Tasmania 179 for 4 (Webster 69*, Doran 68*) trails New South Wales 181 (Davies 67, Henriques 50, Bell 4-29) by two runs
Webster and Doran were unbeaten on 68 each at stumps on the first day after scoring 131 for the fifth wicket to snatch the momentum from New South Wales on a hectic first day that featured 14 wickets.
Second-place Tasmania in the Shield standings scored 179 for 4 at stumps in response to NSW’s 181 after the home team won the toss in overcast conditions at Bellerive Oval.
The home team had fallen to 48 for 4 before Webster and Doran first weakened the visitors’ counter-attack and then put Tasmania in a strong position.
It is Webster’s sixth Shield half-century this summer and he has the third-highest run total in the competition, with 453 in five matches at an average of 47.68.
He also took two wickets as New South Wales never fully recovered from their disastrous start. After Ryan Hackney was dismissed in the first over of the game, a misjudged third run cost No.3 Blake Macdonald his wicket thanks to clever fielding from Brad Hope and Jordan Silk.
But when Webster caught Davies to give Lawrence Neil-Smith his third wicket, NSW scored 165 for 8. Bell took 4 for 29 and Neil-Smith took 3 for 57, with NSW’s innings ending in just 42 overs.
That left Tasmanian four down and on the brink before Webster and Doran ensured day one belonged to the home team.