Cowan, Bailey secure win for Tasmania
Tasmania 260 and 2 for 163 (Cowan 77*, Bailey 57*) beat Queensland 205 and 215 (Cutting 66*, Butterworth 4-45) by 8 wickets
Ed Cowan and George Bailey have kept Tasmania firmly in the race to make the Sheffield Shield final after they steered the Tigers to victory over Queensland in Hobart. Tasmania were set 161 on the fourth day and they comfortably reached their target with only two wickets down, with Cowan undefeated on 77 and Bailey on 57 when the winning runs came.
The Bulls added only 14 runs to their overnight total to be dismissed for 215 when Luke Butterworth claimed his fourth wicket, with Ben Cutting left unbeaten on 66. Despite the early loss of the opener Steve Cazzulino for 9 and the departure of Alex Doolan for 13, Tasmania cruised to victory within 44 overs.
Cowan's work completed a fine match for him after he scored 82 in the first innings, while Bailey showed no ill effects of a quick mid-match trip to Brisbane to cover for the injured Michael Clarke in Australia's ODI squad. The win pushed Tasmania up to third on the Shield table, only two points behind Queensland and four behind the competition leaders Western Australia.
It has been a disappointing fortnight for the Bulls, who were unbeaten in their first six matches of the campaign but have now lost their past two games, to the Warriors and the Tigers. With two rounds left, the top four sides can all still reach the decider, with only New South Wales and South Australia out of the running.