NSW Outplays Tasmania in 17th Match of 2023/24 Season: Match Report

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TASMANIA 166 for 6 (Owen 70*, Bird 3-46) trail New South Wales 224 (Davies 81*, Henriques 54, Neil-Smith 7-58) by 58 runsLawrence Neil-Smith took seven wickets for Tasmania in a rollercoaster of a Sheffield Shield match with New South Wales, whose own bowling attack inspired an early collapse in reply on day two.Bad light and rain prevented play from going ahead in the third session after Mitchell Owen helped Tasmania recover to 166 for 6 at the SCG.Neil-Smith picked up where he left off following a rain-affected first day, dispatching of veteran quick Jackson Bird to break a 52-run partnership with unbeaten Ollie Davies (81).

The Tasmanians made light work of the Blues from there and when he bowled Chris Tremain for a duck, Neil-Smith had career-best bowling figures with the hosts bowled out for 224.

In a sour note for NSW, and potentially also the BBL’s Sydney Thunder, batter Davies suffered a hairline fracture in his left little finger while fielding on day two but could appear further down the order in the second. The 23-year-old came off after suffering his injury and did not return to field.

“I don’t think he’ll take any part in fielding for the rest of the game,” NSW captain Moises Henriques told AAP. “I don’t think he can come in before seven, but from there he’s going to be OK to bat. I don’t know how long after this game [he might be sidelined].”

Neil-Smith’s figures were the sixth-best in a first-class match for Tasmania since the turn of the century and the best since fellow paceman Sam Rainbird took 8 for 21 two summers ago.

But just as their NSW counterparts did on day one, the Tasmanian batting order misfired early. Bird took the first three wickets against his former team-mates as the visitors fell to 30 for 3 on a tricky deck, having survived a dropped catch and appeal on their way to 29 without loss.

Things threatened to spiral further out of control when Moises Henriques, enjoying a great summer with the ball, had rival captain Jordan Silk caught behind in the over before lunch.

In at No. 8, Owen inspired a fightback, partnering with Jake Doran (42 not out) in an unbeaten 96-run stand that helped the visitors bounce back from 70 for 6.

When the covers came on, 22-year-old Owen was four runs shy of equaling his best first-class score.

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