NSW bounce back in Shield clash with Tas

Glenn Cullen
·2-min read

A Nick Larkin-inspired counter-attack has NSW eyeing off a total of substance as they dare to dream of what would be a most unlikely Sheffield Shield win against Tasmania.

At stumps on day two at Gladys Elphick Park, NSW were 2-215, a lead of 40 runs over the Tigers.

It was quite the turnaround after the Blues being rolled for just 64 in their first innings on Sunday, the third lowest NSW score in Shield history.

After doing well to bowl Tasmania out for 239 in response, things couldn't have started any worse for the Blues in their second innings when Daniel Hughes was out for a duck in the first over.

When Jackson Bird (2-43) replicated that dismissal to have Kurtis Patterson (26) caught by wicketkeeper Time Paine, the Blues were 2-43 and still 132 runs shy of making the Tigers bat again.

But Larkin (103 not out), who until Monday had delivered a modest 100 runs across five Shield innings this season, combined wonderfully with Moises Henriques (75 no) to put the Blues back in the match.

Watchful when required but keen to take any boundaries on offer, the pair added 172 runs.

It sets the scene for an intriguing day three as NSW look for a lead north of 200 to give their strong attack a chance of victory.

Earlier, Tasmania opener Jordan Silk stared down the Blues bowlers for a century as the Tigers took a handy lead but failed to bat NSW out of the match.

Silk (106) batted for most of the innings before being caught by 'keeper Peter Nevill off the bowling of Trent Copleand (1-35).

Sean Abbott (4-33) once again showed he would not be out of place in the national set-up while Harry Conway (2-38) and Nathan Lyon (2-55) offered good support.

Larkin was happy to play his part in getting the Blues back into the match but said it still had some time to play out.

"I wouldn't say the game's up for grabs in the first session but the upper hand certainly is," he said.

"We've got to turn up tomorrow and be as ruthless again for however long we can bat for and then have them under pressure batting on the wicket on day four."