Rainbird 'didn't feel great' before record-breaking spell

The 29-year-old left-armer describes his performance that produced Tasmania's best first-class bowling figures as one of those days where 'luckily, things happened for me'

Sam Rainbird seems as surprised as anyone about yesterday's record-breaking bowling spell.

Asked after play on day one what had spurred his phenomenal 8-21 from 14.5 overs that broke a Tasmanian record that had stood for 164 years, the left-armer responded: "Today was one of those days where things happened for me, luckily".

The 29-year-old – who has played just three of Tasmania's eight Marsh Sheffield Shield matches this summer – also counts himself fortunate to be in the Tigers' side.

Rainbird was left out of Tasmania's shattering two-wicket loss to Victoria last week as selectors opted for two spinners on a drier Junction Oval surface.

But with conditions at Blundstone Arena generally favouring the quicks and veteran Peter Siddle rested for what looms as their final match of the season, Rainbird was recalled alongside Gabe Bell and the pair took all 10 Queensland wickets inside the first 41 overs.

"It's just cricket isn't it," Rainbird said after stumps on Wednesday.

Image Id: 98D4D43F5C8548C1A29CFD0AA2945BD6 Image Caption: Sam Rainbird has the best bowling figures for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield // Getty

"Sometimes you don't bowl great and you get wickets or sometimes you bowl OK and it just kind of happens for you.

"I didn't feel that great in the warm-up this morning.

"Which I think happens, Sidds (Siddle) was saying they're the days that you bowl the best because sometimes you have to think more.

"It's pretty surreal, I was just sitting there with the guys and it still hasn't really sunk in that it happened.

"(With) cricket, you have more bad days than you have good days so when you have a good day like today it's really nice to take it in.

"Well done to Beau (Webster) for winning the toss and getting us in that position, (it was) a perfect day for us."

Rainbird's eight-wicket haul was the best performance produced by a Tasmanian bowler in the history of first-class cricket, eclipsing William Brown's 8-31 against Victoria in March 1858.

It was also the state's best return since they were accepted into the Sheffield Shield competition in 1977-78, breaking Peter Clough's 38-year-old record of 8-95 against Western Australia in Launceston in 1984.

Tigers dominate day one after Rainbird's brilliance

It was also the 16th best bowling performance in a single innings in the 129-year history of the Sheffield Shield and the competition's most economical eight-wicket haul.

Rainbird, who is Tasmania's seventh leading Sheffield Shield wicket-taker of all time, said he used the familiar, bowler-friendly conditions at Blundstone Arena to his advantage with his local knowledge of the slope towards the Ricky Ponting Stand aiding his swing.

It was also the same pitch on which NSW were bowled out for 32 a year ago, when Jackson Bird claimed 7-18, now the third best figures for Tasmania in the Shield competition.

"Conditions were a bit different and probably suited other players (against Victoria last week), that's why I didn't get picked and then it was really nice to come back in here, I haven't played many games (at Blundstone Arena) in the last two years," Rainbird said.

"Playing a lot of cricket here we know that the pitches on this side of the square have a little bit more slope than the other side of the square so if it swings, it goes a bit with the slope.

"It's not a massive slope but we know that they play maybe a little differently, (but) I thought the wicket was really good and I think it will play out really well the next couple of days."

Bell (2-29) took the other two Queensland wickets to fall, bringing up his 100th first-class scalp in the process.

"(It's) really special for Belly, he's probably had a tough year, he's been in and out the last few years with Sidds coming down but he's shown he's a really good Sheffield Shield bowler and I reckon he can keep going and get another 100 wickets as well," Rainbird said.