Sheffield Shield: Test star Marnus Labuschagne backs batting masterclasses with crucial wicket against Tasmania
Marnus Labuschagne was fined for an overzealous appeal the last time he played in Tasmania, but he had the last laugh this time around.
All signs point to a summer of magic Marnus Labuschagne.
After hosting two batting masterclasses, the Test entertainment machine took the most crucial of the wickets on the final day of Queensland’s clash with Tasmania, which paved the way for Matt Kuhnemann to tear up the remaining Tigers.
The Tigers watched over shaky ground as they got down to work chasing the formidable target he had helped set and Labuschagne made it their mission to break their spirits before lunch break.
Labuschagne was simply exulting after sacking Caleb Jewell lbw on 90 points, no doubt in part because he was fined for an overzealous lbw appeal the last time he met the Tasmanians.
The wicket got rid of the most dangerous hitter Tasmania had left at their disposal and also ensured the Bulls had time on their side as they looked to avoid a repeat of what Usman Khawaja called a “disappointing” draw in their last clash with the Tigers. .
Jewell looked broken as he walked towards the hangars and with the massive wicket, Labuschagne sent a reminder of the value he will add to the test team in the ashes this summer.
For his part, Kuhnemann crushed what remained of the Tigers’ hopes of victory.
Without Mark Steketee and Michael Neser, considered two of today’s top bowlers to never play the test of cricket, Queensland was on the verge of struggling.
But Kuhnemann took it upon himself to steer the ship, somehow managing to replicate his five-wicket transport from the opening rounds.
“Ten wickets don’t come in very often,” Khawaja told the Stumps.
“He played the last two games beautifully without getting the award so I’m really happy for him. “
Charlie Wakim reportedly kicked himself after leaving Kuhnemann’s delivery to bounce back and cut bonds for what was his first wicket of the day.
Jordan Silk made the same mistake and went without scoring a single later, sidelined lbw by Gurinder Sandhu.
When Kuhnemann claimed the wickets of Jake Doran and Beau Webster in the span of two overs, the Tigers were robbed of their batting firepower.
A spirited effort from the tail order made things interesting – Jarrod Freeman was undefeated on 41 points and Riley Meredith had 20.
“They fought hard, they didn’t get knocked down or anything,” Khawaja said.
That was not enough, however, to prevent Queensland from winning by 96 points.
“Overall it was a very good game,” said Khawaja.
MARNUS MAGIC AN ENTRY OF SWEET ASHES
Everything is starting to fall into place for the Australian head of the list ahead of the Ashes and Marnus Labuschagne is only warming up.
The race-hungry Test star showed all of his top tier credentials in a stunning 60 in the second set against Tasmania, entering into a potential summer of England bowlers feast.
After Queensland spinner Matt Kuhnemann showed the closet wasn’t completely bare behind Nathan Lyon with an initial five-wicket transport to rout the Tigers to Townsville, Labuschagne, who went 136 in the opening innings , took matters into their own hands.
Looking for quick runs, despite a lead of 302 first innings, Labuschagne switched to T20 mode, crushing three sixes in a 50 of 37 balls. Labuschagne reached 60 paces, 46 balls, with former Test opener Joe Burns undefeated at 46, when Queensland captain Usman Khawaja declared with his team a 438 point lead.
The Bulls didn’t have things their way as the Tigers rushed for the fight, however, and only a late wicket got off to a blistering start in their pursuit. Tasmania were 1-127 at the stumps, with 311 races to get 96 over their goal on the final day.
With test opener David Warner back in shape in the T20 World Cup, potential opening partners Khawaja and Marcus Harris both racing, and Cameron Green also scoring half a century for WA, the selectors Australians might smile.
After his first day of racing, Labuschagne said he wanted more.
“I’m always wondering how I can improve, the 130 is a good score and you don’t complain about it, but you want to make it a big score over 180,” he said.
“These are the kind of shots that really put your team in the spotlight (and) I definitely want to score big.
