Queensland hone in on Shield win over SA

Glenn Cullen
·2-min read

Callum Ferguson will get one more shot at a Sheffield Shield rescue mission but Joe Burns will have to rely on the good grace of national selectors for his salvation.

Ferguson was 27 not out on the penultimate day of South Australia's match against Queensland, the Redbacks requiring an unlikely 310 more runs to win on Wednesday.

Retiring after a 17-year state cricket career at the end of the match, Ferguson will likely need to hunker down for much of the final day if SA are to salvage a third consecutive against-the-odds draw.

"It would be nice to see him bat for a long period tomorrow," SA captain Travis Head, who has often been left with the Redbacks' salvage work himself, said.

Harry Nielsen (40 no) will be with him when play resumes with the Redbacks 4-138.

Things got more complicated for incumbent Test opener Burns, who may have handed over his Australia spot to Will Pucovski after another failure for the Bulls.

In the morning, Burns was caught behind off the bowling of Chadd Sayers (1-19), giving the opener a total of just 57 runs in five Shield innings this season.

Victorian Pucovski - who has scored double centuries in back-to-back games - will now be favoured to start the India series next month.

It was otherwise plain sailing for Queensland who wrapped up the SA innings without any addition to the overnight score of 154 at ACH Group Stadium.

Despite the significant advantage, Bulls captain Usman Khawaja opted not to enforce the follow-on.

Queensland declared at lunch on 3-105 with Khawaja (46) and Matthew Renshaw (10) remaining not out.

SA were in trouble early, losing the wicket of Conor McInerney for 9, bowled by Brendan Doggett (1-13).

The Redbacks then lost Will Bosisto (11), Head (0) and Henry Hunt (41) in the space of just three runs before one-Test player Ferguson dropped anchor with Nielsen.

Michael Neser was the pick of the Bulls' bowlers with 2-21.

"The wicket has flattened out a bit so to grab those four wickets going in to the last day is very handy," Neser said.

"We're going to have to bowl well tomorrow because it is still a pretty flat wicket - if a batter can get set, it's going to be tough work."