Bird’s eight tips Tassie to triumph

AN EIGHT-WICKET haul from Jackson Bird led the Tasmanian Tigers to a four-wicket win over Victoria when the two sides locked horns in a Sheffield Shield match that took place over the weekend.

Bird tormented Victoria’s top order, as the right-arm fast-medium bowler claimed four wickets in the opposition’s first and second innings’. On the MCG’s hollowed turf, Bird helped keep Victoria to one of the lowest scores of the season, a trend that appears to be rising in Australian cricket.

After the home side posted just 121 in the first innings, the task became much easier for Tassie, and although the Vics posted a whopping 336 in their second innings, the damage done by the Tigers’ bowling attack earlier in the match was too much, as Tasmania claimed its second win of the 2022/23 season.

Victoria (121 and 336) def. by Tasmanian Tigers (220 and 6/241)

Jackson Bird – 4/13 from 15 overs and 4/54 from 29 overs

Tasmania’s dominance in the first innings was reflective of Bird’s performance; frequent wickets with strong economy.

Bird registered the first wicket of the innings, producing plenty of swing as Travis Dean‘s block was edged straight to slip, kicking things off in style for Tasmania. The 35-year-old also stopped Nic Maddinson from getting any sort of rhythm, claiming his scalp on just one run with the swing drawing the thinnest of edges and the slips behind made no mistake. Bird’s third wicket was another edge, although much of the heavy lifting was done by Beau Webster‘s screamer at second slip. Wicket four of the innings another inswinger, with Will Sutherland‘s block drawing an edge again as the ball sailed through to the keeper to effectively end Victoria’s innings.

Innings number two saw more of the same from Bird. He kicked things off with the first wicket of the innings, delivering a perfect inswinger with plenty of zip to Ashley Chandrasinghe, whose block was ineffective as the ball rocketed into the off stump. Bird continued to get plenty of swing and seam on his deliveries as Victoria played quite defensively. His second scalp came in the 21st over and this time it was pure pace and length that got the job done. A shorter delivery was unexpected by the recipient in Maddinson, and he was forced to block at chest height, and the ball flicked off the pad and was caught by Webster at first slip.

Bird did not take long to get involved again, with Matt Short attempting to hook one of his deliveries, and instead skying the ball which was caught at the bowlers end by Jordan Silk, with Tassie on a real roll. His fourth and final wicket of the innings was a crucial one too, essentially putting an end to Victoria’s chances of posting a significant enough score. Sutherland was slowly getting going, and it was reflected in the team’s total. As he edged closer to 50, Bird struck with a shorter ball, forcing Sutherland to hook down leg side with the shot caught in the outfield.

Despite being 35 years old, the class of Bird has appeared to stick around, and eight wickets against Victoria is a reflection of that.

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