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

Queensland open title defence with big win

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 4, 2012

Comments: 20 | Text size: A | A

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

Phillip Hughes cuts during his half-century, Queensland v South Australia, Sheffield Shield, Brisbane, 4th day, October 4, 2012
Phillip Hughes made 95 and 83 in his first match for South Australia but it wasn't enough to prevent a Queensland victory © Getty Images

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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meety 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.

Posted by Paul_Rampley 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.

Posted by Mary_786 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.

Posted by crow_eater 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.

Posted by Barnesy4444 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.

Posted by Moppa 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.

Posted by Meety 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.

Posted by onlinegamer55 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.

Posted by onlinegamer55 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.

Posted by onlinegamer55 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.

Posted by onlinegamer55 on (October 4, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

Phillip Hughes is an exceptional young batsmen. Furthermore, in the past 6 months he has scored prolifically in all forms of the game. I believe that he will be a regular member of the Australia test team sooner rather than later. However, I think that Cowan will be retained for the first test against South Africa given that he is the incumbent but certainly he will need some good scores against South Africa to remain in the test team given Hughes' outstanding form. If Hughes can score more runs for SA this season, then the selectors will be under a lot of pressure considering that neither Cowan nor Forrest (two players earmarked by the selectors) have performed consistently at the international level. In fact, Hughes should be in the ODI team given his strong recent ODI form (and his ODI batting average is the best in the country at the moment). Khawaja has done well and I believe that he too can become a regular member of the Australia team but he needs to improve his consistency.

Posted by Meety on (October 4, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

@Rahul_Ashok on (October 04 2012, 05:17 AM GMT) "...predicting both Hughes and Khawaja will be in the Aussie team once Punter and Hussey retire with Hughes opening with Warner and Khawaja at 3..." - too many lefties for my liking, I'd put Watto in at #3 & Khawaja @ #4.

Posted by hyclass on (October 4, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

I have little regard for the results of either Khawaja or Hughes in this game. Khawaja was dropped at fine leg on 11 in the first innings and caught behind for 20 in the second. As this article makes blindingly clear, this Sth Aus side is perennially weak,has lost its last 17 Shield games, finished bottom the last 3 seasons and had a pace attack with 21 games between it. This is the attack against which Khawaja has made 26% of his runs and 5 of his 10 centuries. He's just returned from a County stint and should be in better form than his team mates. The lower order hundreds for Qld put this attack in perspective. Hughes being caught in slip is very relevant. The changes to his game have seen him playing the pull shot, but far less assured to the delivery angled across him. Gone are the quick hands and feet and the peerless off side play. In seasons past,those fifties would have been big hundreds. He appears mired in proving his solidity and it continues to detract from his results.

Posted by Ben1989 on (October 4, 2012, 7:31 GMT)

@Meety, spot on mate, I hope to see more fight from redbacks in the next game, we've been very dissapointing the past 3 or so yrs & it's our major collapses that always causes concern, we look ok & then the batter seem to think they can play all the shots & we always tend to lose 3 wickets in a bunch, shocking!! @facebook comment (October 04 2012, 03:53 AM GMT) you must be a pom, certainly not australian, maybe you miss the fact that Australia has some of the hardest pitches to open on & then run scoring becomse more fluent, this my friend is the reason top orders don't always put on massive starts, yes it should be better, but hughes is an opener & was close to scoring 2 tons, how is that a worrying trend?? & the other point to this, is that most of our domestic lower orders are a lot better batsman than most other country's, re. Hartly would probably be in most international teams as a keeper, Cutting is close to being a bowling allrounder with his batting the past two yrs...!!!!!!!!

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 4, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

Was really impressed with Hughesy - played really well against a good bowling squad on a difficult early season pitch... So much for all those whinging about him & that he would only make runs on AO... Still a long way to go though & with the Saffa tour starting in a few weeks, it is too soon to say how much his form has returned...

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 4, 2012, 6:59 GMT)

Fairly expected result, Qld with a full strength squad were always going to be tough to beat at home... SA had a new bowling squad, so it will take some time to settle in & missing Christian & Botha for this match seriously weakened the team - both very handy allrounders... Hopefully we will see better from SA in the next few matches...

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (October 4, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

Read in other papers today that Hughes was caught at first slip in both innings, who cares if he was caught in the slips as long as he gets runs. If I was Cowan i would be looking over my shoulder. Fantastic to see Qld get their first win and Khawaja play a key role with crucial runs in the first innings. I am predicting both Hughes and Khawaja will be in the Aussie team once Punter and Hussey retire with Hughes opening with Warner and Khawaja at 3.

Posted by Mary_786 on (October 4, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

In form Khawaja and Hughes are good for Aus cricket. Khawja's first innings score in difficult conditions set up the win for Qld. Next game will be interesting, Tasmania vs SA with Hughes going against Cowan to decide who will open the batting for Australia against South Africa

Posted by   on (October 4, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

Australian cricket is in a lot of trouble. A VERY worrying trend the last 2-3 seasons has been that top orders are constantly collapsing in state cricket. Then the bowlers get smashed by the bottom order. Match after match this same stat is occuring in first class cricket here. This shows poor batting skills and then poor bowling skills. The supposed top class batters and bowlers have weak averages. If CA does not wake up to this fact and do something fast then one can only imagine how bad Australia will be on the world stage shortly.

Posted by Meety on (October 4, 2012, 3:12 GMT)

The margin of defeat was a little misleading (IMO). QLD were 5/64 in the 2nd innings - their lead at the time was 278. Had the Sth Ozzys removed Hartley, they could of been looking at a chase not much higher than 300, which wasn't far removed from the 271 they eventually got. All what-ifs, but mid afternoon Day 3 - they were a sniff. Good old Feldman had a top match, another pacer that has been hampered by injuries in recent seasons - he'd be a fair way off a Test call up, but he is good value.

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