Tigers have Vics on ropes in Shield clash

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

The veteran pair shared seven first inning wickets and backed with numbers of 4-19 and 2-33 respectively in the Vics’ second dig at the MCG on Friday, limiting the hosts to 7-162.

Victoria has a 63 lead over the stumps on day two, after Jake Doran (85) earlier dug in with the bat to lead Tasmania from a strong position.

“The wicket suited our bowling offense very well, but give credit to (Bird and Siddle) they are two world-class bowlers,” Doran said.

“These two who came in and opened the bowling alley…it was very good.”

Bird was outstanding with match numbers of 8-32 from 31 overs, including 16 maidens.

“He’s playing really well and it’s good to see,” Doran said.

“He works a lot and trains very hard and does it every season.

“He’s coming back and producing for us and (in this game) he’s reaped the rewards.”

Victoria faces a monumental task to fight back on Saturday as she chases her first Shield victory of the season.

Sam Harper (24 not out) will resume at the crease with debutant Sam Elliott (7no) after Will Sutherland (44) threw in his wicket late on day two.

“You want to reach (a lead of) triple digits. Anything below that and that’s pretty tough,” substitute captain Nic Maddinson said.

“But with the wicket still moving, especially with the new ball, so if we can get to 100 (we have a chance).

“We have two guys who can punch and can score quickly once they’re in.

“If we can get to triple the numbers, at least we can attack with the new ball and keep the seekers and you never know.”

Doran defied bowler-friendly conditions on a green deck to be the only batsman in the game to pass 50, but fell short of what would have been his fourth first-class century.

The southpaw was the last absentee in Tasmania’s opening round of 220, responding to Victoria’s paltry 121.

Speedy right-hand man Elliott, the son of former Test batsman Matthew Elliot, impressed on his debut for Victoria and won 3-45 in the Tigers’ opening innings.

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