Blizzard century sets up tense final day
Tasmania 251 and 5 for 144 (Bailey 77*, Cassell 3-40) need another 77 runs to beat South Australia 55 and 416 (Blizzard 115, Christian 93, Manou 77, Faulkner 3-92)
Tasmania will look to their captain George Bailey to deliver victory on the final day in Hobart, after South Australia made a stunning fightback by repairing the seemingly irreversible damage caused by their first-innings collapse for 55. Aiden Blizzard counterattacked with his second century of the season and Daniel Christian's blazing 93 helped the Redbacks set the Tigers a target of 221
The fast bowler Rob Cassell then destroyed the local top order to leave Tasmania at 4 for 15 in their chase, before Bailey and James Faulkner (44) resurrected the innings in a match that has had more twists and turns than the ongoing Gabba Test. By stumps, Bailey was on 77, with Luke Butterworth on 12, and at 5 for 144 the Tigers needed a further 77 for victory.
It was a remarkable day's play at Bellerive Oval, where South Australia began with a 105-run deficit and only seven wickets in hand, and defeat seemed inevitable after the early loss of Callum Ferguson, who was lbw to Faulkner for 36. But Blizzard and Graham Manou (77) did everything in their power to restore balance during a 152-run stand that delivered the lead to South Australia.
Manou was caught off the bowling of Jason Krejza before Blizzard finally departed for 115, caught at slip off Butterworth. Blizzard is in his first season with South Australia after an off-season switch from Victoria, where he managed only two first-class games and wasn't offered a contract for this summer, and the move has worked wonders - he is now on top of the Sheffield Shield run tally.
Christian picked up the scoring rate in his 69-ball innings, which featured five sixes, and soon the hosts were staring at the prospect of a very challenging chase. Faulkner helped finish the tail, to end up with 3 for 92 to add to his incredible first-innings figures of 5 for 5, but Tasmania's prospects in the match will rely heavily on Bailey and Butterworth, the last two recognised batsmen.