughs before the Tigers moved away.
David Dawson was caught behind off Mark Cleary for 0 while Jon Wells went for 12, leaving the visitors at 2 for 27. George Bailey and Dan Marsh took them from that bout of trouble, but Bailey (30), Birt (0) and Marsh (38) were part of a collapse of 3 for 12 that left them wobbling. Peter George was the main problem, gaining two of those wickets, while Cleary removed Marsh.
Tim Paine and Butterworth joined in an important stand of 90 for the sixth wicket before Cleary gained his tenth victim of the match. Paine was lbw to Cleary, who captured 7 for 91 in the first innings, and owned 3 for 45 in the second. Butterworth was bowled by Daniel Christian late in the day, when Jason Krejza hit two sixes in his unbeaten 59. Christian also collected Chris Duval and Jeremy Smith in the same over to capture 4 for 76.