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Cricket news - Labuschange hundred puts Queensland in driver's seat

Labuschagne ended the second day unbeaten on 160 as Queensland took a 143-run lead.

Labuschagne ended the second day unbeaten on 160 as Queensland took a 143-run lead.

Marnus Labuschagne against New South Wales this season - 117, 0, 112, 160*. The world number three ranked Test batsman enjoys batting and he put on a masterclass for a near full-house on the second day of the Sheffield Shield final at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

The crowd were allowed and though the gates were closed after some time due to the Covid limitation, the home crowd had turned out in numbers to support their team Queensland and Labuschagne did not disappoint them as he notched up a magnificent hundred to put his side in pole position to win the trophy.

The battle was always going to be between Australia's number three and Australia's frontline bowlers - Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon. There were some gripping contests but none more so than Labuschagne and Lyon.

The surface was slow and aiding turn, the offspinner was in his elements and also had a catch dropped off his bowling, Bryce Street being the lucky survivor. He also had Labuschagne padding and the loud LBW appeal was turned down. But the latter survived that initial burst as the Queensland pair just wanted to see off the first session, scoring only 61 runs but getting closer to New South Wales' total of 143.

It was Lyon who finally broke the 127-run partnership by having Street caught at slip and thus ending a 203-ball 46 knock. The wicket came at a timely juncture for the visitors as the second new ball was due in 10 overs but Labuschagne had gone past fifty and was well-set when the experienced Usman Khawaja joined him.

Starc did strike in the fifth over after taking the second new ball, having Khawaja strangled down leg but that was the last success they had for the day. Labuschagne continued to pile on the runs and brought up his fourth Shield hundred this season off 187 balls and took Queensland into tea with a lead of 68. Matt Renshaw joined Labuschagne in the final session and together the duo ensured they got the bonus point at the 100-over mark. Since they gained the lead and batted 100 overs, Queensland would be declared winners if the match ended in a draw.

New South Wales skipper Kurtis Patterson tried almost all his options even bowling part-timers Jason Sangha and Jack Edwards but none of it worked as a determined Labuschagne weathered everything that came his way, his unbeaten 73-run stand with Renshaw took the lead to 143 at the close of play.

Brief scores: New South Wales 143 (Kurtis Patterson 43; Michael Neser 5/27, Jack Wildermuth 4/21) trail Queensland 286/3 (Marnus Labuschagne 160*, Bryce Street 46; Josh Hazlewood 1/32) by 143 runs.