Queensland v Tasmania, Sheffield Shield final, Brisbane, 4th day March 19, 2012

Queensland take title in tense final


Queensland 276 and 7 for 133 (Townsend 36, Faulkner 3-27) beat Tasmania 241 and 167 (Cowan 71, Hopes 5-61, Harris 3-52) by 3 wickets

Queensland won their seventh Sheffield Shield title after a tense finish to the final against Tasmania at the Gabba. Chasing 133 for victory, the Bulls sneaked home with three wickets in hand and fittingly it was the first-innings heroes Chris Hartley and Steve Magoffin who steered their team to the triumph following some shaky moments through the middle of the chase.

Hartley and Magoffin came together after Queensland had lost five wickets for eight runs, and at the time they were still 45 short of their target, on 7 for 88. James Faulkner and Luke Butterworth had not only sparked a mini-collapse but they also dried up the runs as nerves began to grip the Queensland batsmen, who knew the Bulls had endured more disappointments than successes in their recent Shield finals.

But Magoffin and Hartley steadied the side and survived some nervous moments, including when the Tasmania wicketkeeper Tom Triffitt put down Hartley moving low to his left with 11 runs still required. The remaining runs came gradually; Magoffin pushed the winning single to cover to finish on 36 not out and Hartley was unbeaten on 19, and was Man of the Match following his first-innings hundred.

It was Queensland's first four-day title since 2005-06 and they have now made seven of the past ten finals for two triumphs. The win also capped off an outstanding debut season for the coach Darren Lehmann, while the captain James Hopes led from the front with a half-century in the first innings and a five-wicket haul in the second.

Tasmania began the fourth day with a 101-run lead and Ed Cowan loomed as the key to their hopes of setting a defendable target. But Cowan was caught at slip for 71 off the bowling of Hopes, who also claimed two more lower-order wickets to finish with 5 for 61, while Ryan Harris ended up with 3 for 52 as the Tigers were bowled out for 167.

They had added only 31 to their overnight total and it meant a target of 133 for the Bulls, who stumbled early when Alex Kemp edged Jackson Bird to slip for 6. A solid 61-run stand between Wade Townsend and Andrew Robinson set the chase back on track, although things became shaky when both of those men departed in the 30s.

Robinson was caught at short leg off Jason Krejza's offspin for 31 and he was followed by Joe Burns, who cut Faulkner straight to gully for 8. Townsend was on 36 when he gloved a catch down the leg side off Faulkner and the Bulls were 4 for 88, which soon became 7 for 88 as Hopes, Chris Lynn and Harris all fell in quick succession.

Hopes was dropped third ball by Nick Kruger at gully but drove a catch to Ricky Ponting at mid-off two deliveries later, before a brief rain delay gave both teams time to regroup. No runs had been added on the return when Lynn (4) was caught at slip off Butterworth and two deliveries later Harris shouldered arms and lost his off stump when Butterworth swung the ball back in sharply.

Magoffin inside-edged his first ball just past the stumps for a boundary and luck stayed with him and Hartley, who had put on a valuable 97-run stand in the first innings. Hartley's efforts were all the more impressive given he was ill throughout the match, while for Magoffin it was a fine way to end his first season with his native state Queensland after a career spent at Western Australia.

The Bulls coach Darren Lehmann was fined Aus $2000 for breaching Cricket Australia's code of behaviour during the match. Lehmann was reported on day three for an offence relating to the laws of cricket and spirit of the game: the incident occurred when Lehmann had approached the umpires, Bruce Oxenford and Simon Fry, after they had stopped play due to bad light on day three. At a hearing at the end of the match today, Lehmann had pleaded guilty.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roo on March 21, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    @andrew-schulz... Re: Ponting... If his current good form continues then he will continue batting for Oz - quite simple really... It is all that keeps him in the team now... Getting good scores against a demoralised India with a mediocre bowling unit isn't worth celebrating - let alone on pitches that favored batting at that time... Look at his stats from Tests in the Ashes, SL, SA, NZ, series to get a gauge on his ability against better bowling units - aver @22.55... Even adding the India series Punter is still 12 runs lower than his career average... For me, Punter lost his armour in 2009 when Kemar Roach made him look like a bunny in the headlights & he has never recovered to good pace & swing bowling ever since... This WI tour could be the make or break of his career...

