JLT Sheffield Shield 2017-18

Burns, Copeland star on opening day

Joe Burns posts 97 in first game back from injury while birthday boy Trent Copeland collects five wickets


14 March 2018, 06:49 PM

Day one highlights: Burns, Copeland shine

A gritty 97 from former Test opener Joe Burns has saved JLT Sheffield Shield finalists Queensland from a poor opening to their final-round match against NSW in Wollongong.

Needing a win to guarantee a home final, the Bulls top order had little answer on Wednesday to Trent Copeland's accurate bowling, eventually being bowled out for 243.

Birthday boy Copeland celebrates with five-for

NSW survived a tricky 13-over spell to end the day at 0-41.

Burns was playing his first Shield match of the calendar year after a groin injury, but was denied a perfect return when he fell three runs shy of a century.

Burns batters Blues but falls three short of a ton

His 171-ball innings, however, helped to save the Bulls after they were reduced to 6-117, thanks to three wickets in four balls from Copeland.

The Blues' paceman celebrated his 31st birthday in fine style, bowling throughout the opening session to finish with 5-74.

Michael Neser added 55 down the order for Queensland, helping the visitors earn 0.43 batting bonus points.

Neser cracks important half-century for Bulls

Queensland began the match with a healthy lead at the top of the table, and can claim hosting rights regardless of the Wollongong outcome, providing Victoria or Tasmania don't claim big bonus points in their match in Hobart.

Burns came into the Bulls team in place of rookie opener Lachlan Pfeffer in the only change to their XI.

Fast bowler Gurinder Sandhu has come into the Blues XI at the expense of retiring batsman Ed Cowan.