Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo
Tasmania 182 (Kuhnemann 5-60) & 1 for 127 (Jewell 65*, Ward 54) trail Queensland 6 for 487 dec & 1 for 132 dec (Labuschagne 60*) by 310 runs
Matthew Kuhnemann's maiden five-wicket haul for Queensland, a rollicking half-century from Marnus Labuschagne and an assured century opening stand from Tasmania pair Caleb Jewell and Tim Ward has set up a fascinating final day in Townsville with the visitors well-placed in pursuit of a fourth-innings target of 438.
Tasmania appeared to let the game slip early on the third day when they folded to be all out for 182 in the first innings with Kuhnemann spinning through the lower-order. But an excellent partnership of 118 from Jewell and Ward has given the Tigers some hope at stumps. They lost Ward for 54, but Jewell remained 65 not out with nine wickets in hand and 311 needed for a remarkable win on the final day.
Such a position seemed fanciful when they crumbled in their first innings. Jordan Silk fell for 47 early on getting a bottom edge trying to cut Jack Wildermuth. Kuhnemann then extracted some turn and bounce to prize out three of the last five wickets with some help from Labuschagne, who took a phenomenal diving catch at midwicket. Kuhnemann finished with 5 for 60 from 30.1 overs, his best figures at Shield level.
Queensland chose not to enforce the follow-on and opted to instead chase quick runs to set a fourth-innings target on a fast-wearing pitch. Labuschagne heeded his captain's instructions with a brisk 60 not out from just 46 balls. He entered with the score at 1 for 48 in the 15th over and Usman Khawaja was able to declare after 30 overs with Labuschagne and Joe Burns having added 84 at nearly a run-a-ball. Labuschagne struck four fours and three sixes while Burns made 44 not out.
Jewell and Ward then made batting look easy late in the day. They played the quicks with ease. They did face the odd nervous moments against the spinners but were relatively assured overall. Ward fell late in the day playing the wrong line to James Bazley to edge behind. But Jewell cruised 65 not out to give his team a chance on the final day.
Queensland vs Tasmania