Queensland lower order stages gritty recovery
New South Wales 1 for 6 trail Queensland 266 (Simpson 62, Bichel 39) by 260 runs
Andy Bichel struck on the last ball before stumps to continue Queensland's fightback against New South Wales on day one of the Pura Cup match at the SCG. Bichel (39) added 80 for the eighth wicket with Chris Simpson (62) to push the Bulls to a semi-respectable 266 after the pace trio of Matthew Nicholson, Nathan Bracken and Stuart Clark reduced them to 7 for 163 at tea.
Play began 35 minutes late after morning rain and the Queensland captain Jimmy Maher's decision to bat backfired as his side, which was already missing the allrounder James Hopes with a shoulder injury, struggled from the outset. Bracken, who was 12th man for the third Test against West Indies, flew in from Adelaide and removed Lachlan Stevens in the second over and Clark, who retained his place in Australia's one-day squad last week, had Martin Love caught at slip fending a short delivery. Craig Philipson and Clinton Perren fell before lunch and when Maher, who looked good for his 33, was snapped up by a diving catch from Michael Clarke, the Bulls were in serious trouble at 5 for 89.
Ashley Noffke and Chris Hartley put together a gritty 63-run stand for the sixth wicket before Nicholson grabbed his second wicket, trapping Noffke lbw for 31. Hartley fell to a needless slog in the next over to Aaron O'Brien, the part-time spinner, leaving the No. 9 Bichel under pressure to repeat his 84 in last week's win over Victoria. Bichel responded with some valuable lower order runs as Queensland scraped to 266, and the side was buoyed further by his dismissal of Phil Jaques as NSW finished at 1 for 6.