Tasmania v South Australia, Pura Cup, Hobart

Fitzgerald edges Redbacks past Tigers

Libby Sutherland

November 5, 2003

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An unbeaten 99 from opener David Fitzgerald helped South Australia overhaul its first-innings deficit against Tasmania on day three of the Pura Cup cricket match at Bellerive Oval today.

The Redbacks were agonisingly slow in their second innings, ending the final session on 1-191 after 80 overs.

They managed to erase the Tigers' 184-run lead, but only just.

Fitzgerald was set for a nervous night's sleep after finishing the day one short of his century, with skipper Greg Blewett not out 60.

The pair brought up a 100-run partnership in 133 minutes off 231 balls.

Tasmania's solitary wicket for the day was Shane Deitz, who was caught and bowled by left-arm orthodox spinner Xavier Doherty for 28.

Redbacks coach Wayne Phillips conceded it would be difficult for either team to secure an outright result on such a good batting strip.

"It is a terrific pitch," he said.

"I'd have to start bowling pineapples or something to make it do something a bit different.

"We will try and keep pushing and see what eventuates, but it's going to be a battle."

"I think our prime objective is to ensure that we continue to build partnerships and put a price on our wickets.

"If we get a bit of a spurt on at some stage, there's still another six hours to go in the game, another 100 overs near enough (and) a lot can happen in that time.

"We are going to try and drive it as best we can and hope that something might drop out the bottom."

Tigers captain Dan Marsh was also hoping for a "couple of breakthroughs" tomorrow.

"It is a flat wicket, but if we persevere long enough you never know," he said.

"If we get a few wickets, you never know. The morning session is going to be fairly important."

Tasmania was dismissed before lunch today for an impressive 420 in reply to South Australia's day-one offering of 236.

The Redbacks' Mark Cleary finished the innings with a first-class career-best of 5-102.

© 2003 AAP

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