Queensland v New South Wales, Sheffield Shield, Brisbane, 3rd day February 28, 2009

Hopes runs hot after Love double-century

Cricinfo staff

New South Wales 269 and 5 for 86 (Hopes 5-15) trail Queensland 7 for 547 dec (Love 219*, Hartley 121, Hopes 55, Symonds 52) by 192 runs
Points table

Chris Hartley's dream finish to the season continued with a career-high 121 and nine catches for the game © Getty Images

Martin Love led with an outstanding 219 while James Hopes and Chris Hartley followed with highly valuable contributions as Queensland were on the verge of regaining second spot. Hopes' 5 for 15 in 16 overs eliminated New South Wales' dreams of a comeback as they fell to 5 for 86 with a day to play.

The retiring Love produced a fulfilling unbeaten farewell in his last game - and probably innings - at the Gabba as the Bulls charged to 7 for 547, declaring 278 in front. Hartley also shone during a career-high 121, his second consecutive century in a push to become Brad Haddin's understudy, before Hopes grabbed three wickets in 4.1 overs to leave the visitors 3 for 9 at tea.

Hopes, who scored 55 and collected 4 for 80 in the first innings, had Phil Jaques lbw for 4 and then backed up with Peter Forrest first ball to a catch from Hartley. The combination was also involved for Ben Rohrer's departure and Dominic Thornely fell in the same fashion after tea, giving Hartley his ninth grab of the game. Hopes was not done and returned late in the day to remove the stubborn Greg Mail for 30, with Love taking the catch.

Love batted for nine hours and five minutes in his epic goodbye innings, which started on Friday when Queensland were in trouble and on the way to 3 for 81. In his sixth double-century Love took 27 fours and a six and was in such control that it was up to the captain Chris Simpson to end his 353-ball stay with the declaration.

Hartley and Love combined for a 233-run partnership that ended the Blues' slim chances of qualifying for the finals and earned Queensland's Sheffield Shield record for the sixth wicket. Hartley also played a crucial role in the rebuild and left with the score at 462. Simpson was bowled for 0 by Grant Lambert, who took 3 for 143, but there was little to cheer for the New South Wales bowlers.

Beau Casson, who played a Test in the West Indies, was one of the main sufferers and Brian Jerling, the South Africa umpire, stopped the spinner from operating after 10.3 overs. Casson's lack of control had resulted in a second high full toss and he was left with 1 for 54 and more pain.