Ward's determination and Siddle's late strikes lift Tasmania

Wes Agar took four wickets to ensure the home side stayed in the game

South Australia 227 and 2 for 21 lead Tasmania 245 (Ward 82, Agar 4-34) by 3 run

Pace bowler Wes Agar took four wickets as South Australia edged ahead Tasmania at the midpoint of their Sheffield Shield match.

At stumps on day two, the Redbacks are 2 for 21 in their second innings, a lead of three runs, at Adelaide Oval.

Tim Paine took a superb catch in SA’s second innings to remove Henry Hunt, diving full-stretch, low to his right, in front of first slip. And he pouched a regulation edge two balls later from nightwatchman Harry Conway, who inexplicably launched an expansive drive just five minutes before stumps to give Peter Siddle a second victim.

But earlier Paine scored only 2 as Tasmania’s batters slipped from an ominous position of 2 for 103. He was caught at short-leg from the bowling of SA’s debutant allrounder Ben Manenti.

Opener Tim Ward top-scored with 82 and Beau Webster made 46 but Tasmania surrendered momentum as Agar claimed 4 for 34 from 19 overs. Offspinner Manenti, Conway and Jordan Buckingham also took multiple wickets for SA.

Paine made 6 and an unbeaten 29 in Tasmania’s Shield opener – his comeback to first-class cricket after standing down as Australia’s Test captain last November.

In Monday’s middle session, he was among three Tasmanian wickets to fall with Ward (219 balls, nine fours) and Jordan Silk. Webster struck seven fours in his 81-ball knock but the Tasmanian tail couldn’t wag.