Marnus Labuschagne was again the immovable object while returning Mitchell Starc showed glimpses of his irresistible force as first-day honours were shared between NSW and Queensland in the Sheffield Shield.
South Australian quick Chadd Sayers reckons his hat-trick was a novelty later tarnished by two young Bulls.
Sayers’ triple treat cracked Queensland’s top order on Friday’s opening day of the Sheffield Shield match in Adelaide.
But novice Bulls batsmen Nick Stevens and Marnus Labuschagne, helped by older hand Chris Hartley, then rescued Queensland, who were 4-314 at stumps.
Stevens posted an unbeaten 134, his maiden first-class century, and fellow 20-year-old Labuschagne made 83 in his debut first-class knock.
The pair, and a resolute 80 not out from stalwart Hartley, recovered the Bulls after Sayers bagged his first hat-trick in any cricket – and just the 10th by a South Australian in first-class history.
“When you get three in a row, it’s pretty exciting,” Sayers said.
“It’s a novelty to get one, they’re hard to come by … but the team comes first and we’re struggling a bit.”
With three sublime deliveries, Sayers achieved the rare feat on a day when SA could muster just one wicket with the other 576 balls they bowled.
First, he produced a looping inswinger which ripped through the defence of Joe Burns (14) and bowled the opener.
Second victim was Ben McDermott, the youngest son of ex-Test great Craig McDermott, who was making his first-class debut.
Sayers sent down another in-dipper which struck the 19-year-old on the front pad, plumb lbw.
With his hat-trick ball, Sayers delivered a peach he described as “perfect” – another inswinger which moved slightly away off the pitch to catch a feathery edge from Peter Forrest’s bat.
But Sayers (3-40 from 21 overs) said Queensland’s strong position at stumps took some gloss off his achievement.
The hat-trick left the Bulls wobbling at 3-27 when Stevens joined South African born Labuschagne and the inexperienced pair put on a steadying 99-run partnership.
Labuschagne appeared set for a ton but missed an attempted sweep and was lbw to legspinner Adam Zampa (1-84).
But Stevens, who had made two ducks in his four first-class digs before Friday, smoothly continued to a majestic century.
The Australian under-19 product was composed and classy, striking 18 boundaries in his 243-ball stay – his only scare came on 113 when he edged Zampa to first slip, only for Mark Cosgrove to drop a dolly of a catch.