New South Wales 181 and 46 for 3 trail Tasmania 493 (Hope 132, Doran 118, Webster 103) by 266 runs
In reply to NSW’s substandard first-innings total of 181, Tasmania plundered 493 on the back of trio big knocks from the middle order including Hope’s maiden first-class century.
The 312-run first-innings lead for Tasmania looked even more daunting by stumps on Sunday after NSW limped to the end of the day at 46 for 3.
Daniel Hughes, edging to the safe hands of Webster at second slip, Blake Macdonald and nightwatchman Jack Nisbet were the batters to depart, leaving opener Ryan Hackney and Matthew Gilkes with a huge mountain to climb.
Tasmania had been struggling at 48 for 4 in their first innings on Saturday before the three centurions dug them out of trouble on Sunday and set the home side up for victory. In all, their last six wickets added 445 runs.
“It’s been a poor day for us today,” NSW coach Greg Shipperd said. “Not enough penetration with the ball right across the day. To Tasmania’s credit, they batted wonderfully well. Disappointingly for us, we’ve not found any rhythm in this game.
“We’re in a tough spot, but we’ll fight and see what we can bring in terms of a second-innings total and keep the game alive.”
Hope was brutal on the way to posting his maiden first-class century, cracking 21 boundaries during his unbeaten innings.
“It’s pretty special,” Hope said. “It hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I’m just happy to get it done for the boys. I think [my aim] was just to bat as normally as possible. Dorsy and Beau had done all the hard work.”
Webster’s century continued an outstanding Shield season which now sees him average 97.40 alongside side claiming 11 wickets and catching superbly in the slips.
For the left-handed Doran, his hundred was a fourth in first-class cricket.