All-round Hopes gives Queensland first-innings lead
Queensland 9 for 254 (Hopes 73, Hartley 63, Maher 3-53, Hilfenhaus 3-82) lead Tasmania 196 (Cosgrove 50, Harris 5-72, Hopes 3-40) by 58 runs
James Hopes led from the front with bat and ball to deliver first-innings points to Queensland, but the Test selectors will be more interested in Ryan Harris' five-wicket haul in the lead-up to the Ashes. Hopes picked up 3 for 40 and then top scored with 73 as the Bulls pushed well past Tasmania's disappointing 196 on the second day at Bellerive Oval.
By the close of play, Queensland had an advantage of 58 runs, having reached 9 for 254 with Scott Walter on 6 and Cameron Boyce yet to score. That they had a lead at all was thanks to Hopes, the captain, and Chris Hartley, who came together at a precarious 5 for 88 and proceeded to move past Tasmania's total without further loss.
Hartley departed for 63, caught behind off the fast bowler Adam Maher, who ended the day with a very good collection of 3 for 53. Hopes was caught off the bowling of Ben Hilfenhaus, who picked up 3 for 82 on a grassy Hobart pitch that might not be dissimilar from the surface Hilfenhaus will be presented with on the opening morning of the Gabba Test in a fortnight.
Barring injury, Hilfenhaus is a certain starter for the Ashes opener, but the make-up of the rest of Australia's bowling group is not yet clear. The full-time selector Greg Chappell is not keen on an all-pace attack, which is a blow - though not a knockout one - for the hopes of Harris, who has not played a Test since the tour of New Zealand in March.
Harris would enjoy the seam-friendly conditions at his home ground in Brisbane, but his best chance of a Test call-up could be if Doug Bollinger struggles to recover from his stomach problem in time. Peter Siddle is also hoping to be in the mix, but Harris has taken the early advantage by collecting 5 for 72 in his first Sheffield Shield match back from a knee injury.
Harris used the Bellerive bounce to have Mark Cosgrove caught in the gully for 50, and he also had Tim Paine caught, to add to his three wickets from the first day. Xavier Doherty provided some lower-order resistance with 34, but Tasmania could not manage to survive until lunch.