Bulls dominate Pura Cup first innings - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulls dominate Pura Cup first innings

By Jim Morton 18/10/2005 07:18:40 PM Comments (0)

Century-maker Jimmy Maher believes Queensland teammate James Hopes is ready for a settled place in Australia's one-day team as a genuine all-rounder after a match-turning knock at the Gabba.

Maher toughed out an inspirational unbeaten 108 while Hopes blazed 77 from 88 balls in a pivotal fifth-wicket partnership that grabbed first-innings Pura Cup points from Tasmania.

The Bulls pair belted 137 in 103 minutes to completely change the course of the season-opening match after they were 4-125 on a difficult batting wicket.

The ever-improving Hopes cursed his "soft" dismissal, holing out at extra cover off Adam Griffith (3-71) four overs before stumps, but the home side goes into day three in control at 5-273.

They have a five-run first-innings lead after the Tigers tail continued to wag its way to 268 on Tuesday.

Queensland skipper Maher was the main hero of the day after bravely guiding his side out of trouble at 2-19 and 3-66 against Griffith and Damien Wright (2-33).

But it was Hopes' attacking efforts which would have most caught the eye of chief national selector Trevor Hohns in the stands.

While the 26-year-old was a squad member in Australia's one-day side for the recent Super Series, he failed to play, and Maher feels there's room for him alongside fellow Queensland all-rounders Andrew Symonds and Shane Watson.

"He's a genuine all-rounder who can open the innings or bat down the order and as we saw today there are few cleaner strikers of the ball," he said of Hopes, who also impressed in a new-ball role this match, taking 2-42.

"He'll do a very good job with both bat and ball."

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