Queensland are daring to dream of a berth in the Sheffield Shield final after putting themselves in a strong position in their clash with Victoria.
Queensland is daring to dream of a berth in the Sheffield Shield final after the Bulls worked themselves into a strong position at stumps on the second day of their clash with Victoria at the MCG.
Queensland entered the final round of the season on 22 points and needing an outright victory against the last-placed Bushrangers to have any shot of leapfrogging Western Australia, NSW or South Australia, who were all tied on 26 points.
The Bulls have done their part in reaching at 5-285 at the end of the second day’s play in reply to the Bushrangers’ first-innings total of 210.
“We’re very happy with the position we’re in. It was a good day for Queensland,” opener Joe Burns said.
“We’ve got a bit of a lead now and the plan is to try and build on that as much as we can tomorrow so that we don’t leave ourselves with too much of a run chase in the fourth innings.
“The wicket looks like it might start to play a few tricks and turn a bit more as the game goes on.”
Burns was a key factor in his side’s strong performance with his brisk 71 getting the innings off to a positive start.
Elsewhere around the country, Tasmania holds a huge first innings lead over South Australia in Hobart, while the match between WA and NSW in Canberra remains evenly poised.
With so much dependent on other results, the Bulls could be forgiven for struggling to maintain focus at the MCG.
“It’s a bit of a nice distraction really, to know that if we do win the game that we’re going to have a chance of playing in a Shield final,” Burns said.
“But all the boys know that first and foremost we’ve got to get six points here and then see what happens.”
The rare form of Queensland skipper James Hopes with the ball is one of the main reasons the Bulls find themselves in such a good position.
Hopes ripped through the Victorian line-up to finish with career-best figures of 6-40 from 21.3 overs and he also looms as a key figure with the bat when he resumes on 22, along with Peter Forrest on 88, as the Bulls look to extend their lead on day three.