Tasmania v Queensland, Pura Cup, Hobart, 1st day January 21, 2004

Love and Law give Queensland the edge


Close Queensland 289 for 6 (Love 100, Law 99) v Tasmania

Martin Love: an even hundred

Martin Love notched a neat century while Stuart Law fell a run short but Queensland didn't have it all their own way on the opening day of their Pura Cup clash against Tasmania at Bellerive Oval. A 190-run partnership between Love and Law put Queensland in a strong position at stumps, as they finished on 6 for 289.

However the Tigers remained well and truly in the hunt, taking four wickets for 31 in the final session. At close of play Wade Seccombe was unbeaten on 11, with Ashley Noffke on 19.

Love, a former Test player, only briefly enjoyed his second Pura Cup century of the season. After facing 221 balls, Love was bowled by Gerard Denton, the Tigers fast bowler, without adding to his 100. Law was not so lucky. Chasing his first Pura Cup ton for Queensland since March 2001, Law came agonisingly close before he was caught at mid-off by Michael Di Venuto off Xavier Doherty, a left-arm finger spinner, for 99.

The Tigers, who sent the Bulls into bat after winning the toss on a pitch renowned for producing runs, took two wickets for 40 in the opening session but endured the second empty handed. They clawed back after tea, with two of the four Bulls wickets rounded up by Damien Wright. Wright, who together with Doherty has been selected in the Prime Minister's XI to take on India in Canberra next week, finished the day with 3 for 65 off 22 overs.

Dan Marsh, the Tigers captain, said he was pleased with the day's work. "I don't think we bowled badly, I just thought they batted well," he said. "I would say it's pretty level. We have seen it's a pretty good batting wicket out there, so no doubt the four wickets are going to be hard to get tomorrow. We have to bowl really well and then try and chase down whatever they've got."

Queensland captain Jimmy Maher agreed the match was evenly poised heading into day two. "All in all, it's a pretty even day," he said. "Close to 300 in a day and six wickets down ... we look to press on tomorrow."

The Tigers are second on the Pura Cup ladder on 20 points, with the Bulls in third spot on 16 points.

The match was preceded by a minute's silence for cricketing legend David Hookes who died on Monday night. Flags flew at half-mast as players sported black armbands in a show of respect for Hookes.