Queensland v South Australia, Pura Cup, Brisbane, 1st day December 19, 2003

Noffke puts Queensland in the driving seat

Queensland 1 for 66 trail South Australia 204 (Deitz 74, Manou 51, Noffke 4-41) by 138 runs

Shane Deitz feels the heat on his way to a top-score 74
© Getty Images

Ashley Noffke added his name to the long list of Test aspirants with a fine performance against South Australia at the Gabba. Noffke took 4 for 48 and restricted SA to 204, after opting to bat first, on a good, hard Brisbane wicket.

Things could have been worse. After a steady 74 from Shane Deitz, the opener, SA were tottering at 8 for 146, but Graham Manou (51 off 62), the wicketkeeper, inflated the total with some lusty hitting. Queensland still have first-innings points firmly in sight after moving to 1 for 66 at stumps, with Jimmy Maher, the captain, unbeaten on 35. The only sad note for the home fans was that Matthew Hayden failed as in his first Pura Cup appearance in two years, he sliced a drive off Mark Cleary to point early in his innings (1 for 32).

Noffke celebrated his 100th wicket for his state with his second scalp, when Shane Deitz (74) top-edged a hook to Michael Kasprowicz, who took an amazing diving catch at long leg. Noffke attributed the turnaround to putting his fears out of his mind. "It's one of those things where injury takes a high price of your mental thought and today I made conscious effort of not thinking about the body."

Kasprowicz took the key wicket of Andy Flower (2 for 41), playing on for 11, to start the slump and Andrew Symonds compounded SA's misery. Symonds, gaining swing and seam from his medium-pacers, snared Greg Blewett, the SA captain, lbw for 8 (3 for 25)

SA were left to rue a missed chance towards the end, when Mick Miller dropped Clinton Perren at third slip.