Queensland have finally found the Midas touch in Sheffield Shield but are frustrated they must wait two months to try to use it again.
Momentum is finally going Queensland’s way in the Sheffield Shield – which makes the eight week first class break for the Big Bash League all the more frustrating.
The Bulls finally roared in the four day game, jumping from last to fourth on the ladder with a 181-run win over new cellar dwellers Victoria at the Gabba on Wednesday.
Set an improbable victory target of 325 off 79 overs, the Bushrangers were bowled out for 143 in 51 early in the final session with Luke Feldman taking 4-36.
Just when their line-up appeared to be gelling with the red ball, Bulls players Feldman, Usman Khawaja (Sydney Thunder), Matthew Gale (Renegades), Cameron Boyce (Hobart) and Nathan Reardon (Adelaide) scatter across the country for BBL Twenty20 white ball duty.
The man who inspired the Bulls’ Shield win – Joe Burns – said switching between red and white duty could make a player feel “out of whack” when they returned to Shield in February.
“To be honest I have found it hard in the past,” said Burns who hit 75 and 102 in back-to -back opening century stands with Luke Pomersbach (73, 85) at the Gabba.
“It becomes easier the more you switch back and forth but early on in your career you can come unstuck.”
Bulls captain James Hopes bemoaned the domestic schedule, saying bowlers such as Ben Cutting were cooked after squeezing in six Shield games in seven weeks before the BBL break.
“It’s tough. I know they do it (congest four day games) in county cricket but the conditions here are a bit harsher, it takes more toll on the body,” he said.
“It feels like we have just finished the one-day Cup and now we are six Shield games in.
“And now we have to snap back into the shorter form. It becomes a juggling act on how much time we give our guys off like (Bulls and Brisbane Heat quick) Ben Cutting.”
Cutting (2-15) took two wickets in four balls as Victoria limped into the tea break at 7-132 after losing 5-87 in a horror middle session before Feldman cleaned up the tail.
Queensland are on 10 points, 12 behind leaders SA – well in Shield final contention according to Hopes.
“If teams keep following the Cricket Australia charter and keep producing flatter wickets than it’s going to be a grind and 26-28 points might get you in (the final),” he said.
“That means winning three of our last four games which is not out of the realms of possibility.”