Sheffield Shield 2022-23 – Jackson Bird and Peter Siddle leave Victoria with a rope

Victoria 121 and 7 for 162 (Bird 4-19). Tasmania 220 (Doran 85) 63 runs

Former Tests Jackson Bird and Peter Siddle once again tore through Victoria’s top order to put Tasmania firmly in control of the Sheffield Shield competition.

The veteran pair shared seven first-innings wickets and were backed by figures of 4 for 19 and 33 for 2 respectively in Victoria’s second innings at the MCG on Friday to restrict the hosts to 7 for 162.

Victoria led by 63 at stumps on day two after Jake Doran (85) dug in with the bat to guide Tasmania to a strong position earlier.

“The wicket suited our bowling attack very well, but it gave [Bird and Siddle] credit, they’re two world-class bowlers,” Doran said. “Those two came in and opened the bowling … that was good.”\

Bird was outstanding with match figures of 31 to 8 for 32, including 16 maidens.

“He played really well and it’s great to see him,” Doran said. “He puts in a lot of work and practices a lot and does that every season. He comes back and produces for us and [in this match] reaped its rewards.”

Victoria faces a formidable task to tackle on Saturday as they claim their first win of the Shield season.

Sam Harper (24 not out) will continue at the crease with debutant Sam Elliott after taking the wicket of Will Sutherland (44) late on the second day.

“You want to reach [a lead of] triple digits. Anything below that and it’s quite a challenge,” said stand-in captain Nic Maddinson. “But the wicket is still moving, especially with the new ball, if we can get to 100 [we’re a chance].

“We’ve got two guys that can hit and they can score quickly once they come in. If we can get to triple figures, at least we can attack with the new ball and keep the catchers in and you’d never know it.”

Doran defied bowler-friendly conditions on the green deck and became the only batsman to cross 50 in the match, but fell short of his fourth first-class century.

The left-hander was the last man in Tasmania’s first innings of 220 in reply to Victoria’s paltry 121.

Right-arm quick Elliott, son of former Test batsman Matthew Elliott, impressed on debut for Victoria, claiming 3 for 45.