Labuschagne fights hard for Bulls on Adelaide minefield

Oliver Caffrey |

Marnus Labuschagne scratched out 38 for Queensland as 17 wickets fell on a dramatic day in Adelaide.
Marnus Labuschagne scratched out 38 for Queensland as 17 wickets fell on a dramatic day in Adelaide.

Queensland trail South Australia by 20 runs with three wickets in hand after a chaotic 17-wicket first day of their Sheffield Shield match at Adelaide Oval.

On a decidedly difficult green-tinged pitch, bowlers reigned supreme on Friday as the home side were routed for 132 and the Bulls struggled to 7-112 at the close, with out-of-form Test No.3 Marnus Labuschagne top-scoring with a 112-ball 38 in his first Shield match as Queensland captain.

After a disappointing Test summer when his form came under the microscope, Labuschange defended for his life against the Redbacks in his only Shield match before the tour of New Zealand.

Like most batters on day one, Labuschange looked shaky and survived multiple scares during his battling stay at the crease.

The 29-year-old fell to Nathan McAndrew (2-21) late in the day as South Australia closed in on an unlikely first-innings lead.

Opener Matt Renshaw endured another failure in his last match before going on the New Zealand tour as a spare batter.

Dismissed for two in both innings against Tasmania earlier in February, Renshaw was out for eight against the Redbacks, caught by Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey off Jordan Buckingham.

Renshaw’s best score from his past 12 innings in first-class cricket, domestic one-dayers and T20s is the 40 he made in last month’s BBL final.

The day started as it finished – with wickets tumbling.

After winning the toss, South Australia were quickly on the ropes at 3-0 in the fourth over.

In-form Queensland quick Xavier Bartlett carried his sparkling form from the recent ODI series against the West Indies into the Shield, dismissing maverick opener Jake Fraser-McGurk (0) and Nathan McSweeney (0).

But Carey and captain Jake Lehmann saved the Redbacks from complete embarrassment, putting on a crucial 64-run fourth-wicket stand.

Lehmann (53) and Carey (49) were the only South Australian batters to reach double figures in the hosts’ 40.3 over innings.

In reply, Queensland stumbled to 3-13 and 5-77 before mounting some late resistance.