Queensland in need of Shield miracle

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Queensland will need a miracle if they’re to have any chance of defending their Sheffield Shield title after crashing to 7-185 at stumps on day three of the final at Bellerive.

The Bulls were still 234 behind the home side’s first innings of 419 as their batsmen misfired on a rain-disrupted day.

Only Peter Forrest (56) and wicketkeeper Chris Hartley (36) looked like building substantial innings, but a slow Bellerive pitch meant they struggled to gather any of the momentum their side needed.

Skipper James Hopes (23no) and Nathan Hauritz (0no) will resume in what looks increasingly like a lost cause, with only a win being enough for the Bulls.

Tasmania’s attack stayed patient, dead-pitch specialist Evan Gulbis bagging 3-39, while a disastrous runout late on Sunday added to the visitors’ woes.

More than two hours were lost because of rain, despite bright sunshine for most of that time.

Players left the ground at 11.50am (AEDT) as a short but heavy shower hit Bellerive after only 14.1 overs had been bowled in the morning session.

But an apparent delay in covering the pitch meant it became wet and umpires weren’t satisfied the ground was safe until 2.25pm.

It wasn’t the only setback for Queensland after Joe Burns (6) was dismissed controversially.

The rising star was out to a superb low-diving effort from Tigers keeper Tim Paine, but commentators questioned whether the ball had carried and replays were inconclusive.

Burns’ loss left the visitors 4-81 after they had resumed at 1-12 and needing to force the pace of the match.

Opener Luke Pomersbach (17) and Forrest had put on 46 before Pomersbach was bowled by Luke Butterworth (1-30), and it was 3-70 when Nathan Reardon (13) prodded at a good length delivery from Gulbis.

Australian one-day representative Forrest took 172 balls for his 56 and the Bulls were left 5-128 when he was trapped in front by Gulbis.

A sluggish attempt at a single by Hartley resulted in him being run out at 6-163 as the lights began to take effect late in the day before Gulbis had Michael Neser caught behind.

The Tigers need only a draw to claim their third title and a first state trophy for champion Ricky Ponting.

© AAP 2014