Tasmania v South Australia, Pura Cup, Hobart November 3, 2003

Five wicket haul foils bid for big first innings

Libby Sutherland

A five-wicket haul by Tasmanian left-arm paceman Andrew Downton today thwarted South Australia's bid for a hefty first innings total in the Pura Cup cricket clash at Bellerive Oval.

After a slow but steady start on the opening day, the Redbacks crumbled in the second session, losing 6-88 to be bowled out for 236 in their first innings.

Downton claimed the prize scalps of Zimbabwe import Andy Flower and captain Greg Blewett in his impressive haul of 5-71 before Tasmania reached 1-39 by stumps on day one.

SA's opening partnership of David Fitzgerald (32) and Shane Deitz (40) yielded 67 runs in 117 minutes off 180 balls.

Deitz fell LBW to Xavier Doherty, leaving the visitors at 1-68 at lunch.

But the Tigers turned up the heat in the second session as Downton fired, vindicating his surprise selection over fellow paceman Gerard Denton for the match.

Downton was picked ahead of Denton who was made 12th man despite bagging 11 wickets in the Tasmania 2nd XI match against Western Australia in Perth last week.

Tigers captain Dan Marsh said it was a tough decision to leave Denton out, but Downton's inclusion was "a good call".

Former Zimbabwe Test batsman Flower scored 20 runs - including one six and three consecutive fours - off six balls before being dismissed for 28.

Michael Di Venuto held on to impressive left-handed catch at second slip to dismiss Flower and later caught Mark Higgs for 16 at the same spot.

A slow-scoring Blewett (25) followed Flower, but not before he brought up 16,000 first-class runs with an on-drive for four off paceman Damien Wright (3-47) in the 51st over.

Canadian World Cup hero John Davison - the team's top scorer and man of the match in the ING Cup win against the Tigers on Saturday - went for a golden duck.

Wright was on a hat-trick after dismissing Graham Manou (1) and Davison off successive balls, but was denied by Mark Cleary.

Cleary again showed his ability as a late-order batsman by topscoring with a hard-hitting 58 from only 62 balls including eight fours and one six.

But Wright didn't go away disappointed as Manou gave him his 100th Sheffield Shield/Pura Cup wicket.

In reply, the Tigers opener Scott Mason fell LBW to Shaun Tait for 13.

Fellow opener Jamie Cox was on 23 at the close of play, with Shane Watson on one.

Play resumes at 11am (AEST) tomorrow, with a break scheduled to coincide with the Melbourne Cup.