NSW v Tasmania, Sheffield Shield, Blacktown, 4th day November 2, 2013

Doolan leaps into Ashes contention, Tigers stumble to win

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Tasmania 239 (Doolan 56, Bollinger 6-62) and 8 for 295 (Doolan 132, Dunk 67, Wells 57, O'Keefe 3-53, Lyon 3-88) beat New South Wales 288 (Clarke 88, Rainbird 6-68) and 245 (Henry 65, Rose 4-64) by 2 wickets
Scorecard

Alex Doolan added his name to the Australian selectors' Ashes batting shortlist with an outstanding century as Tasmania stumbled to a nervy two-wicket victory over New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield opener at Blacktown Oval.

The Tigers were cantering along in pursuit of 295 to win before Doolan's exit for 132 started a slide of 6 for 23 to give the Blues faint hope of a larcenous win. But the left-arm spinner Clive Rose, who had taken four wickets to keep the Tasmania target within reasonable parameters on day three, held his nerve by clouting the Test spin bowler, Nathan Lyon, for six and then flicking the winning runs to take the defending champions to outright points.

They owed much to Doolan and an innings that demonstrated the class and character that has had him around the fringes of Australia's Test line-up for some time. Watched not only by the selectors but also the Test captain Michael Clarke, from his post in the slips, this day may later be seen as a pivotal point in Doolan's career.

"He played very well, that was a fantastic innings no doubt about it, and played a huge part in getting Tasmania home so deserves a lot of credit," Clarke said. "I thought he batted with great patience but played his natural game. He played a really good innings but he helped his team win batting on a fourth day wicket. To play with so much freedom and the patience he showed has certainly done him a lot of favours I would imagine."

Doolan is considered to be behind his state captain George Bailey in the queue for an Ashes batting berth. However, more runs against the Englishmen for Australia A in Hobart next week will greatly strengthen the case of a batsman who also made an unbeaten 161 for the A team against the South Africans in Sydney this time last year, before a choppy domestic schedule scotched his momentum. Batting alongside Ricky Ponting last summer has played a large part in Doolan's evolution.

"I think everyone lives in hope at the moment of being in that Test team," Doolan said. "The advantage Australia has got at the moment is that so many guys are making a lot of runs, not only at home but away in India. George Bailey's form has been sensational. There is a plethora of people to pick from. I hope my name is up there with them.

"I think I came on in leaps and bounds last year thanks mainly to Ricky Ponting. Under his tutelage I learnt more in 12 months than I had in the first five years of my career. I've got a lot to thank him for."

After the early loss of the former Test opener Ed Cowan on the penultimate evening, Doolan formed productive partnerships with Ben Dunk and Jon Wells to drive Tasmania towards their target. He did not offer a chance, while driving straight and through cover with plenty of flourish.

Josh Hazlewood was taken for three consecutive boundaries in one over before lunch and, after the interval, Doolan went to his century with a commanding on-driven four. He looked set to guide the Tigers all the way to their target, but perished the ball after gliding Steve O'Keefe over cover for six, falling lbw on the pull shot to a ball that skidded through.

Doolan's exit gave NSW a glimmer, and they went close to charging through as O'Keefe and Lyon bowled quality spells on a wearing pitch. Ultimately it was left to Rose to ensure the Tigers would not cough up a match that had been theirs for most of the afternoon, and Doolan was able to celebrate victory alongside an innings that has given him a genuine chance of figuring in Australia's Ashes calculations.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • featurewriter on November 3, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    Rogers, Warner, Clarke, Smith, Watson, Bailey, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Siddle, Lyon. If Watson is injured, I'd go Faulkner...and then I'd have Cam White as the next man in if there are any injuries to batsmen. And I hope they give Ahmed a crack this summer. I predict a 2-1 series win to the Aussies.

  • Beertjie on November 3, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Agree 1000% @Big_Maxy_Walker on (November 3, 2013, 5:09 GMT). As a package he offered as much as Agar atm but there were/are no takers!

  • Mitty2 on November 3, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    lol @milhouse79, you're up there with Front-Foor-Lunge. SOK 26 FC bowling average on green, non deteriorating pitches... Hmmm.... most Eng fans admitted after/during the Ashes that Lyon was actually a good spinner (or decent at the least) and he averages 39 on these pitches... Hmm. On top of that SOK's a leader, a good fielder and a decent enough bat. Oh and if we're talking singular smashings from particular batsmen (which happens to every spinner) in limited overs cricket, Shane Watson hit Swann for 26 in one over.... Does that make him a bad test spinner? Ridiculous. Hussey hit Ajmal for 22 in 4 bowls in the t20 world cup, is he a bad test spinner? Try again.

  • Ms.Cricket on November 3, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    Watson, Rogers, Khwaja, Clarke (c), SSmith, Bailey (vc), Haddin, Faulkner, Siddle, Harris, Lyon for the Gabba. 12th Doolan.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on November 3, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    O'Keefe should have partnered Lyon in India instead of Doherty. Plus possibly a test or two in England, considering all the right handers in the England team. He is a good fielder, decent bat and a good head on his shoulders.

  • wch77 on November 3, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    "However, more runs against the Englishmen for Australia A in Hobart next week will greatly strengthen the case of a batsman who also made an unbeaten 161 for the A team against the South Africans in Sydney this time last year, before a choppy domestic schedule scotched his momentum. Batting alongside Ricky Ponting last summer has played a large part in Doolan's evolution" In other words Sutherland's pathetic Big Bash severely affects our first class players and when we were trying to get a decent batting order together for the Ashes, decent players such as Doolan could not get the chance to establish themselves. I like that term - choppy domestic schedule - could also Cricket Australia mismanagement of what should be our number one priority - test cricket and its feeder competition, the Sheffield Shield. All we will hear now leading up The Ashes is how important it is. Lie - it is not important, else there would not be a "choppy domestic schedule" in place before the Ashes in England.

  • on November 3, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    Marcus North gutsed it out against Siddle and co ....But Hughes needs to open ..he needs the selectors to put their faith in him as they did with Steve Waugh ...he will learn from Rodgers

  • mattboosa on November 3, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    Finally some positives coming from young Australian batsmen. Doolan in good touch, Warner and Khawaja both having a great Ryobi Cup is al good for competition. It just goes to show what a waste of time this Indian series has been- Hughes should be back here pushing for a spot as he was IMO unfairly dropped in England this year. Bailey needs runs in the shield if he is to be picked considering his poor FC record of late. I think Chris Lynn's name needs to be thrown into the mix also. Awesome hundred against most of the English attack the other day. Admittedly, it might not happen this season but hopefully he keeps developing under Stuart Law to become a great player in the shield and then the test team.

  • Buckers97 on November 3, 2013, 0:21 GMT

    Very much agree on SOK! I can't see why the selectors aren't picking him? He had a good season last year, he has started with four wickets, somehow better than Lyons effort, and yes, he can bat better than Lyon, Ahmed etc. if he was named to play in Brisbane or even in the squad that would be a better shock than Agars debut. If he is used at all in this home tests series (England's whole middle order are right handers, and KP) that would be a very good call by te Aussie selectors and Inver's. he could be a very good player for Australia, I wish the selectors would give him a go, and, he couldn't be worse than Xavier Doherty's trial in test cricket.

  • popcorn on November 3, 2013, 0:06 GMT

    Ricky Ponting should be appointed as the Talent Scout for Cricket Australia and coach 4 hand-picked Potential Test batsmen. We cannot afford to lose the wealth of knowledge and skill that this batting genius who started his 20 year long cricket career from the grassroots of Club Cricket at Mowbrays,and grew to be the next best Australian batsman to Sir Donald Bradman.

  • featurewriter on November 3, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    Rogers, Warner, Clarke, Smith, Watson, Bailey, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Siddle, Lyon. If Watson is injured, I'd go Faulkner...and then I'd have Cam White as the next man in if there are any injuries to batsmen. And I hope they give Ahmed a crack this summer. I predict a 2-1 series win to the Aussies.

  • Beertjie on November 3, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Agree 1000% @Big_Maxy_Walker on (November 3, 2013, 5:09 GMT). As a package he offered as much as Agar atm but there were/are no takers!

