Rain frustrated Queensland but coach Darren Lehmann was more concerned about letting slip a golden chance to dismiss Victorian saviour Matthew Wade in their Sheffield Shield clash on Thursday.
At stumps on day two, Victoria were 6-174 – holding an overall lead of 25 – at a rain-soaked Gabba with man of the moment Wade not out 70 and Peter Siddle unbeaten on 51.
Showers allowed just 18 overs and 80 minutes of play, but it was enough time to potentially turn the game on its head.
Victoria defied the bowler-friendly conditions to snatch the upper hand – and first innings points – as Wade and Siddle put together an unbroken seventh wicket stand of 106.
More worrying for Lehmann was Usman Khawaja dropping Wade on 40 in the slips off Ben Cutting (2-36) before the heavens opened almost half an hour before lunch, washing out the final two sessions.
“If we held that catch we might have had a lead,” Lehmann said.
“If you want to beat good teams you have to hold your catches.”
Resuming on Thursday at 6-103, Wade and Siddle looked comfortable on what seemed a juicy Gabba deck after overnight rain to ensure first innings points for the visitors.
Besides Cutting, Luke Feldman (2-40) and Alister McDermott (2-33) also enjoyed no luck.
Wade thrashed nine fours in his 114-ball, 168 minute knock that will only add to the Australian wicketkeeper debate brewing ahead of the summer’s opening Test against South Africa at the Gabba next month.
Veteran Brad Haddin is bidding to return to the national side after spending time away from the game due to a family illness.
However, his replacement Wade would consider himself unlucky if dropped after stroking 106 in his last Test against the West Indies at Roseau in April.
And his gutsy display in tricky Gabba conditions will not hurt his chances.
He came together with Siddle with Victoria battling at 6-68 in reply to Queensland’s first innings of 149.
Their stubborn stand is in stark contrast to day one when remarkably 16 wickets fell.
Siddle (3-36) and fellow Test quick James Pattinson (2-29) knocked over Queensland’s top order before John Hastings (4-41) cleaned up the tail.
Lehmann rued the wet weather but said defending champions Queensland were still vying for six points.
“The rain doesn’t change anything. There is still an outright in this game,” he said.
“You would think the wicket has something in it tomorrow so hopefully we can knock the last four off and make more runs than we did in the first.”
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