Tasmania268 and 9 for 132 (Starc 4-20) lead New South Wales 364 (Henriques 124, Smith 106, Meredith 5-98) by 36 runs

Australia paceman Mitchell Starc proved why he is such a valuable asset on flat pitches, tearing through Tasmania's top and lower order to put New South Wales on the brink of victory on day three at Drummoyne Oval.

Starc took 4 for 20 in 19 blistering overs as Tasmania crumbled to 9 for 132 in their second innings with a slender lead of just 36 heading into day four. He had match figures of 9 for 60 from 43.3 overs after claiming 5 for 40 in the first innings.

Starc picked up both openers when Alex Doolan failed to get on top a cut shot to be caught at point and Jordan Silk was lbw caught on the crease by a ball searing into middle from around the wicket.

Tasmania could not find a way to get the scoreboard moving against an unrelenting New South Wales attack. Beau Webster was castled by a sharp inswinger from Trent Copeland.

Test batsman Matthew Wade was uncharacteristically restrained, crawling to 40 off 113 balls before Sean Abbott found his outside edge.

Tim Paine was caught at square leg, cramped for room trying to pull Abbott to leave Tasmania 6 for 112 before Starc returned to fire a missile into the base of Alex Pyecroft's middle stump. He also found the outside edge of Sam Rainbird. Lawrence Neil-Smith and Riley Meredith bravely held out to stumps.

Earlier, Meredith's maiden five-wicket haul dragged Tasmania back into the game after twin centuries from Moises Henriques and Steve Smith put the Blues in a position to only bat once in the match.

Meredith picked up three wickets in two overs with some express pace of his own. He bounced out Henriques before rattling the stumps of both Peter Nevill and Smith. His yorker to remove Smith was especially impressive, leaving the world's No.1 Test batsman in a tangle.

New South Wales went from 3 for 286 to 9 for 338 when Meredith had Abbott caught at leg slip. Nathan Lyon produced a useful cameo of 30 while Kurtis Patterson, batting at No. 11 with a runner due to his quad injury, contributed 16 not out in a tenth-wicket partnership of 28.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne