Poor pitch suspends Shield play in SA-Qld

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The Ashes preparations of three Australian batsmen has hit a hurdle with a dangerous pitch causing play to be suspended in South Australia's Sheffield Shield match against Queensland.

The opening day was abandoned after Test star Marnus Labuschagne was repeatedly struck on the gloves by rising balls at Adelaide's Karen Rolton Oval.

Labuschagne was not seriously hurt but Tuesday's play was called off with the Bulls 1-87 from 50 overs.

A damp area on the pitch - about a one metre square - created alarm among umpires and players after play began two and a half hours late due to rain.

Bulls opener Joe Burns, who made 17 from 105 deliveries, was dismissed by a ball which reared off a length and crashed into his gloves - he was caught at gully.

Labuschagne (21no) was struck at least three times on the gloves in a dramatic start to a crucial fixture for the Test ace and his fellow Test squad members Travis Head and Usman Khawaja.

SA skipper Head and Queensland captain Khawaja are effectively in a shootout for Australia's No.5 batting spot in the first Test against England starting December 8 in Brisbane.

Head and Khawaja consulted with umpires and match referee Steve Davis before play was halted.

"There's a potential of it being dangerous," Davis said.

"It was obvious that the umpires had some concern and the players had some concern because there was a couple of people that were hit on the gloves and in the stomach area.

"It (the pitch) was just behaving a bit unusually.

"It's an area where the ball is sticking a bit, there is obviously some dampness underneath.

"It's only about a metre square but obviously once you see a ball doing that, if you're any sort of bowler you are going to aim for that spot."

Captains and officials agreed to allow ground staff to perform remedial work.

"No-one has got any guarantees on what this work will do," Davis said.

"The groundsman is quite confident this will help ... but until we get back on tomorrow and see how the ball behaves, we won't know.

"If it did again, we have to question 'well that didn't work, what do we do now?'

"The safety of players is paramount.

"Both teams are keen to progress with the game and we will try and do that tomorrow morning."

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