Tasmania's third Shield win, Ponting's first
Tasmania 419 (Silk 108, Butterwoth 86, Hopes 4-71) and 251 (Faulkner 89, Paine 87, Harris 4-32) drew with Queensland 225 (Forrest 56, Gulbis 4-62) and 6 for 183 (Reardon 51, Butterworth 2-30)
A draw was all Tasmania needed for their third Sheffield Shield triumph, and a draw was what they celebrated after a relatively uneventful final day at Bellerive Oval, Hobart.
The title-winning moment came not with a wicket, but a solid front-foot defensive stroke from Hartley. But the celebrations were no less emotive or spontaneous. Twenty years after his debut for Tasmania, Ricky Ponting finally added a Sheffield Shield title to his long list of career achievements.
Queensland took the final three wickets of Tasmania's second innings within the first seven overs of the morning. James Faulkner, who batted so superbly yesterday, fell 11 runs short of his maiden first-class century when he gloved an attempted hook off Michael Neser through to keeper Chris Hartley. Faulkner's disappointment of missing a century would have been tempered by his well-deserved Man-of-the-Match award.
Luke Butterworth holed out to deep square leg five balls later. Cameron Gannon bounced out Ben Hilfenhaus in the next over. The last four Tasmanian wickets fell to short balls on a surface seemingly lacking life and bounce. It left Queensland needing 446 from 87 overs for the unlikeliest of victories.
The Bulls never made any attempt to chase the set target. The run-rate scarcely exceeded two-per-over throughout the day.
Both Bulls openers, Luke Pomersbach and Greg Moller, like their Tasmananian counterparts yesterday, dragged balls onto their stumps attempting horizontal bat strokes. Peter Forrest became Evan Gulbis' fifth victim of the match when he played the wrong line and lost his off stump.
Nathan Reardon and Joe Burns put together a 63-run stand from 187 deliveries before Luke Butterworth nipped one through the gate to end Burns' season on the stroke of tea. Reardon made his way to just his third first-class fifty before a searing yorker from Ben Hilfenhaus struck him on the toe in front of off stump.
The game looked destined for a draw with Hartley and James Hopes defending stoutly. But when Butterworth trapped the Bulls skipper with 10 overs remaining there was a possibility of Tasmania claiming an outright win. But Hartley and Neser ensured that result never eventuated.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth