Marsh Sheffield Shield 2019-20
Bulls sniff victory after Tigers top-order collapse
Queensland require six wickets on day three to wrap up an innings victory
15 February 2020, 07:34 PM AEST
Queensland captain Usman Khawaja will arrive at the Gabba on Sunday with a strong scent of victory after another day of Marsh Sheffield Shield dominance against Tasmania.
Following his destruction with the swinging Dukes ball on Friday, Michael Neser was again the catalyst as the Queensland quick found himself on a hat-trick to leave the Tigers 3-0 in their second innings.
The visitors recovered to finish Saturday 4-72, but still 107 runs shy of making Queensland bat again.
Khawaja (56 off 163) led the hosts with a patient half-century, while tailenders Cameron Gannon (22) and Mark Steketee (20) put on 30 for the ninth wicket to frustrate the visitors and guide the Bulls to 257.
That came after the Tigers managed just 78 - their third-lowest Shield total - on an opening day where Neser, described by his captain as a "genius", at one stage had figures of 4-5.
"It wasn't easy scoring there ... it was hard to drive on and the ball's nipping around a fair bit even in the second innings," Khawaja said.
"It's not easy out there, so we'll come out, bowl well and try win this game tomorrow."
Neser and Jack Wildermuth (1-11) didn't take long to rip in again on Saturday afternoon, Alex Doolan, Jake Doran and Jordan Silk all dismissed without scoring.
Ben McDermott negotiated Neser's hat-trick ball and finished the day unbeaten on 35, while Charlie Wakim (27) was a late lbw victim to Mitchell Swepson and Jackson Bird (4-68) was the pick of Tasmania's bowlers.
Queensland are third on the Shield ladder with three rounds to play, while the Tigers are second-last.
"I'd like to win tomorrow and then go from there," Khawaja said of his ambitions of winning a maiden Shield title with the Bulls.
Mark Steketee has a big appeal for lbw turned down... #SheffieldShield pic.twitter.com/lvfjuoCeOX— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 15, 2020
"It's nice to have just four games, nothing in between, just red ball cricket and with the next two at the Gabba and WACA. Both aren't easy and are probably result games.
"So if we are on the right side of those two we could almost cement our place in the final, so there's a lot to play for."
Queensland XI: Usman Khawaja (c), Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Sam Heazlett, Bryce Street, Jack Wildermuth, James Peirson (wk), Michael Neser, Cameron Gannon, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson
Tasmania XI: Alex Doolan, Jordan Silk, Charlie Wakim, Jake Doran, Ben McDermott, Tim Paine (c, wk), Beau Webster, Simon Milenko, Jackson Bird, Sam Rainbird, Gabe Bell