Tim Paine's brutal moment in return to first-class cricket after hiatus

Tim Paine, pictured here being dismissed for just six in his return to first-class cricket.
Tim Paine was dismissed for just six in his return to first-class cricket. Image: Getty/Cricket.com

Tim Paine's return to first-class cricket started in inauspicious fashion on Thursday as the former Test captain was dismissed for just six in the Sheffield Shield.

Paine hasn't played at the top level of cricket since April last year, taking a break from the game in the wake of the sexting scandal that saw him step down as Test captain of Australia.

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But the wicket-keeper made his return after 18 months on Thursday, turning out for Tasmania against Queensland at Allan Border Field.

While Paine's comeback didn't reach any great heights, his Tasmanian teammates still lauded the impact the former Test captain's return will have on Australian cricket.

The 37-year-old struck one boundary but was dismissed for six as the Tigers were bowled out for just 147.

Entering at 5-59, Paine got off the mark with a crisp straight drive but was out edging a cut shot soon after,

Off-spinner Jarrod Freeman managed to drag the Tigers beyond 100 with his knock of 44.

The 22-year-old Freeman was just five when Paine first played for Tasmania in 2005.

"It's pretty surreal, pretty special," he said of sharing the field with Paine and fellow Test veterans Peter Siddle and Jackson Bird.

"With Painey behind the stumps it boosts you 10, 20 per cent and they know what they're talking about.

"He's one of the best keepers in the world still, would silly not to have him in the side in that aspect.

"He's bounced back and showed he's not done yet, he's got something to give."

Tim Paine, pictured here after his dismissal in the Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania and Queensland.
Tim Paine walks off the field after his dismissal in the Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania and Queensland. (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

Tim Paine takes sharp catch in return to Sheffield Shield

Unbeaten Queensland batters Joe Burns (35) and Marnus Labuschagne (26) then shone under poor light, taking the hosts to 1-70 in a classy final-hour display to assume full control of the match.

Paine looked sharp with the gloves on, diving for a low catch to his left to dismiss Matthew Renshaw, who surprisingly opened instead of Bulls captain and Test opener Usman Khawaja.

Mark Steketee (4-43) was the pick of Queensland's bowlers, while Michael Neser (3-42) took a wicket in the day's first over in gloomy, seaming conditions.

Paine was greeted by hugs and handshakes by many of the Queensland players and staff, and Freeman said the mood in the sheds was good despite the state of play.

Tim Paine, pictured here speaking to Usman Khawaja after the opening day of Tasmania's Sheffield Shield match against Queensland.
Tim Paine speaks to Usman Khawaja after the opening day of Tasmania's Sheffield Shield match against Queensland. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

"It's good having him back around; it was a tough day for us but we'll stay positive," he said.

"History says this ground's a third and fourth innings ground so we won't get too down."

Tasmania coach Jeff Vaughan had earlier backed Paine to perform despite his limited preparation.

"He has been training with us the last couple of months," Vaughan told reporters on Tuesday.

"And it wasn't until we selected over the last week or two, firstly his name was on the table for one-day cricket and then he was on the table last week when we selected (the Shield).

"And it was quite unanimous that everyone wanted one of the world's best wicket-keepers in our side.

"We have absolute faith and trust in Tim and his preparation. Physically he is probably in the greatest spot of his physical career, emotionally he is sound.

"We have got full faith in his wicket-keeping skillset so he has ticked all of the boxes."

with AAP

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