HUGE TASK FOR BULLS
Queensland face a monumental task to beat WA outright tomorrow and take a clear lead on the Bupa Sheffield Shield table.
At stumps on Day 3 at the Gabba, the XXXX GOLD Bulls were 2-88 in pursuit of a 440-run victory target.
Greg Moller resumes tomorrow on a stoic 48 from 123 balls, while Pete Forrest is on 11.
Only once in history has a Queensland side scored more than 400 in the second innings and their highest ever run chase to win a game was against Tasmania at Allan Border Field in 2000-01 when they made 6-373.
WA set up the massive run chase by producing the biggest score of the Shield competition this season – 496 - courtesy largely of their tail.
While Shaun Marsh and Adam Voges laid the platform with their 162-run stand yesterday, the Warriors still would not have envisaged their last four batsmen adding 256 runs today.
Journeyman John Rogers provided the early grief, peeling off 10 boundaries and a six on his way to a handsome 89.
Following the loss of nightwatchman Jason Behrendorff (2) to the second ball of the day, Rogers and wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman survived the remainder of the opening session.
Rogers enjoyed his second large slick of luck in the innings on the first ball after the morning drinks break on 39. He edged the ever-consistent James Hopes behind but keeper Chris Hartley made a rare fumble and dropped the opportunity.
It left the Bulls further cursing the not out decision on a massive caught behind appeal late yesterday when Rogers was on just six.
Rogers, still only 25, was raised in the ACT but ventured to Tasmania in 2008 in search of opportunity and played his sole Shield game before this season in 2010 against Queensland, making 0 and 1.
He moved to Brisbane last summer and made a big impression as captain of Valley in the XXXX GOLD Premier Grade competition, then flew to the other side of the country to try out with WA.
The Warriors gave him a first class cap in their last match against NSW, where he made 45 and 0.
The compact left-hander struck the ball crisply today before being lured into a hook shot immediately after lunch by Matthew Gale, who looked in good rhythm all day, and skied a catch to Hartley.
Rogers' union with Whiteman yielded 123 runs but there was more pain to come for the maroons.
While Whiteman fell soon after for 51, miss-hitting a hook at Gale to mid-off, the strongly-built Nathan Coulter-Nile belted 32 off 20 balls to take the Warriors past 400.
And it still wasn't over for the Bulls in the field.
The last pairing of Ashton Agar (53 off 48 balls) and Michael Hogan (43no off 38) piled on 94 runs in a little over an hour to compound the misery. It was a record 10th wicket partnership for WA against all States.
Hopes was the pick of the bowlers with 3-60 off 34.4 tireless overs, while Gale worked hard for his 4-109 off 27 overs.
While there was little movement for the bowlers all day, a brute of a ball by Coulter-Nile aimed at Luke Pomersbach's throat ballooned off the opener's gloves to have the Bulls 1-17, then Joe Burns looked set on 22 before top edging an attempted sweep at spinner Agar.
Moller and Forrest doggedly saw out the last hour and have a mountain to climb tomorrow, needing another 353 at almost four runs per over.
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