Marnus Labuschagne has marched Queensland to 2-148 at lunch on day four of their Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania in Hobart, where the visitors require a further 162 runs to win.
Labuschagne is 53 not out, having stroked five boundaries as his table-topping Bulls pursue a target of 310.
Former Test paceman Jackson Bird swung momentum Tasmania’s way on Saturday morning, removing Joe Burns and Bryce Street during an impressive opening spell.
Tim Paine threw the ball to Bird late in Saturday’s morning session, but the right-armer was unable to break a partnership between Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja that is already worth 95 runs.
Labuschagne was in his element during the pressure-laden situation, timing the ball impeccably and casually chatting with Paine after a particularly enthusiastic appeal.
The world’s No.3 Test batsman passed 50 in 83 balls, bringing up his half-century with consecutive boundaries off spinner Jarrod Freeman.
Khawaja is unbeaten on 40, having also scored freely.
Street shouldered arms to the day’s third delivery, only for it to disturb his off stump.
Bird then claimed the key scalp of first-innings centurion Burns for 21, with the umpire ruling he had tickled an edge to Paine.