  • Mitty2 on November 3, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    lol @milhouse79, you're up there with Front-Foor-Lunge. SOK 26 FC bowling average on green, non deteriorating pitches... Hmmm.... most Eng fans admitted after/during the Ashes that Lyon was actually a good spinner (or decent at the least) and he averages 39 on these pitches... Hmm. On top of that SOK's a leader, a good fielder and a decent enough bat. Oh and if we're talking singular smashings from particular batsmen (which happens to every spinner) in limited overs cricket, Shane Watson hit Swann for 26 in one over.... Does that make him a bad test spinner? Ridiculous. Hussey hit Ajmal for 22 in 4 bowls in the t20 world cup, is he a bad test spinner? Try again.

  • Ms.Cricket on November 3, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    Watson, Rogers, Khwaja, Clarke (c), SSmith, Bailey (vc), Haddin, Faulkner, Siddle, Harris, Lyon for the Gabba. 12th Doolan.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on November 3, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    O'Keefe should have partnered Lyon in India instead of Doherty. Plus possibly a test or two in England, considering all the right handers in the England team. He is a good fielder, decent bat and a good head on his shoulders.

  • wch77 on November 3, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    "However, more runs against the Englishmen for Australia A in Hobart next week will greatly strengthen the case of a batsman who also made an unbeaten 161 for the A team against the South Africans in Sydney this time last year, before a choppy domestic schedule scotched his momentum. Batting alongside Ricky Ponting last summer has played a large part in Doolan's evolution" In other words Sutherland's pathetic Big Bash severely affects our first class players and when we were trying to get a decent batting order together for the Ashes, decent players such as Doolan could not get the chance to establish themselves. I like that term - choppy domestic schedule - could also Cricket Australia mismanagement of what should be our number one priority - test cricket and its feeder competition, the Sheffield Shield. All we will hear now leading up The Ashes is how important it is. Lie - it is not important, else there would not be a "choppy domestic schedule" in place before the Ashes in England.

  • on November 3, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    Marcus North gutsed it out against Siddle and co ....But Hughes needs to open ..he needs the selectors to put their faith in him as they did with Steve Waugh ...he will learn from Rodgers

  • mattboosa on November 3, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    Finally some positives coming from young Australian batsmen. Doolan in good touch, Warner and Khawaja both having a great Ryobi Cup is al good for competition. It just goes to show what a waste of time this Indian series has been- Hughes should be back here pushing for a spot as he was IMO unfairly dropped in England this year. Bailey needs runs in the shield if he is to be picked considering his poor FC record of late. I think Chris Lynn's name needs to be thrown into the mix also. Awesome hundred against most of the English attack the other day. Admittedly, it might not happen this season but hopefully he keeps developing under Stuart Law to become a great player in the shield and then the test team.

  • Buckers97 on November 3, 2013, 0:21 GMT

    Very much agree on SOK! I can't see why the selectors aren't picking him? He had a good season last year, he has started with four wickets, somehow better than Lyons effort, and yes, he can bat better than Lyon, Ahmed etc. if he was named to play in Brisbane or even in the squad that would be a better shock than Agars debut. If he is used at all in this home tests series (England's whole middle order are right handers, and KP) that would be a very good call by te Aussie selectors and Inver's. he could be a very good player for Australia, I wish the selectors would give him a go, and, he couldn't be worse than Xavier Doherty's trial in test cricket.

  • popcorn on November 3, 2013, 0:06 GMT

    Ricky Ponting should be appointed as the Talent Scout for Cricket Australia and coach 4 hand-picked Potential Test batsmen. We cannot afford to lose the wealth of knowledge and skill that this batting genius who started his 20 year long cricket career from the grassroots of Club Cricket at Mowbrays,and grew to be the next best Australian batsman to Sir Donald Bradman.

  • Bonehead_maz on November 3, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    @ Joseph ..... lol, yes they do think they're God given a bit. But what I am a bit angry about is this has been going on all season from our young Batsmen. Being dominant and getting themselves out instead of steering their team over the line with a not out ! Doolan getting out was near criminal. Could easily have won NSW the match ? Even though I am a Bulls fan, I was livid at Khawaja for throwing it in Ryobi cup final. Same thing. It's seemingly endemic in Australia's young players :(

  • on November 2, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    SOK outbowled Lyon in both innings, which of course will amount to nothing even if he does it every game.

    Warner double failures doesn't matter, 3 tons in short form will have him in there with Bailey it seems for the first test. Of course the team is apparently already picked so doesn't really matter what happens.

