Opening batsman Ben Dunk has steadied the ship for Tasmania, a half-century helping his side to 2-115 at stumps on day one against Victoria in the Sheffield Shield.
At Bellerive Oval on Thursday the visitors were all out for 165 on a seaming pitch and the Tigers came to the middle after tea looking like they would face a similar quick demise.
Fellow opener Tim Paine (two), selected for the Tigers XI after an unbeaten 172 in local cricket, was gone in the third over.
And No.3 batsman Beau Webster (seven) didn’t last long.
Both fell victim to Chris Tremain (2-26).
But Dunk (78 not out) stood strong, carving out his 50 from 63 balls with support from Alex Doolan (26 not out) during an unbeaten 87-run partnership.
The left-hander admitted the pair worked hard to see out the day as cloud cover lifted over a hardening pitch and Victoria’s bowlers picked up.
“They bowled well in that last hour to both Alex and I and it was really challenging to try and get through,” Dunk said.
He directed praise for Tassie’s day-one stronghold toward the side’s bowlers.
The Tigers earlier won the toss and sent the competition-leaders in to bat first on the green deck.
Victoria’s scorecard told a sorry tale, with No.8 Tremain (28) top scoring for the visitors.
He was also the only batsman from his side to spend more than an hour at the crease, with most dismissed cheaply.
Spinner Beau Webster (3-18) was the pick of Tassie’s bowlers while Hamish Kingston (3-40) also proved destructive.
At the end of day one, Tremain didn’t seem too worried by the state of play.
“It wasn’t a great start with the bat but these games, there’s two innings … we’ve got plenty of time to turn it around,” he said.
Sitting last on the ladder, the Tigers are desperate to notch up a second win this season.