Queensland skipper Usman Khawaja posted a modest total against Tasmania, which won’t help his chances of earning a Test recall.
Usman Khawaja’s hopes of earning a Test recall have taken a hit after a disappointing effort with the bat in the first innings of Queensland’s Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania.
The Queensland skipper was dropped from the national side midway through the last Ashes in August of 2019 and has not played Test cricket since.
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With Matthew Wade snubbed from the Test squad for the scrapped South Africa tour and a shoulder injury casting doubt over Will Pucovski’s summer, specialist batters will be competing for what looks to be two vacant spots in the Test side for the Ashes.
The Queenslanders lost Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns late on day two, paving the way for Khawaja to steer the ship and affirm his credentials for a recall.
However, the 34-year-old couldn’t make the most of the batter-friendly wicket at Adelaide’s Karen Rolton Oval to stake his claim for selection.
In the absence of Tim Paine and Wade, Tasmanian wicketkeeper Ben McDermott took a freakish one-handed catch to send Khawaja packing early on day three with just 20 runs to his name.
Another former Test star in Matthew Renshaw also failed to make his mark at the crease — Renshaw managed only 11 runs before a Jarrod Freeman delivery struck his pad cleanly before the wicket.
Queensland teammates Bryce Street and Jimmy Peirson had no such issues finding their rhythm. The pair bagged the eighth and ninth centuries at the ground in under seven days of Sheffield Shield cricket.
On his way to an unbeaten 143, his highest first class score from 17 matches, Street belted 17 boundaries, including three sixes.
“It doesn’t really matter who it is at the time,” Street said afterwards.
“It can be anyone on their day with the top six that we have, but it happened to me today. “When I was required, I was able to get the three figures and keep going from there, so it was really good.”
The Bulls declared five wickets down, 145 runs shy of Tasmania’s total, preventing a follow-on and setting up an intriguing finish.
If they’re hoping to start their title defence with a win, the Queenslanders will need to start by thwarting youngster Tim Ward, who posted the second-highest total of the tournament thus far when he chalked up 144 runs in the first innings. At stumps, Tasmania was one wicket down for 59 runs and led Queensland by 204.