Jimmy Maher posted his highest first-class score and Martin Love nailed his fourth century in a final as Queensland tightened their grip on the Pura Cup at the Gabba. On a tremendous third day for the Bulls and an awful one for Victoria, the home side lost only two wickets - Maher for 223 and Love for 169 - to go to stumps preparing their victory speech at 3 for 584.
A 297-run partnership between Maher and Love, the former state junior team-mates, set up the Bulls' ride in a five-day match they have only to draw to end their three-year sequence of finishing second. Maher, who has been inspired by the victims of Cyclone Larry in north Queensland, brought up his double-century a ball after Love reached three figures shortly before lunch and enjoyed an animated celebration.
Maher went on to beat his 217 for Glamorgan in 2001 before edging Mick Lewis, who had figures of 1 for 125, and leaving with 29 fours from his 385 balls. Queensland were in extreme comfort at 2 for 454, but they added 71 more through Shane Watson and Love, whose only error came when he hit a catch to Nathan Pilon off Nick Jewell from his 291st delivery.
Queensland were forced to field for three days against Victoria in the 2003-04 final when the hosts scored 710
, and the home side was intent on delaying their opponents for as long as possible. Watson was unbeaten on 73 and Clint Perren reached 24, with the state's highest score of 687 against New South Wales in 1930-31 approaching.
"I wasn't thinking of pulling out at 711, put it that way," Maher told AAP. "That day we got hammered into the ground. Let me put it this way - I've got a pretty good memory. In saying that we want to win the game outright."