Wright's allround display puts Tasmania on top
Close Tasmania 233 and 6 for 144 lead Queensland 104 by 273
Damien Wright: 4 for 30 and 39 not out
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Tasmania for once outbowled a Queensland attack on a friendly Gabba wicket to give them a rare chance of taking the points in their Pura Cup match at Brisbane.
Looking for only their second victory in a decade at the Gabba, Tasmania held a 273-run advantage at 6 for 144 in their second innings at stumps on day two. After making 224 in their first innings, Tasmania set up the match by routing Queensland for 104 - their lowest-ever total against Tasmania at Brisbane.
Eighteen wickets fell on a topsy-turvy day with Damien Wright, the Tasmania allround hero, ripping through the Queensland top-order to take 4 for 30, before making an unbeaten 39.
Wright's crucial knock, after his former teammate Shane Jurgensen had sparked a middle-order collapse, ensured Queensland would have to chase an imposing 300-plus score to win. Jurgensen's second spell reaped three wickets in as many overs to reduce Tasmania to 6 for 99 and bring the momentum back Queensland's way.
But the pendulum then changed direction again as Wright and the in-form Michael Di Venuto (39 not out) put on a 45-run stand to deny Queensland in the last 13 overs of the day. "You take those days for sure," said a beaming Wright after his lusty innings which reaped seven boundaries. "I thoroughly enjoyed it."
After watching the Queensland attack stray a little short and wide on the opening day, Wright said Tasmania simply executed their plan of making the batsmen play on a seaming wicket. Wright dismissed openers Daniel Payne and Clinton Perren in his first two overs and in his second spell had dangerman Martin Love caught at slip for 29, and allrounder Chris Simpson edged him to gully.
He was well supported by Adam Griffith (2 for 26), Andrew Downton (2 for 24) and Gerard Denton (2 for 19). "We just wanted to make their guys play as much as we could ... so we could put the pressure on them," he said. "Every run is a bonus now being in front but it's not easy to bat on and no doubt it's going get more difficult tomorrow."
Di Venuto, Tasmania's top-scorer with 59 in their first innings of 224, holds the key on a track that has bedevilled all other batsmen. The depleted Queenslanders sorely missed the eight front-liners due to injury and international duties, failing to come to terms with the movement off the wicket.
Wade Seccombe is on track to break Don Tallon's 65-year-old record of 12 catches in a match after pouching 10, including five of the six second-innings wickets. While Seccombe was a measure of perfection behind the stumps, the same could not be said of the rest of the slip cordon, as three chances went down.
Stuart Law's missed diving catch at second slip was the most painful for them, letting Di Venuto off the hook on five and sending Law to the dressing room with an injured left hand.