Injury ends Victoria's Noffke nightmare
Victoria 113 and 2 for 73 trail Queensland 341 (Noffke 82, Nye 57, Wise 3-63, Denton 3-65) by 155 runs
Ashley Noffke continued his incredible all-round season with 82 but during the innings was struck down with a hamstring injury that left him unable to bowl in Victoria's reply. Noffke had top scored in Queensland's 341 and by the close the Bushrangers had reduced their deficit to 155, reaching 2 for 73 with Nick Jewell on 40 and Brad Hodge yet to score.
The extent of the problem with Noffke's right hamstring is still unclear but his batting bonanza virtually assured him of the Man-of-the-Match award after only two days, following his first-innings 6 for 33 as Victoria crumbled to 113. Noffke is now in the remarkable position of sitting second on this year's Pura Cup wicket tally and fourth on the batting list, where only Simon Katich, Luke Pomersbach and Michael Di Venuto are ahead of him.
He built an important 98-run partnership with Aaron Nye, who made 57, and then Chris Hartley (33) and the rest of the Queensland lower order continued to frustrate Victoria. Noffke missed the chance for his second century of the season when he was removed by Allan Wise, who had the best of the bowling figures for Victoria with 3 for 63.
Jewell and Rob Quiney made a much more promising start than in the Bushrangers' first innings, adding 73 for the first wicket. But Nye showed Noffke was not the only allrounder capable of hurting the visitors, removing Quiney (32) and the nightwatchman Gerard Denton from consecutive balls in the final over. Hodge survived the hat-trick delivery but there was not much else to celebrate for Victoria on another day of Noffke domination.