Queensland have weathered a Matthew Wade ton and a Tasmanian tail-end onslaught to put themselves in the box seat to claim the JLT Sheffield Shield title in Brisbane.
The Bulls, needing only a draw to take home the silverware, were sitting pretty at 3-232 trailing the Tigers by 244 runs at stumps on day three of the five-day decider at Allan Border Field.
Test keeper Wade brought up his third Shield century since the KFC Big Bash League break in a gutsy knock before paceman Brendan Doggett dismissed him for 108 this morning.
The tireless Doggett claimed his second five-wicket haul of the summer, finishing with 5-101 from 31 overs, as fast bowler Sam Rainbird (57) scored his maiden first-class half-century.
Rainbird's spirited tail-end onslaught helped Tasmania reach 477 before losing their final wicket before lunch, a tremendous lower-order effort considering the visitors were 4-141 at one stage yesterday.
But with Bulls openers Joe Burns (49) and Matthew Renshaw (37) both sending reminders of their talents, and Sam Heazlett (36 not out) and Charlie Hemphrey (48 not out) extending their fourth-wicket stand past 100, Tasmania face an uphill battle to win this match.
Resuming the third day eight runs short of his 12th first-class century, Wade may have feared he'd be left stranded when Tom Rogers (28) edged to a tumbling Heazlett in the gully to leave Tasmania eight wickets down.
But an exquisite square drive on the up and a less convincing shot through the slips saw Wade reach the milestone, acknowledging the crowd's applause with an understated wave.
Queensland's plan to have him out hooking, as revealed by bowling coach Adam Bichel after play on Saturday, finally came off 190 balls into the keeper's innings - as he got a touch on a short ball down the legside from Doggett.
That the Bulls conceded a further 93 runs after Wade's departure meant the Tigers moved into a nigh-on unloseable position in this match.
Finding capable allies in No.10 Jackson Bird (13) and No.11 Andrew Fekete (25 not out), Rainbird cleared the fence twice and added seven more boundaries in an entertaining cameo.
After Tasmania's first dig was finally ended when Luke Feldman bowled Rainbird, Queensland's openers may have been forgiven for going the cautious route given their position as the higher-ranked side.
But Renshaw was having none of it and his approach in the three overs the Bulls faced before lunch showed he's expanded his game past the 'watchful opener' tag he earned in his impressive 10-game stint with the Test team.
The left-hander struck a pair of boundaries before depositing Bird for two sixes in the three balls before lunch to have the healthy crowd whistling and whooping at the break.
Renshaw looked miffed when he was deemed to have edged one behind off Jackson Bird (1-45 off 14 overs), though Burns filled his void with a couple of delightful flicks and taking Rainbird for 20 off an over.
With Tasmania looking a little short of their stride as they headed off for an early tea due to some brief showers, all-rounder Rogers (2-33 off 11) delivered a couple breakthroughs immediately after the interval.
The rookie allrounder struck Burns plumb in front on the first ball following the break, before removing a stunned Marnus Labuschagne with the best delivery bowled in this match, a gem that nipped away to clip the top of the off peg.
Tasmania’s hopes of running through and sniffing out a collapse were dashed as the composed duo of Heazlett and Hemphrey safely guided the Bulls to the close of play.
And while the eyes of Australian cricket look set to stay trained on the unfolding ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, the final match of the domestic summer could yet deliver a twist in its remaining two days.
Our QLD Bulls vs TAS Tigers Away Sheffield Shield Final is being live streamed LIVE + FREE via www.cricket.com.au