Defiant Swan holds off roaring Tigers
Tasmania 1 for 5 trail Queensland 236 (Swan 76*, Hartley 55, Macdonald 4-42) by 231 runs
A lower-order rearguard action from Chris Swan and Chris Hartley rescued Queensland, who reached 236 on the opening day of the Sheffield Shield season against Tasmania. On a rain-affected day at the Gabba, the Bulls were shaking at 8 for 91 before being saved by a ninth-wicket stand of 135 between the pair. Tasmania didn't quite end the day as they would have liked, losing Michael Dighton before bad light ended play.
The match was particularly important for Andrew Symonds, returning to first-class cricket after being sidelined from national duty due to disciplinary reasons. His dismissal - off a loose drive to gully - was part of a forgettable morning for Queensland when they lost four wickets in the first half an hour. Overnight rain had spruced up the conditions for seam bowling and it was a good toss to win for Daniel Marsh, the Tasmania captain.
The experiment of sending James Hopes as an opener failed as he lost his off stump to Ben Hilfenhaus in the second over of the match. Brett Geeves struck with the wickets of Ryan Broad and Martin Love and soon after, Queensland had lost half their side at 39. Greg Moller and Ashley Noffke knuckled down with a stand of 45 but Tasmania reinforced their grip on the game when they nabbed three wickets for the addition of just seven runs.
Swan joined Hartley at the fall of the eighth wicket and took control of the stand. He was particularly harsh on Geeves and brought up his half-century with successive pulls off Hilfenhaus. He was, however, lucky to be let off before getting off the mark, when George Bailey spilled a catch at floating slip.
Hartley also helped himself to a half-century, but it took a sharp catch at square leg by Rhett Lockyear to finally end the stand. Tim Macdonald, the seamer, accounted for three lower-order men and finished with a career-best 4 for 42. Swan remained unbeaten on 76 - more than he had previously scored in his entire first-class career - and his 84-ball knock included 13 fours.