Queensland v Tasmania, Sheffield Shield final, Brisbane, 3rd day

Hartley and bowlers put Queensland on top

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

March 18, 2012

Comments: 4 | Text size: A | A

Tasmania 241 and 6 for 136 (Cowan 59*) lead Queensland 276 (Hartley 111, Hopes 58, Butterworth 4-54, Bird 4-58) by 101 runs

Chris Hartley celebrates his century, Queensland v Tasmania, Sheffield Shield final, 3rd day, March 18, 2012
Chris Hartley celebrates his century © Getty Images

Chris Hartley's sixth first-class century and a strong performance from the Queensland bowlers gave the Bulls the upper hand in the battle for the Sheffield Shield. But at the close of the third day at the Gabba, Ed Cowan was still standing firm for Tasmania and Queensland needed another four wickets before they would know what target they would be chasing in the fourth innings.

Tasmania were 101 runs in front at stumps, with Cowan on 59 and Luke Butterworth on 11. Jason Krejza, Brendan Drew and Jackson Bird were the batsmen still to come for Tasmania, who were 6 for 136, and if the Tigers could push their advantage up towards 200 their bowlers would have something to defend in their push for back-to-back titles.

Cowan had been cautious but if the fast bowlers dropped short he was especially strong when cutting, and he had struck five boundaries. However, there hadn't been any top-order support for Cowan as the Queensland fast bowlers reduced the Tigers to 4 for 36 before Tom Triffitt (35) combined with Cowan for a stabilising 51-run stand.

Steve Magoffin had angled a ball across Steve Cazzulino, who was caught in the slips for 4, and Nick Kruger was also taken in the cordon for a 12-ball duck off the bowling of Ryan Harris. The big wicket came when the Queensland captain James Hopes brought himself on and struck first ball, nipping a ball back in between bat and pad to bowl Ricky Ponting for 6.

The edges kept coming as James Faulkner was caught at slip for 3 off Hopes, before the Cowan-Triffitt stand. Triffitt was bowled by Harris, who was impressive in collecting 2 for 35. The final wicket for the day was the batsman Alex Doolan, who was batting down at No.7 due to a back injury and hooked a catch to fine leg off the bowling of Alister McDermott for 15.

The day had started well for Tasmania, when Hopes added only four to his overnight score and was lbw to Jackson Bird for 58. Harris was caught behind off Luke Butterworth for 18 but then came the partnership that could yet prove to be the difference, a 97-run stand between Hartley and Magoffin that took Queensland from a shaky position to well past Tasmania's total.

Hartley's experience at the Gabba showed as he took few risks but latched on to anything full enough to drive through the off side, and his shots from cover to mid-off were outstanding. He also pulled occasionally and struck the ball down the ground and brought up his century from his 151st delivery with a pull for four off Krejza.

It was Hartley's first Shield hundred in two seasons and it came at the perfect time, as the Bulls aim to improve their conversion rate having made six of the past nine Shield finals for just one title. Hartley had excellent support from Magoffin, who didn't throw his wicket away and made a valuable 31 from 74 balls before he edged behind off Butterworth, who finished with 4 for 54.

Bird collected 4 for 56 as he had Cameron Boyce caught behind for a duck and then ended the innings with the wicket of Hartley, who on 111 left a ball that swung back into him and was trapped in front. It was the end of a fine innings, and one that could be the difference in a challenging match for the batsmen.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (March 19, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

great warm up for Ponting before he heads out too the West Indies 7 runs.Feel the pressure now before you get ingloriously dropped.He wont go unless he's pushed

Posted by Meety on (March 18, 2012, 23:23 GMT)

A real shame that Haddin's replacement had to be named as soon as it was, this match could of given Hartley a crack. Good game so far.

Posted by Snowemu on (March 18, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

Great game - two evenly matched teams. Good to see the current Aussie players and quite a few young future ones, like Bird, McDermot and Joe Burns. Hartley is evertthing Haddin isn't - a real gloveman and a batsman who knows how to dig a team out of trouble.

Posted by malibu77 on (March 18, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

Cracking good final so far. Great to see a wicket and conditions that ensure an even contest and not a flat road on which one team bats for 3 days and makes 900! QLD probably ahead at present but chasing 200+ in the 4th innings against Bird and Butterworth could be interesting. Lets hope the weather behaves itself.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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