Tasmania v Queensland, Sheffield Shield final, Hobart, 1st day March 22, 2013

Silk, Cosgrove give Tasmania a strong start


Tasmania 176 for 2 (Silk 82*, Cosgrove 58) v Queensland

You can't win a Sheffield Shield final on the first day, but you can certainly lose one, and Tasmania ensured they did all they could to take a loss out of the equation in the first 92 overs of this decider.

Shield finals are rarely cut and thrust, high-octane affairs, and so it proved as Tasmania crawled along at less than two-an-over through the entire day after winning the toss and batting first.

Openers Jordan Silk and Mark Cosgrove combined for a 133-run stand before the first wicket fell in the 77th over, when Cosgrove defended a half-volley onto his foot and it rolled back to the stumps to gift Michael Neser the break-through.

Until then, the Tigers pair showed scarcely any intent to push the game along, having mustered just 41 runs, and three boundaries, in the first session. They were 0 for 90 after 60 overs at the tea adjournment, and the score did not reach three figures until the 65th over of the day.

Silk and Cosgrove showed tremendous patience, determination, and concentration throughout their stand.

Silk's effort was exceptional. The 20-year-old in just his third first-class match batted the entire day, facing 291 deliveries for his unbeaten 82. His concentration never wavered, even after he was struck a nasty blow on the left elbow. The tall right-hander's technique matches his temperament; simple, uncomplicated, unflustered.

The Bulls attack was disciplined and miserly, but not unplayable on a surface that appeared flat in nature, but in reality was a fraction slow, and at times difficult to score on. Queensland captain James Hopes was the most frugal. He bowled 13 maidens in his 21 overs.

The Bulls had their chances, however. Silk was put down twice and should have been run out as well. Ryan Harris could not hang on to a flashing edge at slip off Nathan Hauritz in the 12th over of the day. Silk and Cosgrove were later stranded in a mid-pitch mix-up, but Cameron Gannon's throw could not find the stumps, having created the confusion with a wonderful diving stop.

Cosgrove, having survived some early shouts for lbw, fought his natural instincts to make one of the slowest half-centuries of his first-class career. His fall just before the second new ball brought the game to life.

Alex Doolan, auditioning for an Ashes ticket, nicked Harris to slip for just 6. Silk should have followed in the next over when keeper Chris Hartley failed to cling to an inside edge that was induced by the tireless Hopes.

Ricky Ponting breezed to 20 not out in the last half hour and looms as the danger for Queensland on day two, as Tasmania seek to build a mountainous first innings total.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on March 23, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    @David O'Brien - so true. Silk needs at least ONE more full season in the Shield before higher honours. That said, I wouldn't mind him being taken as a tourist to England in both A & Ashes tours.

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    If Australia want an opener to take over from Cowan or Watson (or preferably Rogers) in a couple of years time, they've got a real prospect here in Silk. Hopefully they don't rush him into the test side then drop him, then bring him back, then drop him, then tell the world he's got an attitude problem or some such other foolishness.

  • Peter on March 23, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    Well done to Tassie on day 1, just as a shield final should be played....(looks like a few Queenslanders are upset already !!)

  • Andrew on March 22, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    @ DylanBrah on (March 22, 2013, 16:09 GMT) - Boon, Ritchie & Taylor all at times had weight issues. The key is - can he bat for long periods, the answer is he can - but not lately. Is that fitness or mental - maybe both. I couldn't care less if weighed 200 kg as long as he scored heavily & can catch in the slips. IMO - weight is more of an issue in an ODI side, than a Test team (just IMO). @Chris_P on (March 22, 2013, 19:42 GMT) - wonder much of an influence Punter is on Silk?

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    DylanBrah. Think about what you're saying. Not a good role model for kids? If you can be that weight and be a successful sports person than doesn't that just show that weight isn't important in being a professional sports person?

  • andrew on March 22, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    @Batmanian - quotient is average innings score/average conceded isn't it? Not really to do with run rate. I don't think you can really factor in run rate for the final of a competition that isn't limited overs/innings. Unfortunately it's the nature of the beast I think - Tassie finished top, it's up to Qld to take 20 wickets and try and knock them off. Doesn't make for explosive cricket unfortunately, but the only other way to do it I think would be to not have a final at all and base the result purely on the season.

  • Peter on March 22, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    Punter has been waiting for 20 years for a Shield final. I have a feeling he won't be giving his wicket away too cheaply & that he is set for a big one today. Let's see.

  • Dylan on March 22, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    If Cosgrove wasn't a balloon he would have been in the Test side years ago. CA made that clear to him. He isn't exactly a great role model to kids either IMO. Wouldn't want my kid thinking he can be that overweight and be a successful sportsman for Australia. 999/1000 that just isn't how it works. Harsh, but it is the reality it seems. Jordan Silk has a great temperament, and has a good head on his shoulders. Too early to tell if he is a Test prospect though. It will be a good test for Doolan to see what he can do in an important match, hopefully under pressure in the second innings.

  • Alex on March 22, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    not the most entertaining of days play i would imagine. But it's a 5 day game so it's actually a good sign if a 20 year old opening batsmen can bat the whole day without being dismissed, shows he values his wicket and doesn't let a couple of quite overs get the best of him and therefore slash at a wide one.

    Cosgrove really has missed a chance this season, he has passed 50 eight times this season, if he had converted that to say 5 100's he would be in the running for the test side, it's harder to ignore centuries than 50's. although with the current test selection all you need to do is show a bit of potential in t20's to get a game, Maxwell.

  • Patrick on March 22, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    What a boring day of cricket. Can't really blame the public for not caring about domestic First Class cricket when this is how teams contest a FINAL.

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