Day 1

The Hobart weather once again played ball, putting on a beautiful display for the final match to be hosted at Blundstone Arena for the 2020/21 domestic season.  The toss was less cooperative however, going the way of Blues captain, Peter Nevill, who decided to send the Tigers into bat.

Jordan Silk and Charlie Wakim again opened for the Tigers, with Silk’s again being the first wicket to fall, nicking one through to Nevill off the bowling of Trent Copeland for 10. 

Returning to Shield cricket for the first time in 2021, Tigers captain, Matthew Wade, came in at three to join Wakim at the crease, and the pair navigated a difficult period that saw them through to lunch without the loss of any further wickets.

Wakim came undone shortly after the lunch break and was sent back to the sheds for 28 – he too fell to the bowling of Copeland.  Wade continued on his merry way however, notching a half century before departing shortly afterwards for 57, in an innings which included which included six boundaries and came off 145 deliveries.

Wade’s was one of three wickets to fall in the day’s middle session.  In fact, the Tigers top seven batsmen all reached double figures, with no one besides Wade and later on Tim Paine, being able to reach the half century milestone.

At stumps the Tigers sit on 7-258, with Paine (61*) and Jackson Bird (15*) at the crease.

Day 2

It’s been a history making day of Marsh Sheffield Shield cricket at Blundstone Arena, headlined by some career-best form from Jackson Bird.

Resuming in the middle on 15* - alongside Paine who was undefeated on 61 overnight – the pair piled on another 63 runs together before Paine was given out LBW on 87.  Not only was Paine yet again denied a first class hundred on his own deck, but it’s the third time he’s reached 87 but been unable to go any further at Blundstone Arena.

Not deterred by Paine’s departure, Bird continued piling on the runs like it was a limited overs affair, reaching his half century in just 48 balls, before being dismissed for a run-a-ball 54; a first class career-high with the bat.

In the end the Tigers were dismissed for a first innings total of 333, after adding 75 runs to their overnight total in the first hour of play on day two.  However, not content with his efforts with the bat Bird had something special planned with the ball.

Bird dismissed Daniel Hughes and Daniel Solway in the first over of NSW’s innings, followed by Kurtis Patterson in the third.  With all three departing for a duck, NSW was in the unenviable position of sitting at 3-0 in just the third over of their innings with the bat.

Unfortunately for the Blues, things didn’t improve from here.  Their captain, Peter Nevill, was the only player to reach double figures – finishing unbeaten on 10 – and with Sean Abbott being unable to bat due to an injury sustained during play on day one, they found themselves all out for just 32 runs; NSW’s lowest innings total in the history of Sheffield Shield cricket.

Bird was responsible for the majority of the carnage, again finishing with career-best figures of 7-18.  He bowled 10 of the 19 overs the Tigers spent in the field.

Electing not to enforce the follow on, before they knew it the Tigers were batting again, looking to extend their lead of 301.  Again, many batters got starts without truly being able to capitalise and turn them into a big score.  Incredibly, NSW were able to claim all 10 of the Tigers’ wickets in a session and a half, dismissing them for 191 just before stumps was called.  Paine again top-scored for the Tigers, finishing not out on 40.

In total 22 wickets fell and 298 runs were scored on day two of play at Blundstone Arena. The Tigers have extended their lead over NSW to 492 runs, leaving themselves two days – weather permitting – to dismiss the Blues for outright victory.

Day 3

The Tasmanian Tigers have notched up their first outright win of the 2020/21 Marsh Sheffield Shield season just before tea on day three of play at Blundstone Arena, defeating New South Wales by 298 runs.

After being dismissed just before stumps was called on day two, the Tigers went straight into the field with a simple equation in front of them – take all 10 NSW wickets before they make 493 runs.

Things got off considerably better for NSW with the bat than they had the day before, however unfortunately for the Blues, not well enough.  Peter Siddle and Sam Rainbird combined to take two wickets apiece in the first session, leaving the Blues 4-61 at the lunch break, still requiring 432 runs for the win.

The tale post-lunch was much the same.  Although Daniel Solway (25), Peter Nevill (23) and Mitchell Starc (33) all got solid starts for the Blues, no one was able to convert them into a big score.

Trent Copeland was the best for NSW with the bat, scoring 58 off just 60 balls, in an innings that included two huge sixes.  However, when Copeland holed out to Jarrod Freeman in the deep, and with Sean Abbott again unable to bat due to an injury sustained on day one of play, the match was officially over.

All the Tassie bowlers ended up contributing in the second innings, with Freeman (2-34), Jackson Bird (1-55) and Beau Webster (1-22) all taking wickets after lunch.  Siddle was the best of the bowlers on day three however, adding another to his two from the first session to finish with figures of 3-31 off 15 overs.

Unsurprisingly, Jackson Bird was named Player of the Match.  Across both innings he took eight wickets and made 55 runs.

Today’s win sees the Tigers jump to third in the Marsh Sheffield Shield standings, with one match remaining.

FULL SCORECARD: cricket.com.au