Test stars Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne were unable to lift Queensland out of the mire against New South Wales as 13 wickets fell…
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.
Test star Labuschagne (117) made it back-to-back Shield tons as the Bulls finished Friday on 7-274 at Adelaide’s Karen Rolton Oval.
Starc, rested for NSW’s first game, captured 2-71 off 20 overs in his first long-form game since January.
At one stage he struck Labuschagne on the arm with a vicious, rising delivery and he also reminded his Test teammate to stay in his crease while at the non-striker’s end.
“I think we were both just getting the blood going,” said Labuschagne, adding there was no ill will from either incident.
“I was a little bit out of my crease there and we had a little bit of a chat to each other and I was pretty much sitting back waiting for the short ball.”
The Blues won the toss and elected to bowl but made only one breakthrough in the first session when the frugal Harry Conway (1-24, 17 overs) dismissed Bryce Street (22), caught by Nick Larkin at third slip.
Things ramped up in the middle session as Sean Abbott (2-56) had Test opener Joe Burns caught behind for 29 before clipping Usman Khawaja’s (4) off stump with a lovely ball that nipped off the seam.
When Starc removed another former Test batsman in Matthew Renshaw (8), Queensland were teetering at 4-115. From there it was the Labuschagne show.
The classy number three smacked 16 boundaries and enjoyed a 136-run partnership with Jimmy Peirson (66), who became Starc’s second wicket when caught behind by Peter Nevill.
Labuschagne was eventually out lbw to Trent Copeland (2-44) as the Blues picked up three late wickets to see out the day.
Showing just how insatiable he is for runs, Labuschagne said he was extremely frustrated to get out in the last over.
“Today was the sort of situation where the team needed someone that got in to go really big and I’m really disappointed that it wasn’t me today,” he said.
Test tweaker Nathan Lyon toiled for 15 overs on Friday and finished with the figures of 0-62.