Queensland v New South Wales, Sheffield Shield, Brisbane, 3rd day December 13, 2009

Bulls fight back on Harris heroics

Cricinfo staff

New South Wales 5 for 451 dec & 6 for 175 (Smith 58, Hopes 3-39) lead Queensland 468 (Hartley 125, Simpson 84, Harris 84, Cutting 57, Starc 5-74) by 158 runs

Queensland staged a dramatic recovery to hold thoughts of an outright win after New South Wales finished a poor day at 6 for 175, earning a lead of 158. The No.10 Ryan Harris blasted 84 off 62 balls to steal two first-innings points for the Bulls - a stunning comeback from 5 for 84 on Saturday - and in reply the Blues lost three of the main batsmen by 42.

The former Australia openers Phillip Hughes (3) and Phil Jaques (17) were joined by Usman Khawaja (21) in their wobbly reply. Daniel Smith, the wicketkeeper, steadied the situation with 58 before he cut Ben Cutting to gully late in the day. James Hopes had also maintained the pressure on the visitors with 3 for 39 off 14 overs.

In the Queensland innings Harris finished off the fine work of Chris Simpson (84) and Chris Hartley, but when the wicketkeeper departed for 125 they were 102 behind with two wickets remaining. With Harris playing the aggressor in his first Shield game after knee surgery, he and Ben Cutting smashed 90 before Cutting walked off with 57, his maiden first-class half-century.

The points were secured for Queensland when Harris struck three fours in a row off the legspinner Steven Smith. Harris was dismissed after muscling 13 fours and two sixes, giving Mitchell Starc his fifth wicket. Starc had already picked up Hartley hooking and finished with 5 for 74 off 17.5 overs in a bowling bright spot for the Blues.