The leaders Victoria dominated Tasmania's bowlers as they turned what should have been a difficult day into an impressive total of 5 for 366 at Bellerive Oval. Sent in on a pitch expected to suit the fast men, the Bushrangers negotiated all of the early problems and the top three of Chris Rogers, Nick Jewell and Brad Hodge registered half-centuries.
There were no rewards for the second-placed home side, which holds a two-point lead over Queensland, until after lunch as Rogers and Jewell put on 165 to eliminate Tasmania's advantage at the toss. Jewell had a stumping reprieve on 32 off Jason Krejza, who was brought on before the break in an effort to make something happen after the quicks failed.
The numbers of the openers were similar: both faced 143 deliveries, Rogers scored 82 with 13 boundaries and Jewell gathered 83 with 15 fours. Rogers nicked Brett Geeves to Tim Paine a couple of overs before Jewell was run-out by Jonathan Wells' throw from square leg.
David Hussey, who was caught short at the bowler's end on 44, was also a victim of a run-out with Hodge as his partner. Hodge was undeterred by the setbacks and made his way to 79 before giving Paine one of his three catches. Cameron White had 23 when Geeves got his second breakthrough, but by stumps there were still some problems for the hosts, with Rob Quiney on 34 and Matthew Wade 11 not out.