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Siddle impresses as Vics take Shield lead

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016 Michael Ramsey

Test hopeful Peter Siddle has helped Victoria dismantle Tasmania's batting order on a rain-interrupted second day of their Sheffield Shield clash at the MCG.

Siddle finished a short but sharp spell in his return to first-class cricket with 1-17 off 10 overs as Tasmania went to stumps on Wednesday at 4-93, trailing Victoria's first innings total by 322 runs.

With play interrupted by hours of rain earlier in the day, the players remained on the field until 10.30pm, with George Bailey 25 not out and James Faulkner unbeaten on 14.

Victoria's bowlers struck early, with opener Caleb Jewell trapped LBW by Chris Tremain in the fourth over of the innings to leave Tasmania 1-4.

Tremain struck again after the dinner break, dismissing Ben Dunk for 11 to finish with 2-36 off 13 overs.

Siddle's breakthrough came in the 22nd over, with Beau Webster (20) making the disastrous decision to leave a sharp delivery which nipped back and hit off stump, while Alex Doolan (21) was given out LBW to Dan Christian.

It was a solid return for Siddle, who suffered a stress fracture in his back in February and is competing with Jackson Bird to be the third seamer in Australia's lineup ahead of next week's first Test against South Africa in Perth.

Bird earlier pressed his case for selection with three wickets as Victoria were bowled out for 415.

The 195cm seamer claimed the important scalp of Cameron White (64) and had allrounder Dan Christian (3) caught behind off a quality outswinger to finish with figures of 3-75 off 30 overs.

Victoria started the day's play at 4-351 before rain forced the players off the field after just seven overs, with captain Matthew Wade hitting 14 boundaries in his 78.

Play was interrupted for almost three hours in total before Tasmania ploughed through the Bushrangers' tail.

Opener Marcus Harris posted 115 off 144 balls and Peter Handscomb added 78 from 113 on the opening day for Victoria but Test hopeful Glenn Maxwell was named 12th man.

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