New South Wales skipper Ben Rohrer admitted to a few nervous moments on Saturday afternoon as his Blues scrambled to a draw against a fast-finishing Tasmania in a wildly fluctuating day's play at Blundstone Arena.
Set 171 to win from 25 overs after dismissing the Tigers for 245 during the final session of play, the Blues made a fast start but were forced to shut up shop as wickets tumbled and hopes of an outright win suddenly turned into fears of defeat.
"We couldn't have left it much later," Rohrer said of his decision to call off the chase.
"We wanted to give Pete Nevill and David Dawson the chance to work it around and get us close and see how we'd finish up, but in the end it was too much."
After bat dominated ball for the first three days in Hobart, 17 wickets tumbled on a chaotic final day.
First the momentum was in favour of the visitors before swinging back wildly towards the home side as Evan Gulbis and Ben Hilfenhaus helped Tasmania pick up eight quick wickets.
"From 25 overs it was doable," Rohrer said.
"The wicket was deteriorating and it was tough to score but we thought if we could put them under a bit of pressure, you never know in these games, but to their credit they bowled really well."
Having posted a 75-run first-innings lead after chasing down Tasmania's 6-425 declared, the Blues appeared content to settle for two points until the game burst to life late in proceedings.
Rohrer defended the decision not to declare behind on the first innings to set up a late chase.
"Not many games go down to the last over like that in a Shield game," he said.
"The way we saw the best possible chance for us to win was to bat further, rather than declare behind. You saw how hard it was to chase 170 off 25 and if you multiply that by two or three, it's almost impossible."
"I don't think we would have had a chance to win if we declared behind and had to make a bigger chase."
Tigers skipper Tim Paine was equally bullish about his side's tactics in posting an imposing first-innings score and expressed his disappointment that NSW had opted against a sporting declaration, citing Tasmania's efforts to keep outright points alive in similar circumstances in Sydney in the first match of the season.
"I wouldn't change the way we approach the game … the facts are if you win the toss and bat you have every right to control the game," he said.
"In the first game of the year we tried to set up a game, it was disappointing they didn't in the end. Fair enough it nearly got a result in the end but I think from day two there was an opportunity there to have a really good game of cricket but they chose not to have it.
"We know in our own minds we were trying to win that game. I spoke to their assistant coach and he said you couldn't have pulled out and you wouldn't have pulled out any earlier than we did in the first innings and nor did we deserve to after winning the toss and taking the gamble to bat.
"We thought we had every right to try and control that game. It was basically put in their hands to see if they wanted to play for six points and I thought it showed they didn't want to."
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 10 February, 2013 9:04AM AEST