George Bailey and Ed Cowan both piled on the runs for their sides as Tasmania (TAS) and New South Wales (NSW) both had to settle for a draw as the final day was washed out at Wollongong.
Bailey won the toss and opted to field first – in response NSW made 253 thanks to a Cowan century. The former Aussie Test star made a striking 115 that included 14 fours, with his main support coming from Moises Henriques who made 47.
For TAS the in-form Simon Milenko took 4-60, while Sam Rainbird, James Faulkner and Anthony Perrin shared the rest of the wickets between them – taking two each.
The Tasmanian skipper’s decision to field first then seemed to pay off as Bailey himself scored an unbeaten 200, as his side posted 490. Bailey’s superb innings came from 389 balls and included 14 fours, though Milenko continued his good form with the bat to make 87.
Ben McDermott, Alex Doolan and Beau Webster all chipped in for TAS too – as William Somerville did the bulk of the damage for NSW taking 5-99 – the Kiwi now has 20 wickets in his last three Shield games.
Trailing by 237 and with two days left NSW had to be wary of slipping to a third Shield loss – though thankfully for them a day four wash out ensured a draw for the Blues.
However NSW did reach 141-1 in their second innings before the rain came – Daniel Hughes making 71*, while Cowan again impressing to make an unbeaten 51. Rainbird took the only wicket of the innings as he had Nick Larkin caught behind for 15.
Cowan, who has been out of the Australian test set-up since 2013, now has 637 Shield runs this campaign at 63.7, while his skipper Henriques has 605 runs at 67.2.
The result leaves TAS stuck to the bottom of the table, while NSW fell to fourth with other results going against them.
Despite their poor league position captain Bailey has been a shining light for TAS and he is now the leading run scorer in the Shield with 759 runs at an average of 75.9 – is a Test recall on the cards?