NSW skipper Peter Nevill and Tasmanian opposite George Bailey have agreed to a sporting double declaration to set the two sides’ JLT Sheffield Shield clash alight.
A gentlemen’s agreement between the two skippers has breathed life into a game that was headed for a near certain draw.
Heavy rain looked to have ended any chance of an outright result at the SCG, after only 4.3 were bowled on day three.
However two declarations in the space of 20 minutes on the morning of Day 4 helped set up an exciting final day with Tasmania set 350 to win from 103 overs.
NSW were ahead in the match heading into the final day, with Tasmania 4-115 in their first innings in reply to the Blues’ first innings total of 9-442.
Tasmania declared on their overnight score before the Blues did the same after just four overs of their second innings, giving them the best part of a full day to take the 10 wickets they needed for victory.
Bailey’s declaration after 49.3 overs meant both teams could not accrue any further bonus points in Tasmania’s first innings.
The rules dictate batting teams receive 0.01 of a point for every run scored after reaching 200 in the first 100 overs of their first innings, while bowling teams get 0.1 point for every wicket inside the first 100 overs.
NSW spearhead Trent Copeland had hinted at the sporting declarations after stumps on day three.
“Judging from the type of people that George and Nev are, I think both teams will try to get into a situation where there is a good game on the line and both teams can win,” Copeland said.
Tasmania sat in third place on the Shield ladder heading into the final day on 9.50 points, while NSW are winless on the bottom of the standings on 4.19 points.
An outright win for Tasmania will see them leapfrog Western Australia into second on the ladder, while the Blues would go ahead of Tasmania into third if they can secure an unlikely outright win.