SA/Tas clash ends in frustrating draw
A high-scoring second innings led by South Australian skipper Greg Blewett and double centurion David Fitzgerald today killed any chance of a Tasmanian victory in the Pura Cup cricket match at Bellerive Oval.
The clash ended 30 minutes early in a frustrating draw after both teams headed into the final day with scant hope of securing an outright result on the batsman-friendly pitch.
The determined Redbacks finished on 6-482, with the Tigers picking up two points for leading on the first innings.
Fitzgerald, who came the crease today one run shy of a century, racked up an unbeaten 202 off 494 balls in just over 10 hours.
Topping his previous first-class best by 35 runs, he was still standing at stumps with John Davison on 23.
After scoring a disappointing 25 on day one, Blewett also fired off a ton and posted 9,000 first-class runs for South Australia en route.
The Tigers made a breakthrough after lunch when right-arm paceman Adam Griffith bowled Blewett for 171.
Damien Wright bowled Zimbabwe import Andy Flower nine runs later, but it was too little too late.
Tigers captain Dan Marsh said it was hard work, but produced many positives to take into the next game.
The Redbacks did not want to set "any sort of target" after losing quick Shaun Tait on day two with a groin tear.
"They decided not to set up any sort of game, which was the way they wanted to go with a bowler down, so I guess you can't blame them too much," Marsh said.
"It's the sort of wicket that if you don't play shots, it is very hard -- you don't get people out.
"Just towards the end there for us, it was about saving our fast bowlers for next week (against NSW) when we knew there was going to be no result.
"To be honest, I didn't expect them to have a go."
Blewett said the Redbacks were missing firepower in Tait's absence, but it was just the way the game panned out.
"We were 200 runs behind after the first innings ... there just really wasn't enough time," he said.
"We thought that the maximum we could have bowled at them was probably 40 overs.
"On that wicket, you are not bowling anyone out in 40 overs."
Tigers left-arm paceman Andrew Downton, who captured 5-71 in South Australia's first innings, was named man-of-the-match.