Travis Head leads from the front with 171* to secure South Australia draw

South Australia 195 (Nielsen 64) and 5 for 347 (Head 171*) drew with Tasmania 8 for 493 dec (Doran 112, Paine 111, McDermott 90, Wakim 83)

Travis Head batted throughout the final day against Tasmania, in front of his Test captain Tim Paine, to salvage a draw for South Australia after they were in danger of starting their Sheffield Shield season to back-to-back heavy defeats.

Head finished unbeaten on 171 when he shook hands with Paine in the final session having taken his team to safety alongside young allrounder Liam Scott. Jackson Bird had put life back into Tasmania’s victory push with two wickets in an over when South Australia still trailed by 40 in mid-afternoon.

However Head, who was among the more culpable of batsmen on the final day against Western Australia when South Australia could not save the game, flashing a top edge after reaching a half-century, stood firm as new Redbacks coach Jason Gillespie watched on having completed his quarantine earlier in the match.

South Australia lost just one wicket in the first half of the day as Head resumed his rescue mission which had begun the previous evening. Peter Siddle produced an excellent delivery to clip Henry Hunt’s off stump before the experienced duo of Head and Callum Ferguson joined forces in a fourth-wicket stand of 129 which spanned 40 overs during which Head reached his century from 120 deliveries – a good clip given the match-saving scenario.

Then, however, Ferguson played around a full delivery from Bird who followed up in a lively over by having Harry Nielsen caught behind to leave South Australia on 5 for 258. Head and Scott, who is highly regarded, got through to tea and the Redbacks’ tensions started to ease when they wiped out the deficit. Nathan Ellis produced a sharp late spell to try and crack things open for Tasmania but it was not to be.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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