Tasmanian fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus sent selectors a timely pre-Ashes reminder by knocking Australian captain Michael Clarke's off-stump out of the ground on Day 3 of the Sheffield Shield clash at Blacktown.
Some might say claiming the skipper's wicket isn't the smartest career move, but for Hilfenhaus the prized scalp of Clarke for just 7 can only boost his hopes of a Test recall.
Despite Clarke's cheap exit, NSW are in the box seat to win the Shield opener, with conditions only going to get tougher for the chasing Tasmanians on day four.
At stumps, Tasmania are 1-18, trailing by 276 runs after being set a challenging target of 295 to win.
Test hopeful Josh Hazlewood claimed the key wicket of Ed Cowan, the type of batsman capable of sticking around in tough conditions.
Cowan was nabbed by a brilliant catch at gully by a flying Nic Maddinson to go for 4 leaving Ben Dunk (12 not out) and Alex Doolan (0no) with a big task on Saturday.
NSW were bowled out for 245 from 72 overs in their second innings, with Australian middle-order batsman Steve Smith starring with 63 and Scott Henry chipping in with 65.
After Tasmania's initial 239 left them with a 49-run first-innings deficit, Smith played a steady hand to hammer home an advantage for NSW in slow conditions.
Hilfenhaus finished with figures of 2-42 off 14 overs, with his delivery to dismiss Clarke a beauty, nipping back nicely to take off.
The right-arm quick had a brilliant run two summers ago against India, but struggled a little last year and hasn't played a Test since December.
However, given the injury problems plaguing Australia's quicks, Hilfenhaus will be in contention to face England throughout the summer if he performs well.
NSW quick Doug Bollinger was another to put his hand up, taking 6-62 in the Tigers' first dig.
Meanwhile, after exploding out of the blocks for NSW in the domestic one-day competition, David Warner failed to make an impact in the Shield opener.
Warner was out for 15, trapped lbw by impressive youngster Sam Rainbird on day three.
The fiery left-hander made three hundreds for NSW in a stellar one-day exhibition last month, but he's struggled in his first outing of the summer facing the red ball, also falling cheaply for 21 in the first innings.
The Australian run-scorer wasn't happy with his lbw decision, adamant he hit the ball.
Tasmanian spinner Clive Rose took 4-64 and Evan Gulbis took 3-56.
Meanwhile, Victoria's Cameron White has continued his flying start to the domestic cricket season with his second half-century against Western Australia.
White, named the player of the recent state one-day tournament, followed his classy first-innings 83 with an aggressive 61 before the Bushrangers declared at 8-338 in Friday's final session at the MCG.
WA, left chasing an unlikely victory target of 381, were 0-13 at stumps, with a day to play.
WA openers Marcus North and Cameron Bancroft survived a fiery spell by Test quick Peter Siddle to end the day, with Bancroft struck on the helmet.
Earlier, opener Rob Quiney top-scored with 89 for the Bushrangers, his highest Shield score since he failed in his only two Tests against South Africa last November.
Test opener Chris Rogers continued his build-up to the Ashes with a solid 42 and No.3 Peter Handscomb notched 59 to set a platform.
Once Handscomb and Quiney fell, to leave Victoria 3-212, White quickly set about boosting the scoring rate.
His innings included three sixes, one a huge hit over long-off from the bowling of left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, which finished several rows back.
He fell caught behind, advancing down the pitch to Nathan Rimmington, with wickets then tumbling as Victoria's lower order chased runs wildly.
Michael Hogan and Rimmington each finished with three wickets.
And, a fighting ton by Peter Forrest delivered Queensland first innings points against South Australia in Adelaide.
The Bulls were 7-400 at stumps on Friday, with Forrest compiling 129 and Chris Hartley making 89.
The pair put on a 194-run partnership to help the Bulls surpass SA's first innings total of 387 all out.
SA captain Johan Botha troubled the Bulls, claiming four victims, and 21-year-old legspinner Adam Zampa took two late wickets.
Botha (4-103 from 47 overs) ended a painstaking knock from opener Nathan Reardon, who made 67 from 203 balls.
Reardon prodded forward defensively to the offspinner before lunch and was smartly caught by Tom Cooper moving low at short point.
But the Redbacks had to wait another 70 overs before taking another wicket as Forrest and Hartley patiently set about their task.
Forrest battled stomach illness which has affected four of his teammates, and frequently was on his haunches between deliveries and at breaks in overs.
But his concentration didn't waver despite suffering an illness which caused his captain James Hopes to be a late withdrawal and also hampered Hartley, Greg Moller and Ben Cutting.
Forrest and Hartley scored a tick more than two and half runs an over before Forrest's gallant knock finished nine overs before stumps, when he was caught at slip by Michael Klinger when trying a back-cut from Zampa (2-84).