Marsh Sheffield Shield 2019-20
Bulls hold upper hand after routing Tigers for 78
Queensland's seam attack destroyed Tasmania on a Gabba green top
14 February 2020, 07:43 PM AEST
They may have claimed the prized scalp of Queensland's Marnus Labuschagne, but Tasmania had little else to celebrate on the opening day of their Marsh Sheffield Shield clash at the Gabba after suffering a remarkable batting collapse.
At stumps, the Bulls were 2-115 with an overall lead of 37 despite the loss of Australia's recently crowned Test Player of the Year Labuschagne for 26 after routing the Tigers for just 78 - their third lowest Shield total.
Stubborn opener Bryce Street was unbeaten on 41 off 154 balls while Bulls skipper Usman Khawaja was not out 16 as Queensland comfortably negotiated 50 overs - almost 13 overs more than the Tigers innings lasted on a dramatic Friday morning.
After being sent in to bat on a classic Gabba green top, Tasmania remarkably survived just 37.2 overs before being bowled out for their lowest total since being dismissed for 63 by Western Australia in 2017 and 76 by NSW in 1992.
Adding further insult, extras was the top scorer for the visitors with 31 after just one batsman made double figures - No.3 Charlie Wakim (11 off 50 balls).
Queensland's Test hopeful Michael Neser was the chief destroyer, finishing with an impressive 4-18 off 12 overs.
He was well supported by allrounder Jack Wildermuth (3-17 off 10) while Mark Steketee (2-13) helped mop up the tail.
"It was definitely a green wicket, I was looking forward to it," Neser said.
"We identified early we had to bowl full because the wicket was doing a bit but it's not a natural length however we worked hard on that and all the bowlers contributed superbly."
The signs were ominous for Tasmania after they lost the toss and Neser trapped Jordan Silk in front with just the fourth ball of the day.
And they were reeling at 5-47 when lunch was mercifully called after Test skipper Tim Paine was spectacularly caught for one at short mid-wicket by Street off Neser who at one stage boasted figures of 4-5.
Yet worse was to come.
At one stage Tasmania lost 3-0 and 6-24 overall before Simon Milenko (nine off 20) tried to dig in but it was to no avail as the Bulls attack ran amok.
Queensland didn't take the foot off the throat with the bat despite losing some of their biggest names.
Test opener Joe Burns helped Queensland cruise to 0-36 at tea before he was caught top edging Jackson Bird (2-43) for 23.
After squeezing in the Shield clash before Australia's ODI tour of South Africa, Labuschagne survived a confident caught behind shout off his first ball before ex-Test quick Bird broke through to reduce the hosts to 2-87.
Labuschagne given NOT OUT first ball! Did he hit it? What's your call? #SheffieldShield pic.twitter.com/rNq4qUuQpY— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 14, 2020
However, the third-placed Bulls were still in complete control against a second-last Tigers by stumps after making light of the spicy deck.
Queensland XI: Usman Khawaja (c), Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Sam Heazlett, Bryce Street, Jack Wildermuth, James Peirson (wk), Michael Neser, Cameron Gannon, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson
Tasmania XI: Alex Doolan, Jordan Silk, Charlie Wakim, Jake Doran, Ben McDermott, Tim Paine (c, wk), Beau Webster, Simon Milenko, Jackson Bird, Sam Rainbird, Gabe Bell