Playing at home for the first time this Marsh Sheffield Shield season, the Tasmanian Tigers won the toss and elected to bowl against the visiting South Australian Redbacks. However, before play commenced the Tasmanian Tigers wanted to honour former Tasmanian player and CEO of South Australian Cricket.
On the 8th of November, the cricketing world mourned the passing of Keith Bradshaw. Born and bred in Hobart, Keith would represent Tasmania 25 times at first class level, before transitioning into administration after his playing days, most recently at the South Australian Cricket Association.
With his connection to both states and his invaluable contribution to the game of cricket – it was only fitting that both the Tasmanian and South Australian sides would join together on field to commemorate Bradshaw – honored by a minutes silence, words from Cricket Tasmania Chairman Andrew Gaggin, and a flag aloft at half mast above Blundstone Arena.
After the ceremony and a brief rain delay – the covers came off – but only for five overs as rain set in again, forcing an early lunch with South Australia at 0-10.
When play finally recommenced, the Tassie quicks looked in excellent touch, with Gabe Bell removing Jake Weatherald via a sharp catch from Caleb Jewell, before Peter Siddle had Jake Carder caught at gully soon after.
Making use of a bowlers wicket, Tasmania were no doubt frustrated when the weather stopped play again with South Australia 2-27 through 15.1 overs. Due to conditions, this would remain the score at stumps, with play unable to continue throughout the afternoon.
Day two began at 10am with Henry Hunt and Travis Head at the crease for South Australia, with an early start designed to make up for lost play. Unfortunately rain delayed the game again after a handful of overs before players were back on field at 10.50am.
A minutes silence was observed at 11am for Remembrance Day, and it was Tasmania who made the early breakthrough of the session, with Lawrence Neil-Smith clean-bowling the dangerous Head on 14 to leave South Australia 3-57.
Henry Hunt, who had settled in, was joined by Alex Carey. Hunt steadily went about his business while Carey tried to get his eye in, but never really managed, and was caught at backward point trying to push at a full delivery from Siddle, leaving South Australia at 4-76.
Siddle, bowling brilliantly, struck again immediately, removing new man Harry Nielsen for nought via a slips catch from Ben McDermott. South Australia were able to survive without loss until lunch, heading in at 5-111.
After the break, South Australia came out with positive intent, with both Hunt and Liam Scott playing aggressive strokes, and threatening the rope for good measure. With Hunt into the 70s and Scott into the 40s, Tasmania needed a wicket, and Jarrod Freeman provided. Scott slashed at a ball that put him on the back foot, and Jake Doran did the rest to stem the tide, with South Australia 6-148.
Sensing a chance to regain control, Tigers captain Beau Webster went back to Siddle and the star quick rewarded him immediately, removing Nathan McAndrew with help from his captain in the slips. Freeman was next to strike, swiftly removing Nick Winter LBW after a brief stay at the crease to leave South Australia teetering at 8-164. Joined by Dan Worrall, Henry Hunt completed a very well made century in trying circumstances, providing a calm head when others fell around him. Neil-Smith found Worrall’s edge reasonably quickly, leaving Hunt and David Grant to play for the final wicket.
Hunt swang hard for the boundaries in the closing stages, hitting multiple sixes to the frustration of the Tasmanian quicks. Freeman finally dismissed him to end the innings, and Henry went into the sheds with a brilliant 134, which included 15 fours and 3 sixes. South Australia were dismissed for 220, which seemed a very reasonable total considering the circumstances.
Tasmania came to the crease with an opportunity to build a solid innings and apply pressure on the away side. Unfortunately, Dan Worrall struck immediately to remove Caleb Jewell on just 2 runs after an excellent slips catch.
Tim Ward and Charlie Wakim adopted a defensive approach as South Australia restricted the run rate, before they decided to flick the switch and go on the attack. Wakim in particular started batting with a flourish, reaching his 50 to the joy of the Tasmanian side.
However, South Australia struck back as Nathan McAndrew bowled Wakim on 68, an excellent quickfire innings off 121 balls that included 8 fours, with Tasmania at 2-101. Ben McDermott joined the patient Tim Ward at the crease hoping to see out the day with half an hour left, but McAndrew had other ideas, removing Ward in the final over for 29.
Play ended with the familiar sight of Lawrence Neil-Smith at night watchman alongside McDermott, with Tasmania 3-102, setting up an exciting Day 3 in which multiple outcomes are available.
Day three began steadily for Tasmania, with Ben McDermott and Lawrence Neil-Smith playing within themselves, cautious not to lose a crucial early wicket. The trusty nightwatchman soon fell however, caught in slips on 10 off the bowling of Liam Scott.
Jake Doran joined McDermott who moved into the 40s with a mixture of stroke play, but just as things seemed comfortable, South Australia struck a telling blow before lunch in the space of six balls.
Liam Scott snared Ben McDermott on 45, before skipper Travis Head had Doran LBW in the following over, sending Tasmania into lunch 6-181.
Things didn’t improve after the break, with the bowlers making use of the wicket to their advantage. Webster was caught behind off Nick Winter on just 1, before Daniel Worrall had Jarrod Freeman caught on seven, leaving the home side in real trouble at 8-190.
No further loss was sustained when rain set in to delay play, and the poor weather brought forward an early tea break. Conditions continued to halt proceedings throughout the afternoon, until eventually stumps was called at 5.30pm, with Tasmania sitting at 8-220, on level pegging with South Australia.
Day four began with Jordan Silk and Peter Siddle at the crease for Tasmania, with the former playing aggressively from the off. Siddle made a very handy 30 before being stumped off the bowling of Travis Head, while Silk made an excellent 58 before being caught to end the innings with Tasmania on 282.
Leading by 62 runs, Tasmania were looking to take wickets quickly, but weather intervened to force the players from the ground. Sadly, this was to be the story of the day, as play was abandoned after tea as the captains shook hands and decided there was no result to be had.
FULL SCORECARD: cricket.com.au