Victoria 7 (Bird 4-19) lead at 121 and 162 Tasmania 220 (Duran 85) by 63 runs
The experienced duo took 4 for 19 and 2 for 33 respectively in Victoria’s second innings at the MCG on Friday to restrict the hosts to 7 for 162.
“The wicket was very good for our bowling attack but gave away. [Bird and Siddle] Credit, they’re two world-class bowlers,” Duran said. “They both came in and opened the bowling … it was great.”\
Bird was outstanding with match figures of 8 for 32 from 31 overs, including 16 maidens.
“He’s bowled really well and it’s good to see,” Doran said. “He works a lot and works hard and does it every season. He comes back and prepares for us and [in this match] He has reaped the rewards.”
Victoria face a monumental task to fight back on Saturday as they chase their first Shield win of the season.
Sam Harper (24 not out) will resume with debutant Sam Elliott at the crease after Will Sutherland (44) threw away his wicket late on day two.
“You want to go? [a lead of] Triple figures. Anything under that and it’s quite challenging,” said stand-in captain Nick Maddison. “But the wicket is still spinning, especially with the new ball, so if we can get to 100 [we’re a chance].
“We’ve got two guys who can bat and score quickly once they come in. If we can get to triple figures, at least we can attack with the new ball and get the catchers. You can keep it in and you’ll never know.”
Duran defied bowler-friendly conditions on the green deck to become the only batsman to score a 50 in the match but fell short of what would have been his fourth first-class century.
The left-hander was the last man out in Tasmania’s first innings of 220 in reply to Victoria’s paltry 121.
Right-arm quick Elliott, son of former Test batsman Matthew Elliott, impressed on debut for Victoria, taking 3 for 45.