“Obviously I missed the first two games with a really big score, but I was able to spend some time (in the middle) and I really found some rhythm.
“As a cricketer I don’t think anyone is really happy, this is just one of those games.”
Kuhnemann’s career-best 5-60 numbers to roll Tassie for 182 highlighted Queensland’s bowling depth as he replaced absent-minded Mitchell Swepson, who took 32 Shield wickets last summer.
The Bulls were also without rapids Michael Neser and Mark Steketee, but still had enough to take out a Tasmanian side that had just claimed the Shield’s latest victory over Western Australia.
The Tigers collapsed after top scorer Jordan Silk’s third day dismissal, losing 6-27 with three of those wickets going to Kuhnemann.
Quick pitcher Gurinder Sandhu, playing his first Shield game for Queensland after stints with NSW and Tasmania, finished in numbers 3-44 in another promising performance.
UZZIE SHOWS HAND OF ASHES
Usman Khawaja may not be thinking of an international recall, but Australian managers could do so after the Queensland skipper scored a second consecutive century at Sheffield Shield to claim a solid claim from Ashes.
The 34-year-old rose to the top of Sheffield Shield’s running points list as the Bulls batsman achieved a 20-year-old first with Matthew Renshaw also eliminating a hundred against Tasmania in Townsville.
It was the first time since 2006 that a team’s number three, four and five hitters have all scored centuries in a Shield game, after Test star Marnus Labuschagne made 136 on opening day.
After scoring an epic 174 in his final Shield rounds against South Australia, Khawaja, who appeared in the last of his 44 tests at the 2019 Ashes, said he refused to worry more about the selection. . But he also said he would strike anywhere if asked.
“People are always going to ask me about Test Cricket, that’s fair enough, there’s an Ashes coming up,” Khawaja said.
“But it’s not even in the foreground, I’m just trying to win games for Queensland.”
His team were on track to get there, with Tasmania 4-150 at close range, hoping that a rearguard action from Jordan Silk (45 not eliminated) and captain Beau Webster (20 not eliminated) could. keep them in the game.
Khawaja remained the peerless performer and with Will Pucovski the first-choice batting partner of Test opener Will Pucovski, and Marcus Harris was only out for nine years in his first innings for Victoria, Khawaja. was put into the conversation as an experienced hand for the ashes.
But an intermediate place of order could also be up for grabs with places number five and six to be occupied by the versatile cameron Green and a batsman yet to be confirmed.
Matthew Wade filled the role last summer against India, but was overlooked for the team chosen for a tour of South Africa, a tour that never took place.
Travis Head was called up for this tour but was never able to strut and the South Australian has also won a day in doubles hundred and a 163 Shield this season to position himself for an Ashes spot.
But Khawaja’s exit should ensure her name is in this conversation with Ashes. Former national manager Mark Waugh recently said Khawaja had to be in the mix for a test recall against England due to his experience.
He started Day 2 of the Sheffield Shield clash at Townsville not on 63 and brought his hundred balls on 165 after almost being exhausted on 95.
He was eventually sacked for 119 before lunch, opting for quick runs with former Test opener Renshaw taking over, making 120 not just 167 balls before Queensland declared a 6-487.
After making his own opening century, Bulls and Test star Marnus Labuschagne said Khawaja and Joe Burns, who made 79, beat “beautifully”.
“These two guys are probably two of my favorite guys to fight with. The two are very different, but both very pleasant to be around, ”said Labuschagne.
“I think they both hit wonderfully. I thought Joe’s first runs last week in Adelaide were very good runs.
“With Uzzie’s innings in the second inning of this game, it was very good and he supported it. He really put the pressure on the spinners and didn’t let them set in, which is really good for a number four to be able to come in and do that right away.
Usman Khawaja (Queensland) – 326 Sheffield Shield races (4 rounds), 2 x 100, 12 day races (1 round) HS 12
Travis Head (South Australia) – 250 Sheffield Shield races (4 rounds), 1 x 100; 277 one-day races (3 heats), HS 230