Queensland v Tasmania, Pura Cup, Brisbane, 3rd day October 14, 2007

Di Venuto chips away at Noffke-inspired lead

Cricinfo staff

Tasmania 158 and 3 for 201 (Di Venuto 95*, Birt 72) trail Queensland 6 for 544 dec (Simpson 107*, Noffke 100*, Broad 94, Moller 78, Perren 63, Geeves 4-124) by 185 runs

Ashley Noffke was dangerous with bat as well as ball © Getty Images

Ashley Noffke blasted his second first-class century and Chris Simpson scored his first as Queensland continued to embarrass the reigning champions Tasmania at the Gabba. The pair extended the Bulls' lead to 386 and although Michael Di Venuto helped the Tigers whittle it back to 185 at stumps the visitors have an uphill battle to avoid defeat on the final day.

After a quiet second day when the Bulls eked out 223, Noffke and Simpson belted 155 from the first session alone. Noffke was the major danger with six fours and three sixes, and the Bulls declared the moment he reached 100 from 125 balls. It continued a devastating match for Noffke, who collected 5 for 33 on the first day as Tasmania crumbled for 158.

Simpson's effort was equally impressive and he remained unbeaten on 107 as the partnership expanded to 203. Queensland declared at 6 for 544 before Noffke immediately reminded the Tigers he is not really a batsman.

Showing no signs of fatigue from his energetic innings, Noffke had Tim Paine caught at slip first ball and followed that two deliveries later with the dismissal of Michael Dighton. Travis Birt (72) and Di Venuto steadied and at the close Tasmania were 3 for 201 with Di Venuto on 95 and George Bailey on 24.