Qld v SA, Sheffield Shield, Brisbane, 4th day October 4, 2012

Queensland open title defence with big win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Queensland 398 and 8 for 248 dec beat South Australia 184 and 271 (Hughes 83, Mennie 79*, Feldman 4-50, Cutting 3-51) by 191 runs

A pair of fighting half-centuries from Phillip Hughes in his first match for South Australia wasn't enough to stop Queensland open their Sheffield Shield title defence with a comfortable win at the Gabba. The 191-run margin was confirmed after Luke Feldman and Ben Cutting led a strong performance with the ball from Queensland, who dismissed South Australia for 271 in their second-innings chase of 463.

The Redbacks began the day two wickets down and needing a minor miracle to avoid defeat, and the loss of Callum Ferguson for 44 to Cutting didn't help their cause. Hughes departed soon afterwards for 83 to add to his 95 from the first innings, a fine output in his first game since moving from New South Wales, but with precious little support from the rest of the order it would have taken a couple of big centuries from Hughes to keep South Australia in the contest.

Feldman (4 for 50) ran through the middle order and was at one stage on a hat-trick, as the Redbacks lost 5 for 18 in less than five overs, before Nathan Lyon (21) and Joe Mennie began a tail-end resistance. Mennie struck his maiden first-class half-century and finished on 79 not out from 74 deliveries as the fight ran out for the Redbacks.

South Australia did not win a match in last year's Sheffield Shield competition and have finished on the bottom of the table for each of the past three seasons. This loss extended their poor record to no wins from their past 17 Sheffield Shield matches.

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  • Andrew on October 4, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    @Moppa on (October 04 2012, 12:02 PM GMT) - I've seen the trend too, & to a lesser extent it is translating into the national team too! I think the weather has affected the types of pitches that have been prepared over the last couple of seasons, & combined with our Shield bowling depth being quite strong (even Sth Oz), it is a difficult job currently, being a top order batsmen. I HOPE, that means that when a Shield batsmen makes his Test debut, the step up - won't be as tough.

  • Allan on October 4, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    I was at the game on day 1 and 2 and was very impressed with Khawaja's innings. It was a green pitch and cloudy conditions and Khawaja was the only batsman to get any runs. Noticed that James Hopes singled Khawaja's innings as the key difference in the final result. Without Khawaja's innings Qld would have been all out for 150 and SA would have won.

  • Mariam on October 4, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Qld captain James Hopes credited Khawaja's innings on day 1 as the key innings behind the win pushing Khawaja's claim for the Aussie team. He said "Khawaja was exceptional on a wicket like that,He showed the kind of technique that makes him a candidate to bat in the top order for Australia". I think the selectors would have taken notice.

  • Trey on October 4, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    Have you seen our first 4 games? Queensland & runners up Tassie twice nothing like giving us poor redbacks a challenge.

  • Brenton on October 4, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    Hughes was a whisker away from making a century in each innings. From what I've read he played last years shield winning fast bowlers on their home ground with aplomb. If he keeps this up it's good news for a struggling Aussie top order.

  • Guy on October 4, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    I've also noticed the trend that @David Brumby has mentioned (top orders getting knocked over and then tailenders making plenty of runs). Perhaps unusually wet summers in the past two years have suppressed top order batting averages (facing the new ball), and tailenders are doing better against the old ball and perhaps taking advantage of a lack of good spinners in Shield cricket. Interesting that no one has commented on Lyon's lack of wickets and, disturbingly, poor economy. Does anyone else think James Hopes was unlucky to miss out on MoM? I'm interested in @hyclass' views on Hughes - sounds like you were at the game? When you say 'changes to Hughes' game', do you mean between his dropping in England in 09 and recall, or since c Guptil b Martin and now? He wasn't particularly assured against the ball moving across him in that NZ series... and didn't seem to be playing the pull shot then either.

  • Andrew on October 4, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    @onlinegamer55 on (October 04 2012, 08:23 AM GMT) - IF Hughes had failed in either innings - it would of been a very embarrassing defeat. You would expect QLD to win most games when they have a 200 run lead, for a few minutes anyway I thought there was a sniff. Regarding Cowan, I think his past 2 seasons has been very good, he has built his average up, & did a good job in the A-tour. Hughes has plenty of time left to have a long run in the Test team.

  • Online on October 4, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    @hyclass You're right, of course, that Hughes has changed his game. He used to be a strong off-side player but now he has shifted his game more toward the leg-side which has obviously resulted in a moderately weaker off-side game. If he's looking to play on both sides of the wicket, then of course he will be in a little bit of indecision as he has to determine whether to play a leg-side shot or an off-side shot and that indecision will naturally be an impairment. In saying that, I think only time can determine whether the changes to his game will be good in the long-term. He was certainly getting bigger scores earlier but his strike rate was much lower (because his game was too off-side based so he couldn't score quickly when the bowler aimed at the leg-side). So I think that while his first class scores have gotten lower, he has improved his List A and T20 games. I agree that he needs to score big hundreds but he used to get out a lot in the seventies earlier in his career anyway.

  • Online on October 4, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    I think John Inverarity has a good cricketing brain and he is a sensible guy but one thing that absolutely puzzles me is his insistence on Peter Forrest, and to a lesser extent, Ed Cowan, who he claims are "the best we've got". Cowan is a decent batsmen averaging 40 at the first class level and he has performed reasonably but he was selected on the back of a few consecutive centuries and still has not cemented a place. On the other hand, Forrest played 6 good innings and has immediately been earmarked and is being persisted with through thick and thin and this I fail to understand. Hughes has performed exceptionally well over a long period of time and certainly deserves selection more than Cowan and Forrest at the moment IMO. I think it would be better for Hughes in the long term if he wasn't selected right now but certainly if he continues his form, he deserves to be selected before the Ashes next year. If someone could explain Inverarity's logic to me that would be great.

  • Online on October 4, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    @Meety You're absolutely right but I think in competitive sports there's a big difference between a win and a loss. Even if the win is only by a wicket and the loss is only by a run. Because there's definitely extra pressure when you know there's a real chance of a win as opposed to when you're just playing to survive. Although SA had a chance, I think in reality Queensland completely dominated this first class match. And had Hughes failed twice, it would have been embarassing for SA. Hughes' knocks have covered up some serious deficiencies for SA. Putland bowled well but otherwise SA have a lot of work to do and a long road ahead of them if they want to start winning first class matches let alone win them convincingly.

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