Head, Khawaja fall cheaply in Shield

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Australia's Ashes jigsaw still has a missing piece with Usman Khawaja and Travis Head both fluffing their latest auditions.

Queensland captain Khawaja made just four and South Australian skipper Head only eight in their Sheffield Shield shootout on Wednesday.

Test ace Marnus Labushagne tuned up for the looming Ashes series against England with another ton, making 110 in Queensland's 299 all out.

The Redbacks slumped to 8-93 in reply at stumps on day two at Adelaide's Karen Rolton Oval.

The Shield fixture is pivotal for Khawaja and Head who are bidding for the sole remaining slot in Australia's batting line-up for the Ashes opener starting December 8.

Both are in Australia's 15-man Test squad and eyeing the vacant No.5 berth.

But both blew chances to stake their claims in their last first-class game before the first Test in Brisbane.

Khawaja mustered just one scoring shot - a cover drive boundary from Head's bowling - before wafting at a fullish delivery and getting an inside edge to the wicketkeeper.

Later, Head aggressively advanced to Bulls spinner Matt Kuhnemann (4-25) and attempted a flashy leg-side flick only to be caught at leg gully.

And SA wicketkeeper Alex Carey also flopped with the bat amid speculation over incumbent gloveman Tim Paine's Test spot.

Carey attempted a big sweep shot and was caught on the boundary for just two.

Carey's rash dismissal came during a horror Redbacks batting crash of 8-57 which gifted the Bulls the running.

SA's collapse followed Queensland losing their last nine wickets for 120 runs after Labuschagne and opener Bryce Street (87) set a powerful platform in reaching 1-179.

Labuschagne resumed on 21 after play was halted after 50 overs on Tuesday's opening day because of a problem area on the pitch that caused inconsistent bounce.

After repairs, the pitch played less tricks and was mastered by the Test No.3 who logged his second century of the Shield season.

"The work (curator) Trent (Kelly) put into the wicket definitely helped," said Labuschagne, who was repeatedly struck by rearing balls on Tuesday.

"You're thinking about it in the back of your mind but after you see four or five balls go through in that area, the confidence comes back."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting