Former Test paceman Jackson Bird has wreaked havoc in the Sheffield Shield on Sunday morning, claiming three wickets before New South Wales had even registered a run in Hobart.
After Tasmania recorded 333 in the first innings, the Blues top order crumbled to 3/0 at Blundstone Arena, with Bird the chief destroyer.
As revealed by Wide World of Sports reporter Brett Graham, it was the first time New South Wales had lost their first three wickets for no runs in Sheffield Shield history, dating back to 1892.
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The 34-year-old removed New South Wales opener Daniel Hughes with his fourth delivery of the innings, trapping the left-hander in front LBW — it was his 300th first-class wicket for Tasmania.
Bird then knocked over Blues No. 3 Daniel Solway two balls later in identical fashion, the right-hander making his way back to the sheds for a duck.
The seam bowler’s demolition continued in his next over, finding the inside edge of former Test batsman Kurtis Patterson’s bat — gloveman Tim Paine accepted the regulation catch.
Jackson Bird is having a bit of a morning#SheffieldShield
“Just get through the new ball”
My team: #SheffieldShieldpic.twitter.com/LJNZUYplMh
Jackson Bird, in starting the day on 299 #SheffieldShield wickets, crashes through the 300-wicket milestone, past Tony Lock (302), and joins Craig McDermott on 303 wickets.
After veteran paceman Peter Siddle chimed in on the action, Bird removed Blues opener Nick Larkin to leave New South Wales reeling at 5/13, with Mitchell Starc the new batsman in the middle.
After six overs, Bird boasted bowling figures of 4/9 including four maidens.
The last of Bird’s nine Test matches came during the 2017/18 Ashes series, where England opener Alastair Cook feasted on Australia’s bowling attack on a flat MCG deck.
He has claimed 34 wickets in international cricket, averaging 30.64 with the ball.
Bird is currently Tasmania’s highest wicket-taker in Sheffield Shield history, with 302 scalps at a remarkable average of 21.47.
Jackson Bird celebrates his half century.Source:Getty Images
Earlier on Sunday morning, Bird mustered his highest score in first-class cricket, cracking 54 in an entertaining cameo that featured five boundaries and two sixes.
Australian captain Tim Paine top-scored for the Tigers, accumulating 87 before Blues veteran Trent Copeland trapped him in front LBW.
New South Wales seamers Mitchell Starc, Harry Conway and Copeland finished with three wickets each.
“I haven’t played in a Shield final yet, I’d love to help the boys get there and take part and hopefully be a part of the group to win the Shield,” Starc told cricket.com.au on Saturday.
“That was my first intention. I’ve played three formats for a long time, and I find my game plan doesn’t change too much across the formats but still, Shield and Test match cricket is the pinnacle for me.”
The Blues are 5/17 and still trailing by 316 runs at lunch on day two, with wicketkeeper Peter Nevill not out on four.
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