    If we were living in sensible times, perhaps Cosgrove, Cowan and Hughes and Klinger over in SA would be battling it out to see who partners Rogers, but it don't look good for them.

    Watson's injury could have been a blessing in disguise, Doolan so far would/should be the front runner after being the fifth best batsmen last summer in the Shield and his ton from this match.

    Rogers Hughes Doolan Clarke Smith White(?) Haddin Johnson Harris Siddle SOK

  • ScottStevo on November 2, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    From what I read, there are way too many misguided in thinking that we'll just select the Aus top 6 based on their averages after 3 shield games - as clearly that will mean they're the best 6 we have...

    @Mitty2, "he'll come in serious contention for the latter tests where one or two of the batsmen have invariably failed." - I hope this isn't the case as if we select players, we need to stick by them. None of our young players have any confidence as after one or two bad matches they're being dropped. It's no way to support a player; and it's one of the major contributing factors to our recent poor displays.

  • Chris_P on November 2, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    @Beertjie. Agree with you there. I played yesterday otherwise I would have loved to see this game, but I did see him play on Thursday & he looked in great nick against a rampaging Bollinger, Hazelwood bowling well & the spinners bowling very tightly. He guttsed it out, it was classic test match grind. After his first half season last year before BBL, he was the leading contender, he has, IMHO, proven to be a better option for tests, than Bailey, to date. @DickCam. 7 for 120 for the match, the best bowling figures of the match & you say Bollinger failed? Yeah, right.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on November 2, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    And yet another couple of failures for short-format specialist Warner... Is anybody here surprised? The race for a suitable opening partner for Rogers is still underway, and running out of time. Australia need to find a test-standard opener fast or Clarke will have to come in too early to hold a decent innings together in the Ashes.

  • Wayne_Larkins_Barnet on November 2, 2013, 17:05 GMT

    I see a case for both Bailey and Doolan, I don't think it has to be competition for one spot. Doolan is a number 3, Bailey likely 5 or 6. The opening pair is a dilemma. 2 shield games left lets see who piles on the runs and go from there. I hope Inverarity isn't serious about the team already being picked. If they pick on form and performance rather than this nonsense of potential and planning for the future we should beat England well on home turf.

  • Beertjie on November 2, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    Can't agree @Skott on (November 2, 2013, 8:09 GMT) Having your XI is one thing. but being able to add a name for cover (Watto now has hamstring trouble again) means Invers will anounce a squad of at least 13. Doolan wal always my pick for such a squad if he scored well and he looks to be delivering.

  • smudgeon on November 2, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    It's because he's from Lonnie. All the best Tassie cricketers come from North of Oatlands.

  • Jaffa79 on November 2, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    I really want to see SOK play. The way Aussies on these pages go on about him as if he is the next big thing. The only thing I have seen of him was of him serving up dross to Alex Hales who put him in row Z about 4 or 5 times. Looked incredibly average, which may not be a barrier to getting into the Aussie Test team as shown by the likes of Wade, Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Doherty, Khawaja etc.

  • on November 2, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    @ bonehead .... Headline should read .....

    NSW, despite having a team full of players that we are told are either the best in Australia or very close to that mark, are beaten by the Sheffield Shield Champions for the second year running.

    Or

    Clarke out-captained by an underrated State Captain

  • on November 2, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    @Mitty2 Agree re SOK. I don't understand why he is not in the test team. He averages 26 to Lyon's 37 plus can bat. The 'explanation', if you can call it that, given by Inverarity earlier this year as to why he has not been selected was quite poor.

  • on November 2, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    @DickCam I don't think you were watching the match. Bollinger was easily the pick of the quicks on display in this match in both innings and was very unlucky on Day 4. Doolan is a better batsman in the longer form of the game than Bailey but is anybody noticing?

  • SPLcricket on November 2, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Doolan would be on my short list too. I wished it would have been Cowan, but his is just not there at the moment. Luck win Tigers, keep up the good work

  • Mitty2 on November 2, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Watched a little bit of it on Cricket Australia's stream and boy was Doolan impressive. Under pressure, he still played with plenty of confidence and flare. Starts the season with a bang like last year, let's just hope with the improved schedule he'll continue his form. If he does (considering Inverarity's stupidity) he'll come in serious contention for the latter tests where one or two of the batsmen have invariably failed.

