Marnus Labuschagne has claimed bragging rights over Test teammate Cameron Green with a peach of a wicket that the towering West Australian will be hearing about all summer long.
The Queenslanders had little else to celebrate on day four of the sides’ Sheffield Shield clash — their dismal first innings batting display put Western Australia in the box seat to claim victory before they’d even stepped to the crease.
By the time the final day’s play rolled around, securing the win appeared a mere formality for the West Australians, who needed only 95 runs from almost a full day of cricket.
But while Western Australia recorded the win, Labuschagne will take ammunition into the dressing rooms this summer; one of the most colourful characters in Aussie cricket likely won’t let his Test buddy forget about the wicket he claimed at the Gabba on a fine Saturday in November.
Labuschagne enticed Green into leaving a medium-pace delivery — a departure from his usual spin — that bounced straight into off stump.
Labuschagne’s celebration was flamboyant even by his lofty standards as Green hit the showers with only 15 runs to his name.
Earlier, Ashes squad hopeful Jhye Richardson put the cherry on top of his scintillating second innings.
The West Australian quick reaffirmed his Test credentials with his fifth wicket of the second innings, and his eighth of the match.
Richardson’s final wicket sent the West Australians back into bat, and when the innings began, opener Cameron Bancroft did the heavy lifting.
The former Test star pitched in his best knock of the summer (47*) to give his teammates an early mark and confirm a result that even the most parochial of Queenslanders would’ve seen coming.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 13, 2021
DAY THREE: RICHARDSON RIPS THROUGH BULLS
Jhye Richardson put his hand up for a place in Australia’s Ashes squad with a superb bowling display as Western Australia continued its dominance of Queensland at the Gabba on Friday.
When bad light halted play in the dying stages of day three of the Sheffield Shield clash, the Bulls were 9-244 in their second innings, giving them a lead of just 92 runs heading into the final day.
Barring a Queensland miracle or a Saturday washout, WA should secure an outright win, with Richardson’s performance with the ball a key factor in the visitors’ likely victory.
Richardson, who played two Tests in 2019 including one at the Gabba, finished Friday’s play with the superb figures of 4-23 off 22 overs.
He claimed with the wickets of Bryce Street (6). Joe Burns (49), Test star Marnus Labuschagne (36) and Jack Wildermuth (34) as the Queenslanders failed to deal with the West Australian quick.
“He’s a fantastic bowler,” Burns said of Richardson.
“Jhye’s done if for a number of years now, (and) he’s done well for Australia as well.
“I’m a big fan of Jhye and he bowled well today.”
Burns shared a 76-run second-wicket partnership with Labuschagne, who came to the crease at 1-15 after Street’s dismissal.
Labuschagne, who made a first-ball duck in Queensland’s ordinary first-innings of 129, seemed set for a big score before edging behind to WA wicket-keeper Josh Philippe off the bowling of Richardson.
One run short of a half-century, Burns followed soon after, when he was caught in the slips by D’Arcy Short, again off Richardson’s bowling.
Worse was to follow for the Bulls, who lost Test hopeful Usman Khawaja for four.
Former Bull Cameron Gannon claimed Khawaja’s wicket, with the Queensland skipper edging to Cameron Green at first slip.
The Bulls woes continued when Jimmy Peirson (0) was caught by Cameron Bancroft in the slips off Gannon’s bowling.
Peirson’s dismissal left the Bulls at 5-106 before the Queenslanders staged a late recovery thanks mainly to Wildermuth, Matt Renshaw (43) and Gurinder Sandhu (39).
“It’s a little bit frustrating from out point of view. We’d like to have a few more on the board,” Burns said.
“It (the Gabba) is always a place where you have to be disciplined. They put the ball for long periods of times and it was tough work, and they got the rewards for it.
“That’s the frustrating thing from our point of view. We know how to make runs here, we know you have to absorb pressure and there were just a few moment where we lost wickets in clumps.
“Credit to them but as a batting group, we know we’re better than that.”
DAY TWO: WA IN TOTAL CONTROL AFTER PHILIPPE TON
Test hopeful Michael Neser remains a chance to be named in Australia’s squad for the start of the Ashes series next month despite confirmation of a hamstring strain.
Paceman Neser suffered the injury bowling for Queensland on Wednesday in the Bulls’ Sheffield Shield clash against Western Australia at the Gabba.
Scans on Thursday confirmed the initial assessment that Neser had a low-grade hamstring strain in his right leg.
