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Paine and Bird boost Tasmania in Shield

Tim Paine’s equal highest first-class score on home turf and some free swinging from Jackson Bird have guided Tasmania to 333 in the first innings of their Sheffield Shield match against NSW.

The pair shared an 83-run stand for the eight wicket, with 63 of those coming in quick time in the opening session of day two at Bellerive Oval.

Resuming on 61, Paine was trapped lbw by Trent Copeland for 87 – remarkably the third time he’s been dismissed for the score at his home ground.

Bird whacked a run-a-ball 54 to notch his second first-class half-century and highest score at this level.

It included two straight sixes off the bowling of Copeland and his fellow quick Harry Conway.

Bird was out caught by Copeland at mid-wicket off the bowling of Conway.

Tasmania reached 7-258 at stumps on Saturday after being sent in, with Paine’s half-century holding up the innings.

In his first red-ball game since the Test series against India, Matthew Wade was the next best with 57.

Mitchell Starc, Copeland and Conway took three wickets each, while Nathan Lyon picked up the solitary scalp of Wade.

Blues quick Sean Abbott only sent down 6.2 overs for the innings after being forced from the field early on day one with split webbing in his hand.

The Tigers are chasing their first win of the Shield season, while second-place NSW will be after maximum points in their hunt for a spot in the final.

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