New South Wales 181 and 46 for 3 trail Tasmania 493 (Hope 132, Turn 118, Webster 103), a difference of 266 points.
In response to NSW’s sub-par first innings total of 181, Tasmania plundered 493 on the back of three big middle-order knocks including Hope’s maiden first-class century.
Tasmania’s first innings lead of 312 runs looked even tougher through stumps on Sunday after New South Wales stumbled to the end of the day at 46 for 3.
Daniel Hughes, heading into Webster’s safe hands at second slip, Blake McDonald and night-watchman Jack Nisbet were the batsmen to depart, leaving openers Ryan Hackney and Matthew Gilks with a huge mountain to climb.
Tasmania were struggling at 48 for 4 in the first innings on Saturday before the three captains pulled them out of trouble on Sunday and set the home side up for victory. In all, the last six wickets added 445 runs.
“It was a bad day for us today,” NSW coach Greg Shepherd said. “There wasn’t enough penetration with the ball all day. To Tasmania’s credit, they hit some fantastic shots. It’s disappointing for us that we didn’t find any rhythm in this game.”
“We are in a difficult situation, but we will fight and see what we can achieve in terms of the second round total and keep the game alive.”
Hope was brutal on his way to posting his maiden first-class century, smashing 21 boundaries during his unbeaten innings.
“It’s very special,” Hope said. “It’s not quite settled yet. I’m just happy to get it done for the boys, I guess.” [my aim] It was just hitting as normally as possible. Dorsey and Beau did all the hard work.”
Webster’s century continued his impressive Shield season as he now averages 97.40 along with taking 11 wickets and catching the slips admirably.
For the left-handed spinner, his hundred was the fourth in first-class cricket.