“He will be assessed again in the coming days to arrive at a suitable return to play date,” Queensland Cricket physio Martin Love said.
“At this stage, we are hopeful that if required, he would be available for selection for the opening Test.”
The Bulls toiled hard in the absence of Neser, bowling out WA for 281 on Thursday.
Mark Steketee took 4-74, but it was WA batsman Josh Philippe who stole the show in scoring his second first-class century.
Steketee eventually dismissed Philippe for 129, an innings that included 14 boundaries and three sixes.
Philippe’s ton helped WA to a 152-run first-innings lead.
The Bulls were 0-1 in their second innings when rain stopped play in the closing stages of the second session.
It proved to be the end of the day’s play, with Friday’s play to start at the earlier time of 9am (Queensland time).
Earlier, Test all-rounder Cameron Green was caught at second slip by Joe Burns off the bowling of Steketee for 53.
Green’s dismissal brought Hilton Cartwright to the wicket, but the all-rounder didn’t last long, failing to trouble the scorers as he was bowled for a duck by Steketee.
The other wicket to fall in the morning session was that of D’Arcy Short, who was bowled by Matt Kuhnemann for 15.
WA captain Shaun Marsh, who retired hurt on Wednesday on six with a calf problem, returned to the crease at the fall of the ninth wicket with Cameron Bancroft acting as his runner.
DAY ONE: KHAWAJA STANDS TALL AS BOWLERS RULE
Queensland captain Usman Khawaja strengthened his claims for a Test recall with a fighting 70 on a Gabba greentop on an otherwise poor day for the Bulls in their Sheffield Shield clash against Western Australia.
Sent into bat by WA skipper Shaun Marsh, Queensland was all out for just 129.
In reply, the visitors were 2-108 at stumps, with Cameron Green and Josh Philippe unbeaten on 48 and 36 respectively.
Khawaja was the Bulls’ last man out, caught on the fine leg boundary by Cameron Green off the bowling of Lance Morris (4-21) as he chased quick runs at the tail end of Queensland’s innings.
On the back of successive Shield centuries, Khawaja’s latest knock – in front of national selector George Bailey – will further boost his hopes of returning to the Test arena next month against England for the first time since 2019.
WA paceman Jhye Richardson, who finished with the impressive figures of 3-38 from 14 overs, praised Khawaja for batting in a “really sensible way”.
“He was obviously losing wickets around him … but he left the ball really well and then took it to us at the end there with some quick runs,” Richardson said.
“He’s always been a class batter. There’s no doubt he’s a really good player.”
Khawaja’s innings aside, the Bulls struggled all day and there was further bad news when star paceman Michael Neser limped off the field after injuring his hamstring bowling.
The Test hopeful, who had earlier dismissed former Test opener Cameron Bancroft for a first-ball duck, will have scans on Thursday, with the initial diagnosis being a low-grade strain.
Neser wasn’t the only player to succumb to injury, with Marsh retiring hurt on six with a calf injury and his teammate Joel Paris hurting his left hamstring.
Paris did the early damage with the ball for WA, dismissing opener Bryce Street (0) and Marnus Labuschagne (0) in successive balls in the fifth over.
Labuschagne edged behind to wicket-keeper Philippe, who took a smart catch to send the Test batsman packing for a first-ball duck.
Khawaja negotiated the hat-trick ball, but worse was to follow for the Bulls when Joe Burns was dismissed for eight to leave the hosts at 3-8 in just the eighth over.
Burns came unstuck with an attempted hook shot that was caught at mid-on by Hilton Cartwright off the bowling of Jhye Richardson.
Khawaja and former Test batsman Matt Renshaw seemed to have steadied the ship until Renshaw was dismissed for nine, tickling a Lance Morris ball down the leg side and into the gloves of Philippe as the Bulls slumped to 4-34.
Bulls wicket-keeper Jimmy Peirson (4) fell to the same combination just four runs later, with Morris finding the edge and Philippe doing the rest with a fine catch.
The Bulls limped to 5-46 at lunch, with Khawaja (17*) and all-rounder Jack Wildermuth (8*) at the crease.
After the break the wicket continued to fall, with the Bulls reeling at 7-56 before tailenders Gurinder Sandhu (13), Mark Steketee (10) and Matt Kuhnemann (5 not out) offered Khawaja support to help the Bulls at least register a three-figure total.
Young paceman Connor Sully was named Queensland’s 12th man, while WA gave a Shield debut to batsman Jayden Goodwin, the 19-year-old son of former Zimbabwe Test batsman Murray Goodwin.