Queensland 1 for 39 trail New South Wales 7 for 327 dec (Smith 117, Patterson 111, Feldman 5-68) by 288 runs
Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns survived a tense period late in the evening after Steven Smith earlier struck a century in the Sheffield Shield clash between Queensland and New South Wales at the Gabba. Mitchell Starc was also able to deliver six challenging overs before stumps in the day-night match, as he aims to prove his fitness to selectors ahead of the first Test against South Africa.
The squad for the Perth Test is due to be named on Friday and there were a number of fascinating sub-plots on offer at the Gabba. One of the most notable was the desire for runs from Burns and Khawaja, both of whom were dropped after two Tests on Australia's recent tour of Sri Lanka, and both of whom are hoping for reinstatement for the home summer.
However, they had to wait until late in the day for their chance after Khawaja won the toss and sent New South Wales in to bat. David Warner missed out on the opportunity for a big innings against the pink ball, caught behind off the bowling of former Test fast man Peter George for 12, and his opening partner Ed Cowan also departed cheaply for 10.
But Smith and Kurtis Patterson were then able to compile a hefty 228-run third-wicket stand, which ended when Smith was bowled by Luke Feldman for 117. Patterson brought up his fifth first-class hundred before falling for 111, also to Feldman, who troubled several batsmen with the pink ball as the Gabba lights came on in the evening and finished with 5 for 68.
Smith declared at 7 for 327, which meant Queensland's top order would face a difficult 13-over period before stumps against the Test team's new-ball combination of Starc and Josh Hazlewood. Opener Charlie Hemphrey was bowled by Hazlewood for a duck in the second over of the innings, which brought Khawaja to the crease to join Burns.
The moving ball under lights proved a challenge for Burns and Khawaja, but both men made it safely to stumps, giving themselves a chance of a big innings on day two to impress the selectors. At the WACA Shaun Marsh, who had come in for the third Test in Colombo and scored a century, made 73 for Western Australia in his return from a hamstring injury; at the Gabba Burns finished on 21 not out and Khawaja on 18.
It was not only the Queensland batsmen who wanted a strong performance ahead of the Test squad selection: Starc needed to convince the selectors of his fitness in his first match back having last month had 30 stitches in his left shin following a horror training mishap. Starc bowled six of the 13 overs Queensland faced late on day one, and took 0 for 26.