Maher, Love give Queensland grip on final

Published: Sunday, March 26, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Brisbane:Senior batsmen Jimmy Maher and Martin Love gave Queensland a stranglehold on the Australia's Sheffield Shield cricket final against Victoria with dominant innings.

Maher and Love batted Queensland into a commanding position with a 297-run second wicket partnership on the third day of the scheduled five-day final at the Gabba on Sunday.

Maher compiled his highest first-class score of 223 and Love scored 169 for Queensland to reach the close at 584 for three and hold a 240-run innings lead with two days' left.

Shane Watson (73 not out) and Clinton Perren (24 not out) were at the crease at stumps.

Maher's total eclipsed his previous highest first-class score of 217 for Glamorgan in English county cricket in 2001.

Queensland, runner-up in the past three finals, need only to draw the match to claim a sixth domestic four-day crown after ending the season on top of the standings.

Part-time bowler Nick Jewell (1-22) and paceman Mick Lewis (1-125) were Victoria's wicket-takers Sunday.

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