Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
Tigers on top but Redbacks sting late
An all-round bowling performance put Tasmania in control before the Redbacks snared two late wickets
Louis Cameron at Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
19 October 2020, 06:17 PM AEST
A clinical Tasmanian bowling performance ensured South Australia's batting woes continued, but two late strikes will give hope to the Marsh Sheffield Shield hosts that they can similarly exploit a sporting Karen Rolton Oval surface.
The Tigers' fast bowling attack led by Peter Siddle (2-30 from 18 overs, including 11 maidens) and Jackson Bird (2-47 from 19.4) bowled the Redbacks out for 195 on a pitch boasting a healthy tinge of green on the opening day.
The decision by Beau Webster (3-26 from 12 overs) to work on his seam bowling over the winter, in addition to his off breaks, paid off as he took his best figures as a medium pacer.
Prolific paceman Chadd Sayers reclaimed some pride for the home team in trapping Jordan Silk lbw for a four-ball duck, before his new-ball partner Kane Richardson had Alex Doolan caught down the leg-side to leave Tasmania 2-14 at stumps.
Charlie Wakim (eight not out) and nightwatchman Nathan Ellis (yet to face a ball) were the unbeaten batters.
South Australia's struggles with the bat were summed up when captain and Test incumbent Travis Head was run out by Doolan for just two in the opening session after opener Henry Hunt (30) called him through for a tight single.
Their only shining light was a determined half-century from wicketkeeper-batter Harry Nielsen (64), filling in for Alex Carey who remains away on Indian Premier League duties, after only three of the Redbacks' top four reached double digits.
While Nielsen lamented their top-order's inability to push on, he said the late wickets had left SA "right in the game".
"Batting first there is always going to be a little tough period for the first three or four hours of the game," said Nielsen.
"But if you can get through that it can really set you up. Unfortunately for the (top-order) guys they weren't able to do that today.
"We're continuing at looking to improve… We just need to be better for longer."
SA had made a statement on Monday morning by dropping their leading run scorer from last season, Tom Cooper, after he made 5 and 6 in their 205-run defeat to Western Australia last week.
Tasmania possess two of the most skilled fast bowlers in the country in Bird and Siddle but fourth-gamer Nathan Ellis (2-38) proved as much, if not more, of a handful after Head won the toss and elected to bat first.
After Siddle removed first-round century maker Jake Weatherald for four, Ellis struck with just his third ball when Test keeper Tim Paine took a spectacular one-handed diving catch off Brad Davis.
Hunt failed to make up for his mishap with Head as Siddle had him edging behind to give Tasmania four first-session scalps.
Callum Ferguson (29) had marked his return to the SA XI at the expense of Cooper by on-driving his first ball, off Ellis, for four.
But Ellis exacted revenge when a lively post-lunch spell was rewarded by trapping Ferguson on the back pad dead in front of the stumps.
Sayers struck a gritty 30 in a 55-run partnership (the Redbacks' largest) with Nielsen before chopping-on to Webster, who then had Richardson caught at slip.
"It was a bit of justification for bowling up seam ups today, all the hard work during the pre-season," said Webster.
"I don't think I'll ever get to 145 (kph), I'm pretty happy to just do a role for the boys.
"I knew there might be an opportunity to bowl a few more overs than usual. I felt really good today, much better than the first game."
Bird ensured the hosts did not pass 200 as he took an athletic caught-and-bowled off Wes Agar before clean bowling Nielsen, who by that point was swinging hard with only No.11 Lloyd Pope for company.
Both sides are chasing their first wins of the season after losing their opening round games last week.
Tasmania handed a debut to left-arm spinner Tom Andrews against his former state, with speedster Riley Meredith making way, while the Redbacks recalled Australia limited-overs quick Richardson at the expense of Nick Winter.
South Australia XI: Jake Weatherald, Henry Hunt, Brad Davis, Travis Head (c), Callum Ferguson, Harry Nielsen (wk), Liam Scott, Chadd Sayers, Kane Richardson, Wes Agar, Lloyd Pope
Tasmania XI: Jordan Silk, Alex Doolan, Charlie Wakim, Ben McDermott, Jake Doran, Tim Paine (c, wk), Beau Webster, Tom Andrews, Nathan Ellis, Peter Siddle, Jackson Bird