  • Mariam on March 20, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    Love how there are still some fans in denial about Punter, he is past his best and needs to retire, unlike Sachin he doesn't have the perfect technique to get past in old age, and needs to retire, however i fear he is putting his own monetary interests ahead of whats good for Australian cricket.

  • andrews on March 20, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    Interesting use of statistics. Sure qld have made seven of the last ten finals, winning two. They have also made ten of the last 13, winning 5, or you could count 13 of the last 18, winning 7. A total domination. Mari 2619, many made fools of themselves by demanding Ponting (and Hussey) be dropped before the Indian series. Ponting's performance there demands that he be in the Australian Test side. It's a no-brainer. Mervo, there is potential in Kemp and Burns and Robinson. Yours comments are an insult to Burns, who has been excellent. Surely there is a greater chance of success letting these players develop their potential, rather than importing from overseas, which has never worked.

  • Andrew on March 20, 2012, 1:23 GMT

    @Cummins_Hazlewood - I think we have adequate batting talent, but as you say, the near test standard of all the states bowling attacks mean that our batsmen over the last 2 years have had some struggles. It should make them great test prospects, once selected. @Mervo - whilst not many batsmen have stood out this summer for QLD, wouldn't you think that playing at the Gabba might have something to do with it? The QLD openers are by no means great, but they have done an old fashioned openers job - blunt the oposition, for most of the year. Also, Joe Burns was the 5th highest scorer for the season, so whilst I agree that Hopes has been very good in the middle order, I think QLDs stocks are better than what you say. Bear in mind that Forrest had a good season until brought up for higher duties.

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    Well done on all the Punter bashing. In his last 2 tests innings he made 221 and 60no then 130 and 111 in two shield innings plus 75no in ODI final. Guarantee he will be hurting from the loss but not his own performance. Led the team brilliantly in place of GB attacking imaginative fields and good bowling changes that nearly won game. Tassie lacked depth in final, Hartley was magnificent.

  • Shane on March 20, 2012, 0:38 GMT

    Well done to Fox for broadcasting this. What a match! QLD did well to win a title with only two batsmen averaging over 36 for the year. Another season for the bowlers in the Shield - when will we next see a batsmen make 1000 runs in a season!?

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    to those bagging pontings proformance since he was droped from the ODI team he has averaged 61 for tasmania from 4 games with 368 runs which is more than mathew wade phillp hughs and usmin kawaja scored all season. Also his average of 61 was higher than ed cowan's and rob quiney who were the 2 highest run scorers for the year. He also had the second highest strike rate of any batsman with over 350 runs (65) just behind david hussy with 69 Also going on with my earlier comment on people who are unlucky not to be in the test side (hartly) David hussy is extreemly unlucky not to be in the test team also

  • Brad on March 19, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    Good to see tall poppy syndrome is alive and well re ponting comments

  • Rakesh on March 19, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Batting stocks in Australia are very thin, but I do have some sympathy for batsmen in Australia as the bowling stock in every state are fabulous and pitches especially in shield cricket in every state (exception of Adelaide) are challenging for batters. Butterworth and Bird may not be very threatening at international level as pitches in higher level are lot better for batsmen. Bit disappointed with the development of James Faulkner, sometimes he struggle to take his game to the next level. But positive thing for Faulkner is that he is bowling with the relatively old ball in shield cricket which help him as a bowler in international cricket.

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    Ponting CAN'T even score in Sheffield Shield.He will be useless in the Windies

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