Recent Match Report – Tasmania vs West Aust 24th Match 2020/21

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After being bowled out for 219, Tasmania opted not to enforce the follow-on

Western Australia 219 (Bancroft 57, Freeman 4-72) and 1 for 11 need 469 more runs to beat Tasmania 514 and 6 for 184 dec

So you’re telling me there’s a chance? Western Australia needed to chase 480 to earn a place in the Sheffield Shield after another day where Tasmania dominated at the WACA.

It will require the most perfect of batting performances but, other than for professional pride, there is little point playing for a draw. Over in Wollongong, New South Wales and Queensland won’t be worrying themselves.

The almost-impossible became even tougher still when Cameron Bancroft was bowled off the last ball of the day aiming a drive at left-armer Sam Rainbird.

Once Tasmania put up such a huge first-innings total it become a mammoth task for Western Australia to get the win they needed to jump into the top two. During the third day there were a couple of scenarios that could have played out. Once all the bonus points had been gathered in the NSW-Queensland match one of them was to score 434 in the first 100 overs of their first innings which would have given them enough points to edge ahead of NSW if that match ended in a draw. They got nowhere near.

An opening stand of 85 between Bancroft and Sam Whiteman laid a promising foundation but when Beau Webster followed up his hundred with two breakthroughs, finding the edge of Whiteman and Shaun Marsh, the innings never regained a foothold as all ten wickets fell for 134 – the first four being catches to Tim Paine.

Lawrence Neil-Smith, playing his first game of the season, claimed the big wicket of Cameron Green who, with likely one innings left, sat 11 runs behind Travis Head at the top of the run-scoring charts with 882.

Offspinner Jarrod Freeman went on to collect the best Shield figures by a Tasmania spinner since Xavier Doherty took 5 for 96 against South Australia in November 2013 while Jackson Bird produced an excellent delivery to remove Josh Inglis.

The follow-on was not enforced and instead Tasmania went out and batted positively for 34 overs led by captain Matthew Wade’s 42 off 32 balls

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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