HAURITZ LEADS CHARGE
The war of attrition that has passed for day three of the Bupa Sheffield Shield match at the MCG today saw XXXX GOLD Queensland Bulls spinner Nathan Hauritz emerge as a man of the steel as Victoria wrested the upper hand in the game.
Victoria finished at 9-536, an overall lead of 214 runs, and put two points in the bank to go to the top of the table after a marathon innings of batting that saw the Bulls bowl a total of 169.3 overs.
Hauritz took his second five-wicket haul in Shield cricket, a just and timely reward after a mammoth stint of 54.3 overs.
The experienced off-spinner finished with 5-135, bowling tightly and keeping his economy rate to 2.48 runs an over as he shouldered the bowling burden of leading a youthful and undermanned attack on a flat MCG track.
With paceman Matthew Gale sidelined with a knee injury, the Queensland attack had to toil manfully against a Bushrangers line-up that made hay while the Bulls were in the field.
The Victorians had three century-makers in their innings, with Chris Rogers (101), Michael Hill (144) and Cam White (144) each reaching triple figures; a feat that three Queensland bowlers also managed with more than 100 runs to their name.
It was the first time that Queensland had conceded three centuries in the same innings of a match since Victoria did it in the 2008-09 Sheffield Shield final at St Kilda when two of the three batsman today did so in the form of Rogers (105), David Hussey (113) and White (135).
Hard-working youngster Ronan McDonald had a debut that he will long recall, taking 2-134 from 37 overs, while tireless skipper James Hopes charged in for 35 overs to finish with 1-104.
The Bulls had to bat a challenging 15 overs on an extended day of play due to time lost yesterday, with openers Greg Moller and Luke Pomersbach opting to bat positively in a bid to regain some momentum coming into the final day.
The pair took the score to 0-60 when stumps were drawn, with Pomersbach 28 not out and Moller 17 not out.
With the match between South Australia and NSW looking likely to result in a six-point win for the Redbacks, Queensland could well slip back to third spot tomorrow, although will be mindful of gifting Victoria six points.
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