Khawaja Bowlers To Take Queensland Marsh-Final Of The Cup > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Khawaja, bowlers take Queensland to Marsh Cup final

Queensland forced Tasmania to their fourth defeat in six games.

Usman Khawaja, recently omitted from the Test squad, fought off a testing spell from Jackson Bird on a green pitch before settling into his groove to steer Queensland into the final of the Marsh Cup. They'll now take on Western Australia for the title next week.

Chasing a modest 224 for victory in Hobart, Queensland were off to a pretty good start with an opening partnership of 56 before losing three wickets for 19 runs. It was from this phase onwards that Bird, who bowled all of his ten overs uninterrupted, gave the opposition a proper examination.

The right-arm seamer first broke the opening partnership by nicking off Max Bryant, before quickly accounting for Charlie Hemphrey to sandwich Matt Renshaw's dismissal by Gurinder Sandhu. But even as he beat the bat a number of times after that, Bird couldn't make further inroads as he finished with excellent figures of 2/28.

With Bird's threat seen off, Khawaja picked up the pace to bring up a half-century while pushing Queensland back on course for the target. There were a couple more hiccups lower down, but the 85-run stand he put on with Jack Wildermuth pretty much sealed the deal.

That Khawaja was able to take his time was down to a splendid effort by the Queensland bowlers upfront, vindicating the decision to bowl. The seam trio of Mark Steketee, Xavier Bartlett and Wildermuth had Tasmania in big trouble at 40 for 4 in the 15th over. And even as there was a recovery, capped off by a brisk half-century by Sandhu, the hosts couldn't break free at any point, having to settle for a sub-par score, which eventually consigned them to a fourth defeat in six games.

Brief scores: Tasmania 223 all out in 50 overs (Gurinder Sandhu 51, Mark Steketee 3/33, Xavier Bartlett 3/59) lost to Queensland 226 for 6 in 46.1 overs (Usman Khawaja 86*, Jack Wildermuth 48; Jackson Bird 2/28) by four wickets.

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