    Lyon and SOK bowling in tandem was great to watch. As I said in another forum, those two should've been bowling together in India rather than the great duo of Doherty and Maxwell. Trying to see anything between SOK and Clarke when watching... is there any bad feelings from Clarke which stopped SOK from being selected?

  • InfiniteWhite on November 2, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    The truth is, not just no 6 spot is up for grab. No 4 is too. I doubt Clarke will be able to play all 5 tests.

  • DickCam on November 2, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    So much for Bollingers big comeback! Poor effort in Tassie's second innings shows he can't handle the longer form of the game.

  • HatsforBats on November 2, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    Well played by Doolan, can't do his chances any harm but unlikely to affect the selectors. I saw a bit of Rose during the Ryobi and I was impressed with his control. Good to see him take a few wickets here and hold his nerve against Lyon.

  • Big-Dog on November 2, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    I agree Skott. No doubt the NSP will go with the usual bag of underperforming no-hopers & will be left scratching their heads when the Ashes fly back to England.

  • Skott on November 2, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    But, according to Invers, the test team has already been picked, so it won't help him at all.

  • Bonehead_maz on November 2, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    The Headline ! Doolan played beautifully and got out when shouldn't have ? "Fall of wickets 1-14 (Cowan, 5.1 ov), 2-121 (Dunk, 33.3 ov), 3-261 (Doolan, 76.3 ov), 4-264 (Silk, 79.5 ov), 5-278 (Wells, 86.1 ov), 6-282 (Gulbis, 88.4 ov), 7-282 (Paine, 89.1 ov), 8-284 (Butterworth, 91.1 ov)"near cost his side the game ! (after having won it)

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Bonehead_maz on November 2, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    The Headline ! Doolan played beautifully and got out when shouldn't have ? "Fall of wickets 1-14 (Cowan, 5.1 ov), 2-121 (Dunk, 33.3 ov), 3-261 (Doolan, 76.3 ov), 4-264 (Silk, 79.5 ov), 5-278 (Wells, 86.1 ov), 6-282 (Gulbis, 88.4 ov), 7-282 (Paine, 89.1 ov), 8-284 (Butterworth, 91.1 ov)"near cost his side the game ! (after having won it)

  • Skott on November 2, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    But, according to Invers, the test team has already been picked, so it won't help him at all.

  • Big-Dog on November 2, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    I agree Skott. No doubt the NSP will go with the usual bag of underperforming no-hopers & will be left scratching their heads when the Ashes fly back to England.

  • HatsforBats on November 2, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    Well played by Doolan, can't do his chances any harm but unlikely to affect the selectors. I saw a bit of Rose during the Ryobi and I was impressed with his control. Good to see him take a few wickets here and hold his nerve against Lyon.

  • DickCam on November 2, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    So much for Bollingers big comeback! Poor effort in Tassie's second innings shows he can't handle the longer form of the game.

  • InfiniteWhite on November 2, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    The truth is, not just no 6 spot is up for grab. No 4 is too. I doubt Clarke will be able to play all 5 tests.

  • Mitty2 on November 2, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Watched a little bit of it on Cricket Australia's stream and boy was Doolan impressive. Under pressure, he still played with plenty of confidence and flare. Starts the season with a bang like last year, let's just hope with the improved schedule he'll continue his form. If he does (considering Inverarity's stupidity) he'll come in serious contention for the latter tests where one or two of the batsmen have invariably failed.

    Lyon and SOK bowling in tandem was great to watch. As I said in another forum, those two should've been bowling together in India rather than the great duo of Doherty and Maxwell. Trying to see anything between SOK and Clarke when watching... is there any bad feelings from Clarke which stopped SOK from being selected?

  • SPLcricket on November 2, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Doolan would be on my short list too. I wished it would have been Cowan, but his is just not there at the moment. Luck win Tigers, keep up the good work

  • on November 2, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    @DickCam I don't think you were watching the match. Bollinger was easily the pick of the quicks on display in this match in both innings and was very unlucky on Day 4. Doolan is a better batsman in the longer form of the game than Bailey but is anybody noticing?

  • on November 2, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    @Mitty2 Agree re SOK. I don't understand why he is not in the test team. He averages 26 to Lyon's 37 plus can bat. The 'explanation', if you can call it that, given by Inverarity earlier this year as to why he has not been selected was quite poor.