Tasmania win through to Shield final
Tasmania 363 and 2 for 21 beat Western Australia 142 and 241 (Ronchi 71, Bird 6-63, Faulkner 4-50) by 8 wickets
Jackson Bird capped off his remarkable debut Sheffield Shield season with a hat-trick that helped Tasmania secure a place in the final against Queensland. The Bulls will host the Tigers after both sides won in the final round of matches, Tasmania by eight wickets having been set 20 for victory in their second innings.
By that stage Tasmania's quotient was so good that to be in any danger of missing out on a place in the decider had to lose at least six wickets in the tiny chase. Although the Tigers lost both openers Ed Cowan and Steve Cazzulino they reached their target with only two wickets down to give Tasmania a chance to defend their Shield title at the Gabba.
The win was set up by wonderful bowling from Bird in both innings. He collected 6 for 63 in the second innings and 11 wickets for the match to finish the qualifying portion of the Shield season on top of the wicket tally with 48 at 15.75, an outstanding tally considering he missed three games and only made his debut in November.
Bird's hat-trick began with the wicket of Nathan Rimmington, who played on trying to cut on 28. The next wicket came from the first ball of Bird's next over and was the lbw of Luke Ronchi, who top scored for the Warriors with 71 in what will be his last match for Western Australia having announced his decision to pursue a career as a local player in New Zealand next summer.
Bird completed the hat-trick with Jason Behrendorff lbw for a golden duck and joined Peter Clough and Shane Jurgensen as the only men to have taken a Shield hat-trick for Tasmania. James Faulkner also picked up 4 for 50 in the victory.