Tasmania 4 for 149 (Silk 64*) lead New South Wales 64 (Bird 4-14, Siddle 3-17) by 85 runs
It’s been a tick over five years since Australia was shot out for 60 in a vital Ashes Test match at Trent Bridge, and no fewer than three members of the New South Wales batting line-up could have been forgiven for suffering from flashbacks as they experienced a similar fate against Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield, rolled for 64 on another surface that did just enough.
The Blues captain Peter Nevill, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon were all a part of both processions, the first largely inflicted by Stuart Board but this one ring-led by an omitted member of that same 2015 Ashes touring party, Peter Siddle, with plenty of help from Jackson Bird, Gabe Bell and Riley Meredith.
Their deconstruction of the batting line-up was so complete that New South Wales registered the third lowest total in their storied Shield history, better only than tallies of 56 in Perth in 1998 and 53, also against Tasmania, in Hobart in 2007.
Given Tasmania’s recent reluctance to field a specialist spin bowler, the pitch at Gladys Elphick Park was ideal for them, and after their captain Matthew Wade won the toss it was not long before the new ball was talking in Siddle’s experienced hands.
Daniel Hughes can scarcely have been dismissed by a better ball, seaming away after angling into him from around the wicket, setting the scene for Bird to coax an edged drive from Nick Larkin and have Kurtis Patterson driving too soon at a fullish delivery for a catch to cover.
A score of 3 for 15 was troublesome though not irredeemable, depending on how the Tigers followed up their early overs. Enter Bell, who moved the ball nicely away from Daniel Solway then provoke fatal indecision from Moises Henriques, before Nevill – incidentally the top scorer in Nottingham five years ago with 13 – snicked Siddle into what was by now an ample slips cordon.
Mitchell Starc blustered his way to 18, at least getting the Blues to 50, before he too edged to one of the catching men, and Trent Copeland then Lyon did likewise before Sean Abbott skied a catch to Tim Paine to have the Tasmanians padding up for a bat a matter of minutes after lunch.
In a further mirror of 2015, the Tigers’ response was far less calamitous, as Jordan Silk dropped anchor with a series of cameos at the other end. By stumps Tasmania were 85 runs in credit with six wickets in hand, even if Starc, Copeland, Abbott, Lyon and Harry Conway made them toil at little more than two runs an over.
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