Ben Dunk and Tim Paine have lifted Tasmania towards a competitive first innings total in the Sheffield Shield match against NSW.

Glovemen Ben Dunk and Tim Paine dug Tasmania out of a hole as their side reached 6-299 on day one of the Sheffield Shield match against NSW at Bellerive.

Dunk came to the island state to be former Test keeper Paine’s understudy but the duo combined to put on 143 for the fifth wicket after coming together at 4-118.

The former Queenslander hit 14 boundaries in his 89, while Paine cracked 10 fours and six in his 78.

Dunk has proved the perfect fix-it man for a Tigers outfit disrupted by international duty for George Bailey and James Faulkner.

The 26-year-old notched his fifth half-century in four Shield games this season before he chopped Gurinder Sandhu (2-66) on at 5-261.

Paine looked set to post just his second first class ton but cut a Trent Copeland (1-41) ball straight to Abbott at point with the score 6-283.

“We’ve worked a lot together, obviously the two keepers spend a lot of time (together) at training, so it’s quite easy to pick up each other’s cues,” Dunk said.

“Unfortunately we went to sleep there for five minutes.”

Paine had fought a rugged battle with Bollinger, who struck the former Test gloveman and had him nicking through the slips twice with the second new ball.

The Tasmanian replied with three straight pull shots for a six and two boundaries before surrendering meekly to Copeland.

A fired-up Bollinger (1-72) continued his good form but with little luck.

“I think I’ve bowled fast in every set that I’ve bowled and I’m trying to get up the batters, which is good to have,” he said.

Young gun Jordan Silk (14) could not continue the form that has earned him two hundreds this season, while former Test opener Ed Cowan made 25.

The Tigers lost Mark Cosgrove (31) and Alex Doolan (30) in quick succession after lunch to be 4-118.

Luke Butterworth will resume on 15 and Evan Gulbis seven.

Sean Abbott (2-56) and Sandhu (2-66) bagged two wickets apiece for the Blues.