IT SPEAKS volumes for the quirkiness of cricket that for much of a tense opening day of this final, the most important of all the stats was a zero.
That digit, in the Tigers' wickets column, told the story of two openers who appeared capable of making Steve Cazzulino's five-hour boundary-less 68 off 198 balls in last year's final look pulsating.
But having finished top of the tightest of tables to claim hosting rights, Tasmania has the luxury of knowing Queensland has to take 20 wickets to retain its title, so doggedness becomes more valuable than dynamism - a message clearly lost on compatriots in India.
Tigers captain George Bailey put his faith in his batsmen by electing to bat after winning the toss and the patient pair of Mark Cosgrove and Jordan Silk rewarded his confidence by surviving two sessions of probing Bulls' bowling.
With a run rate as low as 1.5 per over at tea, 33 maidens and one spell of 31 consecutive deliveries without a run, for much of the day it looked as if the compiler of Cricket Australia's rolling internet updates had nodded off leaning on the dot key.
It might not sound very exciting, but this was more about claiming the box seat than putting spectators on the edge of theirs.
And much credit should go to Silk and Cosgrove - two of just three mainlanders in the Tigers' squad.
They bided their time, weathered spells like James Hopes's opening stint of five overs for one run, and offered just one chance in each of the first two sessions.
The Bulls were 133 runs in arrears and within sight of the second new ball before finally getting the breakthrough when Cosgrove played on to Michael Neser to end perhaps the most patient innings of his career, 58 off 217 balls.
Alex Doolan faced 200 less deliveries for his six runs before giving Peter Forrest catching practice at second slip and providing the tireless Ryan Harris (1-46) with a hard-earned wicket.
Ricky Ponting (20 not out) came in to see both his team and his latest project to stumps at 2-176.
Silk remains not out on 82 having been at the crease since the opening delivery of the day, and is nine balls away from facing an entire one-day innings by himself.
Admittedly, the 20-year- old rode his luck, surviving chances on four, 34 and 74 - tough drops by Harris and Chris Hartley and a missed run out by Cameron Gannon.
But he earned his luck with some stout defence and classic cash-ins on the rare moments when the bowling waned.
Tasmania's youngest and oldest players make an unlikely combo, but could hold the state's fate in their hands this morning.