Warriors hold nerve to tame gutsy Tigers
WESTERN Australia f o u g h t o f f a s t i r r i n g fightback by Tasmania to snatch a dramatic victory on day four of their Pura Cup match at Bellerive Oval yesterday.
The Tigers, led by young quick Ben Hilfenhaus, were closing in on an amazing win after recovering from a disastrous first-innings total of 94.
But they were unable to stop the Warriors reaching their victory target with three wickets to spare.
Tasmania had posted a second-innings 477, setting the Warriors a tricky run chase of 180.
But despite a five-wicket haul from Hilfenhaus, the home side couldn’t stop the Warriors.
Australian one-day representative Brad Hogg (41 not out) peeled off the winning runs for the Warriors with a boundary through mid-off, taking the side to 7-181 and claiming six points.
The win — WA’s first outright victory of the season — gives the Warriors 12 points on the ladder, equal third with Victoria and New South Wales and six points away from pacesetters Queensland.
Tasmania remain on 14 points.
Tigers coach Tim Coyle said his side paid dearly after being bundled out for 94 in the first dig.
‘‘At the end of the day it’s about day one and our batting on day one was obviously not good enough,’’ Coyle said.
‘‘Realistically we didn’t probably deserve to get that close (to a win) going on how we played on day one and some of our bowling and fielding.’’
Hilfenhaus proved a handful for the Warriors, taking three wickets in the morning session to leave the visitors 4-57 at lunch.
He claimed another two wickets after lunch, becoming the leading wicket-taker of the Pura Cup season with 29 victims.
His r e t u r n o f e i g h t wickets (3-115 and 5-84) was bettered only by man-ofthe-match Ben Edmondson, who took his first 10-wicket haul with 6-28 and 4-169.
WA captain Marcus North admitted it was a tough run chase for the winners.
‘‘Those medium targets, 170, 180 always seem to be tough to get,’’ he said. ‘‘It was a bit of a game of chess all the way to the end.’’
D e b u t a n t L u k e Pomersbach (63) top-scored in WA’s second innings, bringing up his second halfcentury off 64 balls after his 74 in the first innings.
He was caught behind off Hilfenhaus in the 39th over, leaving the visitors needing just 32 more runs to win.