Queensland v Victoria, Pura Cup, Brisbane, 1st day March 8, 2007

McDonald farms Bulls as Victoria take charge

Cricinfo staff

Victoria 5 for 140 (Hussey 57, Bichel 4-48) lead Queensland 119 (Simpson 34, McDonald 6-34) by 21 runs

The allrounder Andrew McDonald has been a strong performer for Victoria during the season © Getty Images

Andrew McDonald produced a career-best 6 for 34 to dismiss Queensland for 119 and give Victoria the perfect start in their quest to catapult into the Pura Cup final. To qualify Victoria need an outright win and New South Wales to lose against Tasmania, but they will be confident of fulfilling stage one of the plan after demolishing the Bulls at the Gabba.

Despite a fine 4 for 48 from Andy Bichel, Victoria had earned a 21-run first-innings lead by stumps after David Hussey's 57 from 55 balls drove them to 5 for 140. It was a stunning result for an inexperienced fast-bowling attack that was led by the allrounder McDonald, who moved the ball dangerously during 13.2 overs.

Queensland's horrible day started when Jimmy Maher won the toss and batted, but he was quickly punished for his poor judgment. Conditions suited the fast men, with cloudy skies and a green pitch, and they struck twice in the first two overs, Dirk Nannes removing Ryan Broad with his third ball and Maher nicking Clinton McKay from his second.

Queensland were 2 for 0 and the situation got much worse as they tripped to 7 for 57 when Bichel's dismissal put McDonald on a hat-trick. Ashley Noffke, who stayed 70 balls for 13, avoided becoming the third consecutive victim and started a 36-run stand with Chris Simpson, who top scored with 34.

Greg Moller, the No. 3, had tried to hit the side out of trouble, but he fell in McDonald's opening over and was soon followed by Craig Philipson (14) and Chris Hartley (1). McDonald, who has 27 victims for the season and 727 runs, grabbed the final five wickets after Nannes started his first game since last year's Pura Cup final with 2 for 36. Bichel hit back strongly, but Queensland will have to continue the fightback if they are to avoid going through the season without a home outright win.