Tasmania v NSW, Sheffield Shield, Hobart November 30, 2013

Injured Hilfenhaus out for up to a month

ESPNcricinfo staff

New South Wales 5 for 200 (Copeland 54*, Patterson 52*) trail Tasmania 354 (Dunk 89, Paine 78, O'Keefe 4-74) by 154 runs

The chances of Ben Hilfenhaus playing any part in the Ashes lengthened considerably after he suffered a mild side strain as Tasmania fought to restrict New South Wales on the second day in Hobart. Having scored 354, the Tigers were on top when the Blues wobbled to 5 for 102 but unbeaten half-centuries to Kurtis Patterson and Trent Copeland kept the visitors in with a chance of first-innings points at Bellerive Oval.

They will be helped by the absence of Hilfenhaus, who has been ruled out for two to four weeks after scans confirmed a strain. The chances of Hilfenhaus being promoted to the Test side appeared slim in any case, as he had endured a difficult start to the Sheffield Shield campaign and has managed only five wickets at 65.60 so far, and he was able to bowl only five overs on the second day of this game.

"Ben started the game with some discomfort around his left 12th rib," the Tasmania physio Stewart Williamson said. "He has experienced this pain on and off for the last few years and generally manages to play through it. An MRI scan this afternoon confirmed that Ben has a mild left side strain and we expect this to be a two- to four-week injury."

Sam Rainbird picked up two wickets for Tasmania and one each went to Luke Butterworth, Evan Gulbis and Xavier Doherty, but none of the bowlers could break the 98-run partnership between Patterson and Copeland, who pushed the score along to 5 for 200 at stumps. Patterson, who had not passed fifty in a first-class match since his remarkable 157 on debut two summers ago, finished on 52, while Copeland was on 54.

Earlier, Tasmania had added 55 to their overnight score for the loss of their final four wickets. Butterworth finished unbeaten on 41 and the spinner Steve O'Keefe will begin the second innings on a hat-trick after cleaning up the tail and collecting 4 for 74, including Hilfenhaus stumped and Rainbird lbw from consecutive deliveries to end the innings on 354.

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  • wayne on November 30, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    Jacob, why drop Lyon? He bowled beautifully in the first test, did well when he got his chances in England, and took 9 or so wickets in the last test in India. I do sympathise with the SOK supporters, he has a very good record, but at the moment Lyon is the #1 spinner and has done everything asked of him. I do agree with you about Butterworth, but there seems to be this perception - at least by armchair critics - that his record has had the benefit of helpful Bellerive pitches in recent years. Bollocks if you ask me (Faulkner's bowling record is very similar), but my personal feeling is that he just hasn't done quite enough at the right time to move up the (quite long) queue.

  • kieran on November 30, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    @Meety, haha, he couldn't score any less could he?! Actually though, without checking I'm not sure whether Watson or Copeland has the better bowling SR & economy!

  • Andrew on November 30, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    @HatsforBats on (November 30, 2013, 9:40 GMT) a big yes! I was sort of joking about playing Copeland as a specialist batsmen in the Test team about 2 matches into his county stint. 6 months ago - I thought he was almost the most in-form Ozzy batsmen outside of Clarke!

  • Dummy4 on November 30, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    Another fine performance from SOK moves him to the top of the wicket-taking list. However, it appears Lyon will only have to bowl ordinarily to maintain his test spot, and even then the selectors would probably just blood another youngster like with Agar. Also, Is there a reason Luke Butterworth is not in contention for a test spot? 210 wickets @ 23 and a batting average of 27 with 2 tons and 9 fifties are better figures than most other all-rounders going around, let alone specialist bowlers.

  • kieran on November 30, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Watson for Copeland. Anyone? Good to see Patterson dig in under pressure. It looks like the change in pitch policy (i.e. less green tops) is already paying dividends for our batsmen's development.

  • Dummy4 on November 30, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Patterson is a real talent ! Remember him being our best bat in the U19's and he deserved to get a good run after that record breaking innings on debut .. He has to go on tomorrow and convert this into a big ton to cement his place in the blues side

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