A brilliant hundredth innings from Queensland captain Usman Khawaja led his team to a three-wicket win over Tasmania to extend their lead on the ladder of the Marsh Sheffield Shield
An unbeaten century of captaincy from Usman Khawaja has helped Queensland to claim a three-wicket win over Tasmania in Hobart, where the Marsh Sheffield Shield leaders scored a goal of 310.
Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne, 78, did most of the work in a tricky chase and went one 137-year partnership.
Khawaja, who hasn’t played for Australia since Ashes 2019, didn’t finish the race at 115 when the Bulls won the AEDT just before 5pm on the final day of an upside-down competition « They came out after lunch and just bowled beautifully for an hour and a half, and me and Marny, we just couldn’t get anything, » said the Bulls-Ski pper after the game. « We thought if we worked it out … that was the hardest part of the innings, (Jackson) Bird was bowling beautifully – all of the Tasmanian bowlers were really good at bowling.
» We got through that and then everything has one Gear engaged. It was a pretty nice wicket when you got used to the conditions (but) it was a tough wicket to start with. Lots of people came in and got off early.
« I was just looking at how many we hunted, you’d see it come down – 250, 200, 150, 100 – I just counted down. I’m trying not to look too much at the scoreboard, especially my score, but it’s hard not to look at the runs that you are going to be following. «
The experience of 34 year old Khawaja was telling than Tim Paine worked overtime all Saturday, trying to pull wickets with the help of an attack that came without the fast bowlers Riley Meredith (national duties) and Peter Siddle (injured thumb).
Khawaja was on at 2-53pm called in the middle after former Test Paceman Jackson Bird started the day removing Bryce Street (21) with the third ball of the day before adding centurion Joe Burns (20) from the first inning shortly thereafter, to swing the momentum of Tasmania way.
The L inkshänder never panicked when batting partners came and went, which meant a hefty price tag on his wicket and still ensured the scoreboard kept ticking during an unlikely inning.
Khawaja’s reaction to his 30th prime century, which began in 181 Balls showing up when he cut a shipment from Gabe Bell off his pads for one of his 10 boundaries was indicative.
Great Uzzie! A classic shot to raise a typical classic hundred! @MarshGlobal | #SheffieldShield pic.twitter.com/JxGDs39lfu
The veteran briefly confirmed the milestone and then quickly reset focus, knowing that his team needed another 55 runs at this point.
Jimmy Peirson was during the same period that Khawaja hit three numbers, four times en route.
The Cops slipped to 7-297 when Nathan Ellis fired Jack Wildermuth and Mark Steketee with consecutive balls, but that was as close as the hosts came to victory.
Labuschagne swept eight lines in one composed stroke and looked on the track for a century until he was classified as one of Beau Webster’s mid-pacemakers during the post-lunch session.
The reaction The world’s No. 3 test batsman, who shook his head as he stomped off after being fired, was not dissimilar to that of his mentor Steve Smith at SCG the day before.
Labuschagne was during the pressurized In his element in the situation, he steered the ball flawlessly and had a casual chat with Paine after a particularly enthusiastic appeal.
How good would a bit of a blunt microphone be at the moment? 🎙
There’s a fascinating fight going on right now – and you can watch #SheffieldShield live here: https://t.co/ob76tzHG5H pic.twitter.com/aUNl1z1pZK
Paine’s bold call for handing Webster the second new ball was with rewarded with a lead from Matthew Renshaw (21), which was happily accepted, but Khawaja kept the ball down.
Bird delivered 28.4 tireless overs and 11 virgins to finish with numbers 2-59, but it was ultimately okay when the cops climbed to the top of the shield ladder.
« There are still four games left so we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves, but we’re in a nice position right now, « added Khawaja. « If we can keep getting wins … Joey Burns has fought wonderfully in those first innings, his 170, if it hadn’t been for and fought like the tail, we wouldn’t have had a chance to do what we did in this one Fall have done (second) innings.
« If we win two or three more games we should be at the top, and when Michael Neser and Mitchell Swepson come back we’ll keep our fingers crossed that all goes well. »
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