NSW v Queensland, Sheffield Shield, Sydney, 3rd day December 20, 2010

Khawaja helps set Queensland tough chase

ESPNcricinfo staff

Queensland 213 (Robinson 77, O'Keefe 3-23, Bollinger 3-55) and 0 for 71 need another 343 runs to beat New South Wales 9 for 458 dec and 3 for 168 dec (Khawaja 78*, Henriques 53*)

Usman Khawaja ensured he will remain at the front of the queue for a Test call-up if Ricky Ponting's broken finger keeps him out of the Boxing Day Test, after helping to keep New South Wales on top against Queensland. Khawaja made an unbeaten 78 as the Blues set the Bulls an unlikely target of 414 for victory, although by stumps on the third day the visitors had made a solid start to their chase.

Queensland reached 0 for 71 at the close, with Ryan Broad on 31 and Wade Townsend on 26, but their task remains an enormous one after three days that have been dominated by New South Wales. The Bulls began the day at 3 for 84 in their first innings and they relied on the debutant Andrew Robinson (77) and the tailender Luke Feldman (43) to guide them to 213.

They lost seven wickets in the first session, including three in four balls taken by the left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe, who finished with 3 for 23. The axed Test spinner Nathan Hauritz collected 2 for 68 and Doug Bollinger picked up 3 for 55, having also recently been dumped from the Test squad.

New South Wales did not enforce the follow on despite having a 245-run first-innings lead, and they lost early wickets in their second innings to fall to 3 for 36. However, Khawaja steadied the Blues in a strong partnership with Moises Henriques, who ended up on 53 not out when Stuart Clark's declaration came, leaving Queensland 25 overs to face before stumps.

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  • Andrew on December 21, 2010, 1:00 GMT

    @ Fareen - White is experienced - but his Test average is below 30 & his 1st class average is barely above 40. Khawaja's 1st class average is 50. For a one off situation, I would probably have gone with D Hussey as a replacement. Khawaja is the heir apparant to any LONG term batting role in the Oz side. @ harry93 - 100% agreed, however I would add that White did score a ton against the Poms in Hobart, which is not included in your stats. The name screaming out of this page to me is O'Keefe - okay he didn't do too much with the bat on this occasion but he outbowled Hauritz again. I would also add that Hauritz performance so far is better then anything that Beer has done this year.

  • Craig on December 20, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    I don't understand the calls for White to be selected in the test team. He's scored 118 runs in 5 innnings in shield cricket for an average of 28.5. That's almost half of what Hauritz has averaged this season and not much better than Clarke's average in the first 3 tests, and yet people think he should be dumped.

  • Ahnaf on December 20, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    I prefer C.White in place of Ponting if he's unavailable..White is experienced and knows how to perform under pressure.Khawaja is new & might struggle.Though Ponting himself said he'll play,so...

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