The Tasmania allrounder notched his first Sheffield Shield ton to deny NSW a final-day win in Hobart
James Faulkner has rescued Tasmania from what looked like certain Sheffield Shield defeat against NSW on a dramatic final day in Hobart.
The ODI star carved out his maiden Shield century as he batted through more than two sessions at Blundstone Arena on Tuesday, leading the Tigers to a draw by simply standing his ground as NSW's injury count climbed.
Faulkner's maiden Shield ton comes in his 46th match and eight years after he made his debut.
The hosts finished at 4-266, 148 runs short of their target as Faulkner and fellow middle-order batsman Beau Webster (80 not out) irritated the Blues' bowling attack that reached a climax when NSW skipper Moises Henriques was forced from the ground with a side injury.
With eight overs remaining and no sign of a result, Henriques asked Tasmania for their agreement to call it quits but Faulkner, just short of his century, refused.
"I said 'no', and then he injured himself," Faulkner said of the Blues skipper who, a short time later, was halfway through his bowling run-up, turned and hurled the ball into the turf before grabbing his hat and jumper from the umpire and walking off the ground.
"I was trying to keep them out there all day and it's his choice whether he wants to bowl, obviously it's disappointing for him to be injured but that's the game."
Henriques' unexpected exit left his teammates unaware of what was going on, in what Blues assistant coach Geoff Lawson described as a flamboyant exit.
"He's not big on telling you what an injury is, he keeps going, he always takes the more flamboyant way rather than the safe way - he'll bowl rather than say 'that hurts'," Lawson said.
"I'm not quite sure why we were all out there, I think you could call it off with eight overs to go."
In more bad news for NSW, just before Henriques' departure, veteran quick Trent Copeland, who recorded 6-54 in NSW's first innings, ran from the ground after the ball hit the end of his index finger while attempting a catch at slip.
He went straight to hospital with Lawson describing the finger as a "mess".
The Tigers had resumed on the final day at 1-24 needing 391 to win and, despite losing Ben Dunk (15) and skipper George Bailey (35) early, held strong on their home pitch.
It was slow progress on Tuesday with spells of up to six overs without a run scored as Faulkner and Webster built a 185-run partnership.
The pair withstood whatever NSW could muster.
"It was nice to see some fight, some toughness and a bit of pride in fighting the game out," Tasmanian skipper George Bailey said.
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