Tasmania v Queensland, Sheffield Shield final, Hobart, 4th day March 25, 2013

Faulkner, Paine build huge lead for Tasmania


Tasmania 419 (Silk 108, Butterworth 86, Hopes 4-71, Harris 3-107) and 7 for 240 (Paine 87, Faulkner 83*, Harris 4-32) lead Queensland 225 (Forrest 56, Gulbis 4-62) by 434 runs

There was a fleeting moment when the engraver walked away from the Shield and the game sprung to life. One fleeting moment when Tasmania felt vulnerable for the first time in the match, and Queensland could actually see an avenue to a victory that had previously seemed as far away as Brisbane is from Hobart.

Ryan Harris provided the moment, and gave us a glimpse of what the Australian Test team has been missing. He bowled Jonathan Wells for his fourth scalp in six overs of quality pace bowling to leave Tasmania teetering at 5 for 15 in the second innings, with a lead of 209.

But the ray of light dimmed as soon as it appeared, thanks to the class of Tim Paine and the tenacity of James Faulkner. The pair combined for a chanceless 161 across two sessions of near faultless batting.

They negated the uneven bounce and reverse swing superbly. Faulkner's defence was resolute and he manoeuvred the ball into gaps with great efficiency. He continued to push his case as a potential international allrounder with his highest first-class score and has a chance for a maiden century on the fifth day.

Meanwhile, Paine showed the exceptional class and maturity that once had observers predicting him to be the next Australia captain. His bat was straight and broad throughout. He stayed legside of the ball and kept his front pad out of the way to take the lbw out of play. Paine's timing was terrific on a slow surface and his placement equally impressive. He fell an 13 runs shy of his second hundred, miscuing a pull to midwicket off James Hopes in the shadows of stumps.

The partnership was the fourth highest for the seventh wicket in the history of the Sheffield Shield final. They fell just short of the 163-run stand set by Sean Clingeleffer and Luke Butterworth in Tasmania's first Shield triumph six years ago.

Initially, it was Paine and Alex Doolan who showed cool heads and steady hands after the carnage caused by Harris.

The first two wickets of the collapse were more luck than skill. Both Jordan Silk and Mark Cosgrove, who combined so patiently for 133 on day one, dragged wide balls onto their stumps to start the rot.

Ricky Ponting shouldered arms to an inswinger from Harris and was given out appropriately. Umpire John Ward had no choice but to raise his finger, despite the knowledge that it might have ended Ponting's last innings in Australian first-class cricket. The former captain has been non-committal about his future with Tasmania, and the Bulls had given him an ovation when he walked onto the field.

Two balls after Ponting's exit, George Bailey had his stumps shattered by Harris. Wells followed not long after, committing the same error as Ponting, and Tasmania were suddenly under pressure for the first time in the match.

Harris took 4 for 10 in a fabulous spell that would have caught the eye of the Australian selectors. But Doolan and Paine showed poise. They combined for 41 before Doolan was trapped in front by Cameron Gannon. Then Paine and Faulkner snuffed out any hope of a Queensland win as the bowlers failed to threaten on a surface that is getting slower and lower.

Earlier, the Bulls first innings limped past 200 as James Hopes and Nathan Hauritz made a steady start to the extended day. However, Hauritz gifted Evan Gulbis his fourth wicket of the innings with a meek return catch. Faulkner then pinned Harris lbw and yorked Hopes with a brilliant slower ball to add three wickets to his impressive batting displays in both innings.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dan on March 26, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Go Tassie Go. A third Shield meaning both Ponting and Coyle can go out on a high! Queensland were not only outplayed. They also lacked nous. Knowing they had to win the game the tactics were strange. After Tassie batted for the best part of two days for just over 400, it called for a quick and and risky reply, with a declaration to force a result. No first inning points on offer in this game. Yet they allowed the game to meander, so the result was inevitable. Strange.

  • Dummy4 on March 26, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Its true the final is pointless. Unless CA took over the ground to lay a pitch which could possibly provide a result in the 5 days, the states never would. What even further defies belief is queensland actually batting for the draw?? If there ever was a time to throw the bat, it is now.

  • chris on March 26, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    I have to agree, with those questioning why Butterworth has not had a look in with the National team. I still would look at Andrew MacDonald first as our best all rounder and test option having played county cricket and some experience. If he hadn't torn his hamstring (??) he was on par for a cracker of a season . He like Steve Waugh and Ian "freak " Harvey are so aggrivating on those green wickets . They have the knack to hold down an end and and break a partnership. So i would take Butterworth and MacDonald in the all rounder spots. I would also be up to taking the gloves away from Wade and putting him in the opening slot. He is a stroke maker , and unlike Warner really doesnt lash out and throw his wicket away. I still think he can be a key batsmen. My wish for the first Ashes test is . Wade , Rogers ,Cowan , Clarke, Bailey , Butterworth/MacDonald, Paine , Starc, Siddle , Harris and Lyon . 12th Bird. Clarke can roll his arm over , as I always like a lefty spinner in England .

  • Simon on March 26, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    We can be sure Harris is only good for every second test at best. It's hard to believe Qld are not having a go on the last day. Just gave up and playing for averages. In English conditions I'de take opening strikers Pattinson & Johnson and backed up by Starc , Bird and Faulkner. Siddle, Harris, Hilfenhaus and Johnson should be chasing the same spot and though Siddle will likely get it, he won't win us any games. .

  • Andrew on March 25, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    That was a really good partnership from paine & Faulkner. I thought QLD was ahead when they came together. == == == Harris, should have a place booked for the Ashes tour squad. I would have him primed for Lords. I have an image of him bowling on Day 1 under low cloudy skies, ahhh the carnage!

  • Patrick on March 25, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    I know Aus have for too many Fast-bowling options to choose from, but surely Harris has to go? Bird, Harris, Pattinson, Siddle, Starc all deserve starts, and with the batting form of Siddle/Starc picking 4 quicks and Lyon is definitely an option for the Ashes test.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    The cricket powers to be have set the rules to make nigh impossible for the second placed State to take out the sheffield shield. Why not then scrap the final, which is a boring one sided affair and award the shield to the State that finishes top of the table.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    Harris must make the trip to England. Even if he only plays 3 out of the 5 tests, he brings so much to our bowling attack. And Faulkner too. He offers great variation with his bowling, and his hard nosed batting is more than handy too. I think a bowling attack of Harris, Pattinson, Siddle/Starc and Faulkner would be ideal in English conditions.

  • Alex on March 25, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    Harris for sure should be in the Ashes squad, him Pattinson and Siddle could be the fast bowling combo for the 1st test. I think Harris has now leaped ahead of Hilfy in the pecking order. Infact if Bird is fit then Hilfy might miss out with Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Johnson, Bird and Harris being the specialist quick bowlers making the squad.

  • Satish on March 25, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    YAY Tassie will win this time and Rick Ponting will lift his 1st trophy with the state that gave him and he gave his all.Faulkner,Butterworth,Paine,Harris and Doolan all Ashes hopefuls.

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