Fast bowler Jhye Richardson starred with the ball and continued to add to his Ashes credentials as Western Australia pushed hard for victory on Friday in their Sheffield Shield clash against Queensland at the Gabba.
Having started the rain-affected day three at 0-1 in their second innings and 151 runs adrift of WA, the Bulls were 9-244 when stumps were called at 5.34pm (Queensland time). It gives the Queenslanders a lead of 92 runs heading into Saturday’s final day of play, with WA in the box seat to claim an outright victory.
Richardson finished with the superb figures of 4-23 off 22 overs, claiming with the wickets of Bryce Street (6), Joe Burns (49), Test star Marnus Labuschagne (36) and Jack Wildermuth (34). It comes after Richardson claimed 3-38 from 14 overs in the first innings as he mounts a strong case for inclusion in the Ashes. The WA quick has only played two Tests for Australia, both against Sri Lanka in early 2019.
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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 if 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).
Play had been scheduled to start at 9am (Queensland time) but persistent rain led to an 11am start.
RAIN RUINS PLAY AS TASSIE CALL BACKFIRES
Torrential rain on the Apple Isle has ruined day three of Tasmania’s clash with South Australia just when the home side appeared to be in hot water.
The South Australian attack punished Tasmania for its slow-and-steady tactics on day three, with Ashes hopeful Travis Head picking up one of two quick wickets in the dying minutes before lunch to set off a worrying collapse.
The Taswegians managed only 79 runs in 2½ hours of cricket and their defensive game plan began to unravel spectacularly as the South Australians burned through two of the side’s remaining three specialist batters in the space of four balls.
It was a lineball lbw call that sent former Aussie international Ben McDermott (45) packing agonisingly short of his third half-century of the summer.
With the new ball imminent, the Tigers could ill afford to lose another wicket before lunch, but Head, who disappointed with the bat in the first innings, piled on the pain.
Things only got worse when play resumed — skipper Beau Webster (1) faced just three deliveries with the new ball before edging straight to wicketkeeper Alex Carey, who took the most basic of catches.
The Tigers finally began purring, with Jordan Silk and former Test star Peter Siddle picking the pace up to ensure the Redbacks’ target would be chased down with two wickets in hand.
Scores were level when the match was delayed, and eventually abandoned, due to the weather.
The first day of the match was also washed out, and with more rain predicted for the fourth, it looks as though the Tasmanian weather could pour cold water on the sides’ hopes of securing a result.