THERE IT IS, DOUG: NSW fast bowler Doug Bollinger gets in a tangle fielding off his own bowling.
THERE IT IS, DOUG: NSW fast bowler Doug Bollinger gets in a tangle fielding off his own bowling. Cathy Adams

Blues roar back

A MEASURED 95 not out by Ben Rohrer helped New South Wales to a convincing six-wicket victory over Tasmania with four overs to spare in the second game of the Lismore Festival of Cricket.

In dusty conditions that seemed more like the Indian sub-continent than Lismore, Rohrer and wicketkeeper-batsman Daniel Smith put ona 157-run partnership for the third wicket at a run a ball as the Blues overhauled the Tigers’ total of 257.

Rohrer hit eight fours and a six during his innings at Oakes Oval, facing 120 balls.

Rohrer’s knock was one of composure as he and Smith, who scored his 89 off 80 balls, came together with NSW in some trouble at 3-36 after Tasmanian paceman Brett Geeves had struck early.

Geeves, who bowled with good pace and bounce, removed openers Moises Henriques (1) and Phillip Hughes (1) caught behind then dismissed Steve Smith (25) with a brilliant caught and bowled.

Rohrer was upbeat.

“I’m feeling really good, which is great for this time of year coming into the season, so it’s a perfect time to start peaking,” he said.

“It was a little bit hard out there because the lights are obviously not what we’re used to but the wicket is fantastic and the outfield is great so it’s just great to be playing cricket at the moment.”

The 28-year-old said he was not too disappointed to miss out on his century after Dom-inic Thornely snatched 32 off 36 balls including hitting three boundaries in the final over to kill the game.

“No, not really, because the rest of the boys batted really well,” Rohrer said.

“I’m happy to get a not out and carry on with that.”

The Fairfield-Liverpool left-hander also scored a half-century against Victoria on Tuesday night.

Smith slightly overshadowed Rohrer during their partnership as the nuggety wicketkeeper belted eight fours and four sixes.

While Rohrer is considered a strong chance of seeing game time in the Champions League in India next month, Smith is virtually assured a position after Brad Haddin’s injury in England.

Earlier, a fighting 90 off 103 balls by Travis Birt ensured Tasmania posted a competitive total, being bowled out in the last of their 50 overs.

The Tigers were 3-36 as the Blues’ bowling attack bounced back from a poor performance against Victoria the previous evening.

However Birt, backed by George Bailey 38 (41 balls) and Dan Marsh 28 (40), helped lift the flagging Tigers’ fortunes.

Alstonville product Brendan Drew also hit out late to make 28 off 15 balls and boost Tasmania past 250.

Doug Bollinger (2-46 off 10 overs) bowled with vigour, while young leg-spinner Steve Smith (2-53 off 10) and seamer Simon Keen (2-41 off seven) also chimed in.

Smith brilliantly caught and bowled Birt, and held two other great catches to remove the dangerous Marsh and Michael Dighton.


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