Tigers duo lead recovery

Written By miftah nugraha on Sabtu, 23 Maret 2013 | 19.55

SHEFFIELD Shield final specialists Luke Butterworth and James Faulkner have again stood tall to lead a mini-rescue mission for Tasmania on day two at Blundstone Arena.

The Tigers stumbled early in the second session, losing 3-17 immediately after lunch to slump from 4-252 to 7-269 as Queensland roared back into the game.

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But Faulkner (20 not out) and Butterworth (33 not out) steadied the ship, adding an unbeaten 56 for the eighth wicket before a passing shower saw tea taken five minutes early with the Tigers 7-325.

The two are no strangers to performing on the big stage, with Butterworth cracking his maiden first-class century in the win over NSW back in 2006-07 and then backing up with 88 against the same side in 2010-11.

Faulkner scored 71 in the same match two seasons ago.

Ryan Harris (3-81) kept the visitors in the match with a devastating spell to open post-lunch action.

He found the outside edge of Jonathan Wells' bat to gift keeper Chris Hartley with a simple catch, before trapping Tim Paine in front for a duck with a ball which kept low in his next over.

Shortly after Cameron Gannon snared the prized wicket of Tigers captain George Bailey for 42.

Given the home side's slow scoring rate, the Bulls would have fancied their chances of piling the pressure on until Tasmania's two star all-rounders combined.

The pitch is starting to show signs of variable bounce and the longer the Tigers can remain at the crease, the harder it will be for Queensland to extract an outright result.

A healthy crowd rolled up to this morning to watch the master in action but it was the next generational star who again stood tall.

Fans were hoping for another Ricky Ponting masterpiece but it was 20-year-old Jordan Silk -- playing in just his third first-class match -- who stole the show against Queensland.

Tasmania resumed at 2-176 with Silk unbeaten on 82 and Ponting 20 not out, with the pair looking to cash in on the grinding work Silk and fellow opener Mark Cosgrove (58) had done yesterday.

However while Ponting added just 15 to his overnight score before being trapped lbw by Bulls skipper James Hopes, Silk continued his stunning start to his career.

He reached three figures for the second time in just his fifth innings, displaying an incredible amount of concentration in the pressure cooker of a final.

After notching his maiden century against Victoria last week, the former New South Welshman stamped himself as a future Test prospect simply by the way he attacked his innings in the decider.

When he turned a ball from Michael Neser into the leg side and scampered through for his milestone, Silk had faced 341 balls and batted for 443 minutes.

He is the second youngest player to achieve the feat in a Shield final, behind Phil Hughes who was 19.

In an era where Twenty20 cricket has robbed many players of the ability of patience, his mental application cannot be underestimated.

His outstanding knock ended 15 minutes prior to lunch, when he got too far under a pull shot and was caught at fine leg by Luke Pomersbach off the bowling of Michael Neser.


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