Queensland v Tasmania, Pura Cup, The Gabba, 3rd day November 22, 2003

Tasmania top the table after 174-run win


Tasmania 233 and 213 (Wright 60) beat Queensland 104 and 168 by 174 runs

Tasmania stamped itself as an unexpected force in this season's Pura Cup after sprinting to the top of the table with its second outright win in a week. They totally outplayed Queensland at the Gabba to claim a 174-run win, giving them 14 points after three matches.

Such was their impressive form to triumph inside three days, that Martin Love, the Queensland captain, rated Tasmania a serious contender for its first domestic four-day title. "They are a good side at the moment and they have a lot of experience in their team which doesn't change much," Love said. "Confidence is a wonderful thing and if they keep playing like this they'll give it a good shake at the end of the season."

Love conceded his side was "completely outbowled and outbatted", as the his team meekly crumbled for the second time in the match to be bowled out for 168 chasing an imposing 343 for victory.

Queensland, routed for 104 in their first innings, were never in the hunt after quick Gerard Denton had Clinton Perren walking back to the pavilion with a pair off the tenth ball of Queensland's second innings. It went quickly from bad to worse with Denton (4 for 60), Damien Wright (3 for 33) and Andrew Downton (3 for 47) skittling the top order to have Queensland reeling at 7 for 89.

Wright, the Tasmanian top-scorer with 60 in the second innings, finished with seven wickets in the game to take the Man-of-the-Match award.

That Tasmania's second outright win in 10 seasons came after they were sent in on a inconsistent pitch with sideways movement and variable bounce was further proof of their improved credentials. Daniel Marsh, the Tasmanian captain, attributed the win to disciplined first-day batting, which built a platform of 3 for 156 in the first innings.

"There's no doubt in my mind we were a lot more disciplined than them," he said. "We only made 230 and 210 but that was clearly enough on that wicket."

Marsh said that the self-belief, gained from the remarkable six-wicket comeback win over New South Wales last weekend, and rare early success gave his unheralded side a perfect opportunity. "Our problem has been we haven't got ourselves in position early enough to win things ... we're 14 points after three games which is 14 more than we normally are at this stage of the year," he said. "It's a great opportunity to build on that for the rest of the year."

Tasmania stands two points clear of South Australia (12) on top of the Pura Cup table while perennial heavyweight Queensland are struggling in second-last place with two points after three matches.

Love ordered some soul-searching for his out-of-form batsmen. "They need to have a bit of a think about their game ... and come up with a better plan to cope next time."