Matador Cup preview: Tasmania | cricket.com.au

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Matador Cup preview: Tasmania

We're previewing each of the sides in the lead-up to the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, with a new-look Tigers squad today's focus

Tasmania

The squad: Tim Paine (c), Xavier Doherty (vc), Ben Dunk, Dominic Michael, Alex Doolan, Jake Doran, Ben McDermott, Beau Webster, Simon Milenko, Hamish Kingston, Cameron Stevenson, Jackson Bird, Andrew Fekete, Cameron Boyce. Coach: Dan Marsh.

Possible starting XI: Paine, Dunk, Webster, Doolan, Michael, Doran, Milenko, Doherty, Boyce, Bird, Fekete.

Who they're missing: George Bailey is the only Tasmanian in Australia’s squad for their Qantas ODI Tour of South Africa after a calf strain sidelined James Faulkner from that series. Depending on how his recovery progresses, Faulkner could make an appearance for the Tigers towards the back-end of the tournament. Promising batsman Jordan Silk is a notable omission from Tasmania’s squad while young left-arm paceman Sam Rainbird also missed the cut.

Matador Cup: Full schedule

The inside word, with Test seamer Jackson Bird: “We’ve got the squad that can challenge in the Matador Cup and in the (Sheffield) Shield this year, it’s just a matter of being more consistent with our performances. We’ve added well to our squad; we’ve picked up Cameron Boyce who’s obviously a quality spinner from Queensland. Simon Milenko is also another good allrounder, (who’s) from Queensland as well. We’re really looking forward to seeing how those (new) guys go but some of our senior players are in really good form going into the season as well. Alex Doolan is hitting the ball as well as I’ve ever seen and Beau Webster is going from strength to strength. It’s going to be a big year for those guys and I’m looking forward to seeing how the younger guys go as well.

Bird flies through India A in Brisbane

The talking point: Can Tasmania, a side that consistently punches above their weight in domestic cricket, turn around their fortunes in the 50-over format? The men from the Apple Isle have failed to crack a top-half finish in the domestic one-day competition in its past four editions. The absence of Bailey and Faulkner puts the onus on the likes of skipper Tim Paine, former Test No.3 Doolan and the explosive Ben Dunk to step up with runs for the Tigers. In the bowling department, Paine’s deputy Xavier Doherty will be vital through the middle-overs while Bird will be out to do some damage with the new ball, after a self-described “disappointing” individual 2015 Matador campaign.

The 2015 result: Fourth. A resounding opening win over Queensland was quickly forgotten after the Cricket Australia XI, fresh off successive thrashings at the hands of NSW and Victoria, recorded the upset of the tournament when they prevailed over Tasmania in a thriller. Dunk was excellent with the bat in last year’s tournament, passing 50 on four occasions in six hits, including an unbeaten century against the Bulls, while Paine and Dom Michael also notched tons. But pacemen Andrew Fekete, who added just two wickets to his tournament tally after claiming four scalps in the Tigers’ first game against Queensland, and Bird struggled to make an impact in what was overall a middling performance for the side.

CA XI win maiden match

The young gun: Webster’s breakout Sheffield Shield campaign was rewarded by his selection for Australia A and the tall allrounder can now put his white-ball skills on show. Webster showed why the Tigers rate him so highly when he notched his maiden first-class century against a Victoria attack featuring James Pattinson and Peter Siddle in February. And patient innings of 30 and 79 against a high-quality India A attack earlier this month, including a pull-shot that brought back memories of fellow Tasmanian Ricky Ponting, underlined Webster’s potential. The 22-year-old, who’s yet to make his List A debut, now has the chance to demonstrate his abilities in the 50-over format both with the bat and with his off-spinners.

Webster's delightful pull shot in Brisbane

The pressure on: Cameron Boyce. After the rise of fellow leg-spinner Mitch Swepson largely confined him to Queensland’s Toyota Futures League side last summer, Boyce admitted he’s hoping to "prove a few people wrong" with his move south. He’ll have the perfect opportunity to do just that when Boyce’s new side takes on his former one in their tournament opener. Tasmania snapped up Boyce, who’s represented Australia seven times in Twenty20 Internationals, over the off-season after playing in the past three KFC Big Bash League campaigns for the Hobart Hurricanes. And should Tasmania opt to play him alongside another productive Australia white-ball spinner, Xavier Doherty, the Tigers could roll out one of the most potent slow-bowling partnerships in the competition.

Boyce bags four in Mackay

The fixtures:


October 3 v Queensland, Allan Border Field, Brisbane

October 5 v CA XI, Allan Border Field, Brisbane

October 9 v NSW, Hurstville Oval, Sydney

October 13 v Victoria, North Sydney Oval, Sydney

October 15 v Western Australia, North Sydney Oval, Sydney

October 19 v South Australia, Hurstville Oval, Sydney 

2016 Matador BBQs One-Day Cup - broadcast matches:

Oct 5: SA v Vic, WACA Ground.

Oct 6: WA v Qld, WACA Ground.

Oct 7: NSW v CA XI, Hurstville Oval (free live stream on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App only).

Oct 8: WA v Vic, WACA Ground.

Oct 9: NSW v Tas, Hurstville Oval (free live stream on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App only).

Oct 9: QLD v SA, WACA Ground.

Oct 12: SA v NSW, Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 13: Vic v Tas, North Sydney Oval.

Oct 14: Qld v NSW (D/N), Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 15: Tas v WA, North Sydney Oval.

Oct 16: NSW v Vic (D/N), North Sydney Oval.

Oct 18: Vic v Qld, Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 19: NSW v WA, North Sydney Oval.

Oct 21: Qualifying final, (D/N), Drummoyne Oval.

Oct 23: Final, North Sydney Oval.

All broadcast matches will be shown live and free on GEM, except for the final, which will be shown live and free on Channel Nine. Matches broadcast on the Nine Network can also be live streamed on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App with a CA Live Pass.

Meg Lanning Steve Smith