Queensland v Tasmania, Pura Cup, Brisbane, 3rd day December 1, 2004

Bichel puts Queensland on the brink

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Queensland 384 need 86 to beat Tasmania 216 (Wright 71*) and 253 (Bevan 93, Birt 48, Bichel 5-70)

Michael Bevan joined the select band of players with 9,000 runs in Pura Cup/Sheffield Shield cricket © Getty Images

Andy Bichel put Queensland on the verge of victory, taking 5 for 70 as Tasmania were bowled for 253 in the second innings of their Pura Cup match at Brisbane. Michael Bevan led the resistance with 93, but none of the other batsmen topped 50, leaving Queensland with a target of just 86 to chase tomorrow.

At one point Tasmania were 7 for 152 after following on, 16 short of making Queensland bat again. Bevan held the innings together as wickets fell from the other end, before Bichel him caught behind seven short of his hundred.

In the course of his innings, Bevan became the second active player after Darren Lehmann (11,467) to have passed 9,000 Pura Cup runs. Others who have reached the milestone include Dean Jones and David Hookes.

After Bevan's fall, Tasmania fought back with an unlikely 62-run ninth-wicket partnership between Xavier Doherty (27) and Adam Griffith (37), that took the game into a fourth day. Both fell within an over and Bichel ended the innings by having Doherty caught to complete his five-for, and took his career tally to 300 Pura Cup wickets in the process.

"He's just invaluable," Jimmy Maher, Queensland's captain, said of Bichel who also scored 69 on the first innings. "He just charges in no matter how hot it is or what's going on out there. It's hard to describe how good it is to have a bloke like him in the team. You literally need pliers to extract the ball out of his hand, he's unbelievable."