Tasmania 172 and 1 for 180 (Doolan 107, Doran 35, Siddle 1-36) lead Victoria 144 (Harris 86, Christian 35, Rogers 4-21, Bell 4-38) by 208 runs
Tasmania rattled through Victoria’s lower order and forged into a strong lead through the efforts of former Test batting pair Alex Doolan and George Bailey on day two of the Sheffield Shield match at the MCG.
Fuelled by a pair of four-wicket hauls to Gabe Bell and Thomas Rogers, the Tigers are in position to win their first outright points of the season after a pair of hefty losses to Western Australia and Queensland in the opening two rounds.
In pursuit of the Tigers’ first-innings 172, the hosts seemed reasonably positioned at 4 for 134 with Marcus Harris and Daniel Christian in occupation. However, Harris’ exit for 86 signalled a shattering collapse, as the last six wickets went down for a mere 10 runs. Earlier, Victoria had lost their first four for 25, but were resuscitated to an extent by the century stand between Harris and Christian.
The Tigers’ reply began steadily as Doolan found help from the erstwhile out-of-touch Jake Doran. Doran, who had been dropped after the first two Shield rounds, was parachuted into the match as a concussion substitute after Jordan Silk suffered delayed effects from being struck on the helmet by a Peter Siddle bouncer on day one. Cricket Australia recorded a marked increase in concussions this year when releasing their annual study of injury statistics, though this was partly attributed to greater awareness of the issue. The move to introduce concussion subs in the Sheffield Shield was formalised in August, after the ICC cleared the change while allowing the tournament to retain its first-class status.
Upon Doran’s dismissal it was the captain, Bailey, who provided accompaniment to thoroughly frustrate the Bushrangers. Neither Doolan nor Bailey, both of whom played for Australia’s Test side over the 12 months from November 2013 to October of the following year, are in serious contention for selection in this year’s Ashes series.