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Tasmania lose early momentum in rain

In the absence of an injured Ben Hilfenhaus, Tasmania’s lesser known pacemen stepped up on Saturday to put an early dint in Victoria’s top order.


In a rain-interrupted opening of the day-night Sheffield Shield match at Bellerive Oval, Victoria were 4-169 at stumps.

Hilfenhaus, who was to return to state duties after travelling with the Australian squad, strained his shoulder at training on Friday and is not expected to return before Tasmania’s Shield match against Western Australia starting November 16.

It was disappointing news, teammate Andrew Fekete said of the late withdrawal.

“Just a slight mishap at training … so hopefully he’s only out for one game,” he said.

Fekete took 2-49 off 16 overs on Saturday, including the scalp of Victorian skipper David Hussey, caught behind for 23.

But after a four-and-a-half hour rain delay, that saw play resume at 9.30pm (AEDT), Bushrangers youngsters Alex Keath and Peter Handscomb combined for a steady partnership over the last 12 overs.

Tasmania lost the early momentum, Fekete conceded.

“We felt like we could take two or three wickets in the last hour and really have them on the back foot,” he said.

“For them to put on 50 runs in that last hour which they did quite comfortably, (that) was quite disappointing for us.”

Keath was not out 38 with Handscomb on 37.

Hussey is looking for a first innings total in the 300s.

“It was a handy little 12-over period there for us at the back end of the day,” the skipper said.

“Full credit to the two youngsters.”

Neither team reported any problems with the pink ball being used in the day-night trial format.

“They said they saw it beautifully,” Hussey said.

Play resumes at Bellerive at 1pm (AEDT) on Sunday to make up time for the rain delay.