Queensland with mountain to climb

Dramatic day ends with Tassie on top

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Queensland ran into early trouble on Saturday as they chased a tough 333 to beat Tasmania in the Bupa Sheffield Shield match at Bellerive.

Needing to negotiate a tricky seven overs after the home side declared, the Bulls were 1-11 at stumps on day three.

In-form opener Joe Burns, who made an unbeaten 91 in the first innings, was out for one as Queensland began a steep climb.

A fightback with the ball, spearheaded by veteran skipper James Hopes (5-59), wasn't enough to keep the target below 300.

The Tigers declared their second innings at 9-165 late on day three, Jonathan Wells top-scoring with 43.

Queensland face a tough chase on a slow pitch in conditions that have favoured the swing bowlers.

After a grinding first two days, 17 wickets fell for 223 on Saturday.

The Bulls resumed at 3-136 in their first innings but collapsed, losing 7-47 to be all out for 183 in reply to the home side's 350.

The 35-year-old Hopes' masterful display of swing bowling helped reduce the home side to 6-64 in their second dig.

It had the Bulls in with a real chance before Wells and tailenders Sam Rainbird (28no) and Xavier Doherty (22) frustrated the visitors.

Earlier, Tasmanian former Test paceman Ben Hilfenhaus (4-49) claimed a hat-trick to ensure a Queensland collapse.

Hilfenhaus scythed through the Bulls' batting, trapping Hopes (12) lbw before clean bowling Ben Cutting (0) and Cameron Boyce (0) to reduce the visitors to 8-170.

The 30-year-old, who played 27 Tests, became the fourth Tasmanian to take a Shield hat-trick.

Not to be outdone, fellow paceman Andrew Fekete (3-41) will start a second-innings spell on a hat-trick after mopping up the tail with consecutive deliveries.

For the Bulls, only rising star Burns passed 50, the opener carrying his bat in a 226-ball knock.

The Shield finalists from last season both need an outright victory to stay in touch with the ladder leaders.