Tasmania has finished day 2 in a strong position with Victoria 6/162 at stumps. It leads by 63 runs. Sam Harper is 9 not out and Chris Tremain is 5 not out.
Tasmania had the better of the majority of the day but when Victoria reached 2/119 in its second innings and with conditions for batting looking good it looked like it had taken some control of the game. Peter Handscomb and Marcus Harris were both well set but when Handscomb was bowled by off spinner Beau Webster for 52 Tasmania had the initiative again.
Only nine runs later Marcus Harris who had played particularly well for a score of 60 couldn’t resist a quick bouncer from Riley Meredith and sent the ball sailing towards Gabe Bell at fine leg who took a smart catch. Tasmania had found vital breakthroughs late on a hot and windy day.
For the second time in two days Nic Maddinson impressed with his intuitive ball striking but after being tested out by more quick and short bowling by Riley Meredith he edged a beautifully directed short ball from Jackson Bird to the Tasmanian keeper Jake Doran and was out for 22. At that point Victoria was six wickets down leading by just 51 runs. A position it had marginally improved upon at stumps.
Earlier Tasmania began the day on 5/118 in reply to Victoria’s first innings of 127. It was all out for 226, Matthew Wade top scored with a disciplined and patient innings of 69 off 179 balls, a real captain’s knock. He received very good assistance from his protégé Jake Doran who made 36. Jackson Bird made an attractive and highly valuable 33 coming in at number nine.
That total of 226 gave Tasmania a first innings lead of 99. With more disciplined bowling and the undeniable x factor of Riley Meredith’s pace Tasmania then set about consolidating its position. The fielding was of a high standard throughout a trying afternoon. Meredith and Bird both have two wickets in the Victorian innings so far. Jake Doran has already taken 7 catches in the game with the promise of more to come on day 3.
If Tasmania can win the first session on Saturday it will have a very good chance of securing its first Sheffield Shield win of the season.