Maher's 99 sees Queensland home
Queensland 8 for 213 (Maher 99) beat Tasmania 211 (Dawson 56, Di Venuto 50, Hopes 4-23) by two wickets
Choosing to bat, Tasmania was off to a steady start despite losing Travis Birt, bowled by Andy Bichel for 13. Ricky Ponting, the Tasmanian captain, joined Michael Dighton in a 40-run stand for the second wicket, but both fell in succession to the bowling of Michael Kasprowicz. George Bailey was run-out just after Kasprowicz had Dighton caught by Bichel, and it took crucial knocks from Michael Di Venuto (50) and David Dawson (55), the wicketkeeper, to propel Tasmania past the 200-run mark.
The two yielded a 74-run partnership and looked good for more, but James Hopes, the mediumpace bowler on the fringe of the Australian one-day side, took four wickets to stifle Tasmania at the death. Hopes (4 for 23) and Kasprowicz (2 for 29) were the successful bowlers for Queensland.
In reply, Queensland openers Maher and Matthew Hayden added 51 in quick time before Hayden fell to a good run-out by Ben Hilfenhaus for a run-a-ball 21. Andrew Symonds strode to the crease, smashed two quick boundaries and was snapped up by Ponting off Adam Griffith, and Queensland found itself struggling. No major partnerships followed, but with minor contributions from each of the remaining batsmen, Maher was able to marshal the ranks and take his team towards victory.
With the score on 199, Maher was unfortunate to be run out one shy of what would have been a terrific century, but the tail rallied and played sensibly to see Queensland home. Each of the four frontline Tasmanian bowlers picked up a wicket, with Xavier Doherty (2 for 36) picking up a pair as Tasmania attempted a late-order comeback.