A spectacular batting collapse by Tasmania had Ed Cowan admitting his side had fluffed it before the innings even finished.
At 3-190 in the Sheffield Shield match against Victoria at Bellerive, the home side looked well in control after the Bushrangers had limped to a 279 first innings total.
Former Test opener Cowan was in fine form on Sunday and motored to 105 – including 16 boundaries – off 120 deliveries.
But it wasn’t enough.
The seasoned left hander was one of six Tasmanians to lose their wicket for the addition of just 34 runs.
Cowan was stumped while dancing down the wicket to meet a well-flighted delivery from Fawad Ahmed.
At stumps the Tigers had sunk to 9-241.
“We’ve fluffed it to be fair, so we’re going to have to fight hard in the morning to get as many runs as we can,” Cowan said after play.
Tasmania struggled in the batting department last season and in the opening round against Western Australia, something coach Dan Marsh made clear needs addressing.
“He’s pretty disappointed with us. I think we’re pretty disappointed to hand back the game again – it’s happened a bit of late,” Cowan said.
On the flip side Victoria were proud of their fight back, which was led in part by Peter Handscomb.
The `keeper took some sharp catches and was also the top run scorer for the Bushrangers, falling for 96 in their first innings.
“We’re in a good position now,” he said after Sunday’s play.
Allrounder Daniel Christian (3-21) and spinner Ahmed (3-71) shared the spoils.
Not out batsmen Evan Gulbis (26) and Andrew Fekete (5) will return for Tasmania when play resumes in the day-night match at 1pm (AEDT) on Monday.