Queensland 4 for 285 (Maher 116) v New South Wales
Jimmy Maher put Queensland in control against their arch-rivals New South Wales with a finely-crafted century on an uncharacteristically low, slow Gabba wicket. Mixing patience with slick strokemaking, Maher grafted his way to 116 to provide the backbone of Queensland's first-day total of 4 for 285.
New South Wales need maximum points from this match to keep their Pura Cup hopes alive, and the y toiled manfully, using eight bowlers in the energy-sapping conditions. But Steve Waugh let slip NSW's best chance of taking control when he dropped Maher at midwicket on 39.
Maher admitted he expected Waugh to snaffle the overhead chance. "Having said that I would have been pretty angry had he caught it because I couldn't have hit it any harder," he said after recording his 13th century for Queensland. It was a fine riposte to the Australian selectors, after he was overlooked as Michael Bevan's replacement for the VB Series.
But Maher denied that he was fuelled by his omission. "As far as I'm concerned today was just about playing well for Queensland," he said. "You don't have to answer questions from anyone, just those from yourself. I'm very happy, it was a tough day. The runs never came easy at any stage."
Stuart Clark, with 2 for 39 from 19 overs, was the pick of NSW's attack, and it was he who ended Maher's five-hour stay by inducing an edge behind from a widish leg-cutter. Maher received great support from Martin Love (68) and Stuart Law (67 not out) in two key partnerships.
Two late wickets renewed NSW's hopes, but Law, who belted eight fours and a six in 119 balls, remains a huge obstacle as he searches for his first Pura Cup century in three years. On 49, he became Queensland's highest first-class run-scorer when he pulled Stuart MacGill to the square-leg boundary, passing Sam Trimble's mark of 9465 runs.