Labuschagne, Khawaja star for Queensland
Test star Marnus Labuschagne has posted his 19th first-class century and Usman Khawaja continued his push for an Ashes call-up to put Queensland in the box seat in their Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania in Townsville.
Labuschagne (136), Joe Burns (79), and Khawaja (63no) all cashed in on Wednesday to guide Queensland to a dominant 3-311 at stumps on day one.
No.3 Labuschagne logged scores of 32, eight and 45 in the Bulls' first two games of their Shield title defence, while he was out for six in a one-dayer against South Australia.
Those scores represented a rare down patch for a man who averages 60.8 in the Test arena, but Labuschagne put those recent struggles behind him against Tasmania in a knock that featured 15 fours and one six.
Khawaja scored 174 against South Australia earlier this month and he'll be aiming to post another huge score to boost his credentials for a dream Ashes call-up.
The 34-year-old hasn't played a Test since 2019, but a series of big scores over the coming weeks could catapult him back into the national set-up.
Burns' half-century ensures he will also remain on the radar of national selectors as the race for spots in the Test team heats up.
Tasmania speedster Lawrence Neil-Smith snared a breakthrough with just his fourth ball of the match when he found a thick edge to dismiss Bryce Street, leaving Queensland at 1-20.
But from that point on it was one-way traffic as Labuschagne, Burns and then Khawaja piled on the runs.
Burns suffered a few nervous moments on the way to his half-century.
He was lucky to survive a tight LBW shout from spinner Tom Andrews when he was struck on his back pad when on 47.
A short time later he edged paceman Gabe Bell in between the wicketkeeper and first slip, who was wider than normal.
He eventually fell when his attempted sweep against spinner Jarrod Freeman hit his pad and gloves before bouncing onto the stumps.
Labuschagne's knock finally ended when he was caught behind off Bell's bowling.
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