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Paine’s career revived due to Doran illness, Blues rip into Vics, Jake’s ton weathers storm

Tim Paine looked like he had played his last game in the first-class arena after being dropped by Tasmania but he earned a late reprieve.

The former Australian Test captain, who returned this summer after a 12-month absence following the sexting scandal which led to him resigning his post, was made 12th man for the Tigers’ Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia on Thursday morning.

The 35-Test veteran, who turns 38 next week, was however recalled to the side midway through the day.

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Tasmania wicketkeeper Jake Doran left the field feeling unwell after testing positive to COVID-19 so Paine was brought into the game as a substitute wicketkeeper.

Doran had felt fine at the start of play and took an early catch but was replaced by Paine after taking ill. Paine, who will not be allowed to bat, took two neat catches.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 08: Tim Paine of Tasmania looks on during the Marsh One Day Cup match between Western Australia and Tasmania at the WACA on April 08, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Redbacks batters Jake Weatherald and Nathan McSweeney scored centuries to put their side in a solid position at 8-309 after day one, having been sent in to bat by the Tigers at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena.

Weatherald made 100 and McSweeney (118) scored his maiden first class century.

Veteran Tigers paceman Peter Siddle, sporting a peroxide blonde hairstyle, was a constant threat on his way to 4-59 from 25 probing overs.

Weatherald and McSweeney combined for a 149-run stand for the third wicket after Siddle struck early to remove Henry Hunt (one) and Daniel Drew (11).

Left-hander Weatherald struck 16 boundaries, including two sixes, and was particularly savage through the off side in a confident counter-attacking innings.

McSweeney offered sensible support and was an excellent foil for his more aggressive batting partner before upping the ante.

The 23-year-old brought up his century with a sweet on drive from the bowling of spinner Jarrod Freeman.

It was a moment to savour for the former Australia under-19s representative after he was stranded on 99no in March when he hit the winning runs in a five-wicket Shield win over NSW.

The Redbacks were 6-196 just after tea but McSweeney received excellent support from in-form allrounder Benjamin Manenti (30) and Nathan McAndrew (26no).

Weatherald said he was delighted to find form against a class attack.

“This year has been a bit of a struggle for me with the bat so it was good to walk out there and play freely and score some runs,” he said.

“(McSweeney) was able to absorb an amazing amount of pressure … and batted really well.”

Zampa back for Blues as Abbott rips into Victoria

Adam Zampa’s push for a Test ticket to India has started on a positive note, with the NSW legspinner claiming three wickets on day one of the Sheffield Shield clash with Victoria.

Zampa (3-57) and Sean Abbott (4-56) did most of the damage on Thursday as the Blues skittled Victoria for 209.

In reply, NSW were 2-61 at stumps with Jason Sangha (15 not out) and Moises Henriques (5no) at the crease.

Daniel Hughes blasted five boundaries in a quickfire 34 from 28 balls before he was bowled by Fergus O’Neill (1-18).

Fellow opener Kurtis Patterson (seven) didn’t have much of an impact, falling to Will Sutherland (1-9).

Zampa has returned to Shield cricket for the first time since 2019, hoping to stake a claim for a Test call-up for next year’s tour of India.

The 30-year-old white-ball specialist removed Victoria’s top scorers Sutherland and Sam Harper (39 each).

It is Zampa’s first match with a red ball at any level in more than 1000 days.

“I’m pretty curious, to be honest,” Zampa said.

“I feel like my game’s progressed enough to bowl well with the red ball and I was excited.

“It’s nice to be playing for the Blues again, as well.”

Sutherland declared Zampa was the pick of the bowlers on day one.

“He was very accurate and there was something different every ball pretty much,” Sutherland said.

“He was bowling cross-seam leggies, seam-up leggies, wrong’uns which I was struggling to pick at times.

“I was very impressed with his work and hopefully he gets a chance over in India.”

NSW sent their hosts in to bat on a green Junction Oval pitch and the decision paid dividends when they reduced Victoria to 4-61 by lunch.

Abbott struck early, removing opener Ashley Chandrasinghe for a nine-ball duck and getting rid of the dangerous Nic Maddinson (13).

Mickey Edwards (1-32) dismissed out-of-sorts opener Travis Dean (18) and Henriques (1-11) struck a huge blow when he removed in-form Victoria captain Peter Handscomb (18) moments before lunch.

The tail wagged a little for Victoria, with second-gamer Sam Elliott (21) and Jon Holland (12 not out) ensuring their side’s tally went past 200.

“We’re probably reasonably happy in the end,” Sutherland said.

“We would’ve liked to bowl first but we can’t win a toss at the moment and we got sent in again.

“But if you had’ve told us we’d scrape to 210 batting first at the start of the day, maybe we would’ve taken it.”

Last-placed NSW are playing their first Shield match under caretaker coach Greg Shipperd after Phil Jaques was axed this week.

The decision came on the back of the Blues’ worst start to a Shield season in 14 years.

Rain delays Gabba showdown

Rain has washed out the first day of the Sheffield Shield clash between Queensland and Western Australia at the Gabba.

Play was abandoned after the scheduled tea break when it became clear the persistent rain that fell all day on Thursday in Brisbane was not going away.

The forecast is better for the final three days of the match.

The clash between the third-placed Bulls and top-of-the-table Western Australia is of particular importance for the hosts, with the top two playing in the final at the end of the season.

Midway through the competition, defending champions WA have asserted themselves as the early favourites after winning four of their opening five games to be on 31.85 points.

Tasmania are second on 20.54 with the Bulls just behind on 20.42.

There is a sizeable gap to fourth-placed Victoria on 9.31 points.

Queensland lost by three wickets to Western Australia in October in Perth, the only defeat they have suffered this season.

Asalanka sizzles as Sri Lanka edge out Afghans

Sri Lanka have completed their highest successful run chase ever at home to square the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan at the Pallekele International Stadium.

Set a target of 314 to win on Wednesday, Sri Lanka got home with two balls and four wickets in hand as Charith Asalanka starred with an unbeaten 83 off 72 balls, with five fours and four sixes, in response to a record-breaking knock of 162 by Afghanistan’s opener Ibrahim Zadran.

Sri Lanka were in trouble after Rashid Khan ran through the middle order, claiming 4-37. Three of those dismissals were batsmen failing to read the googly and all three were bowled through the gate.

But Asalanka, battling through cramps, fought back and was well-supported by Dunith Wellalage as they added 65 off 39 deliveries for the seventh wicket to complete the run chase.

The hosts needed 13 runs off the last over. Wellalage pulled the first ball bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqui for six although Rashid Khan at deep mid-wicket nearly completed the catch.

Wellalage got a single off the third ball and then Asalanka sealed the game with a six off the fourth delivery, much to the delight of the packed stadium.

“It’s my best knock in Sri Lanka colours,” Asalanka said. “We knew that Rashid Khan was the key so we had to take fewer risks against him. Dunith Wellalage was brilliant tonight. To show composure under pressure was so good to see.”

Zadran had earlier rewritten the history books for Afghanistan with a career-best knock before being dismissed in the last ball of the innings.

The 20-year-old posted the highest score by an Afghan player in ODIs, surpassing Mohammad Shahzad’s 131 made in 2015 against Zimbabwe in Sharjah. 

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