Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/21/hauritz-queensland-cant-win

Hauritz: Queensland can't win

UPDATED 22 February, 2013 9:43AM AEST | by Robert Somers, Omnisport 2

Nathan Hauritz conceded Queensland will be forced to play for a draw on Thursday after Victoria took a stranglehold in the top-of-the-table Sheffield Shield clash at the MCG.

The veteran Bulls off-spinner claimed 5-135 from a gruelling 54.3 overs, but the dominant Bushrangers easily secured first-innings points on day three, posting 9-536 declared in reply to Queensland's 322.

The visitors will resume at 0-60, still 154 runs from forcing the Vics into a second innings.

Hauritz feared Victoria's late declaration meant an outright result was improbable.

"Unfortunately because of the way they played we will just bat for time and keep them out there all day like they did to us, they kept us out there for two days," Hauritz said from the Queensland dressing rooms.

"But the pressure is on us, we still have to get 154 to make them bat again."

Resuming at 2-212 Victoria's grip on the match strengthened the longer day three progressed, with Michael Hill and Cameron White both posting 144 to join Chris Rogers as century-makers.

It was the first time three Victorian batsmen had reached triple figures in one innings since 2009-10 when Rogers, Brad Hodge and Andrew McDonald hit form in Adelaide.

White's breakthrough was his first Sheffield Shield ton since the 2008-09 final and his first in any format since November 2010.

Hill, who shared a 186-run stand with the skipper, said the Bushrangers saw White's return to form coming after noticing the skipper alter his footwork recently.

"To see all his hard work pay off was outstanding. He has been working extremely hard in the nets," Hill said.

"Good players aren't down for long so it was only a matter of time before he was back (in form)."

Hauritz hoped light showers that skirted the MCG on Tuesday meant the pitch would play more like a day-three wicket on the final day.

"If it hadn't have rained the wicket would have played a lot differently today and tomorrow," he said.

"I think the rain almost sealed the wicket and it was overcast that day so it didn't give it a chance to bake.

"There are a few footmarks there for Fawad (Ahmed) and young Rosey (Clive Rose) so it will be interesting to see if they can hit them, but unless you do there is not a great deal happening."

Hauritz said the Bulls were rallying to support fast bowler Matthew Gale who tore his medial ligament while fielding on Tuesday and faces an extended stint on the sidelines.

"I don't think he is (feeling) the greatest at the moment. I don't think he will be playing again this season unfortunately. That's why you have to have depth of your squad," Hauritz said.

"We had a young kid come in today Ronan (McDonald). He bowled 30 overs in his first ever four-day game and that's a tough initiation."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 21 February, 2013 7:26AM AEST

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