Tasmania 6 for 360 (Wade 92*, Silk 76, Bailey 51, Milenko 50, Doggett 3-83) v Queensland
A typically gritty performance from Matthew Wade steered Tasmania to an encouraging position in their quest to wrestle the Sheffield Shield trophy from Queensland. After the match started with a Friday of stops, Tasmania threw away a string of starts that threatened to damage their hopes until an afternoon surge overseen by Wade moved them to 6 for 360.
The season has been a difficult one for Wade, who began the campaign as the Test wicketkeeper before being traded for state team-mate Tim Paine, but his batting hasn’t suffered. At stumps he was unbeaten on 92 and on the verge of his third Shield century of the summer. Wade has won two Shield trophies with Victoria in the past three attempts, and is eyeing another triumph with his native state.
He displayed both control and patches of aggression. He pulled Michael Neser for six and added 12 boundaries, including a crisp four to bring up his half-century. Dropped on 32, Wade refocussed and the momentum started to swing in the afternoon when he added a brisk 84 with Simon Milenko, and 55 with Tom Rogers (28 not out). Playing against his old team, Milenko reminded his mates of his power by racing to 50 off 58 deliveries before being caught on the square-leg boundary aiming for a third six.
Tasmania are handicapped by needing to win the game outright to lift the Shield, and ater the first-day wash-out, the specialist batsmen often seemed unsure whether to hang around or push the pace. Queensland struck regularly without dominating, benefiting from a series of mistakes just as the Tasmanians seemed ready to go on.
Jordan Silk’s platform-building ended at 76 when he attempted to clear two men in the deep and was caught smartly by Luke Feldman at fine leg. Jake Doran (34) also suffered from being too adventurous, edging an attempted hook from a Brendan Doggett short ball, and George Bailey’s only problem during his half-century arrived when he badly misjudged a single and was beaten by Neser’s direct hit two balls after tea. Doggett was the most penetrative of the Queensland attack with 3 for 83.
After winning the toss, Tasmania’s morning began badly with Alex Doolan’s edge off Neser in the fifth over. Beau Webster’s departure to a smart catch behind from Jimmy Peirson created further nerves but their position became steadier throughout the afternoon as Wade helped set up an intriguing third day.