Hostile Morris gives Queensland a scare after Bancroft’s marathon

Queensland 6 for 295 dec (Street 83, Burns 72, Renshaw 54) and 7 for 97 (Morris 3-22) drew with Western Australia 7 for 427 dec (Bancroft 164*, Cartwright 78, Agar 72)

Queensland’s lower order saved the side’s blushes, batting into the darkness at the Gabba to secure a Sheffield Shield draw against Western Australia.

A stalemate looked all but certain when WA batted through the morning untroubled, Cameron Bancroft unbeaten on 164 when they declared at 7 for 427, 132 runs ahead.

But Queensland were on the ropes when they lost 4 for 6 inside three overs after tea, WA still with more than 40 overs to bowl in the extended final session.

But Jack Clayton (37 not out off 160 balls) was defiant, finding a partner in Gurinder Sandhu (22 off 66) before James Bazley (7 off 49) saw the hosts to stumps at 7 for 97 after 65.4 overs.

The single point for the draw, plus bonus points, moved Queensland just .12 points behind Tasmania in second, while WA missed a six-point boost for the win but still hold an 11-point buffer on top of the ladder.

Lance Morris did the damage on Sunday for WA but was unlucky not to inflict more, Aaron Hardie dropping Sandhu in the slips when Queensland were 6 for 45.
Joel Paris was on the money while Ashton Agar bowled with six men around the bat in the final stages.

“Today we were outplayed, they showed why they’re first…it was a bit of a heart attack moment but we got through,” Queensland captain Jimmy Peirson said. “Some of our batters didn’t get that time in the middle but Clayto, a young batter in our side, got the job done when I was stressing for a bit there.”

Morris dismissed Bryce Street and Peirson in consecutive deliveries and then had Joe Burns caught at bat-pad minutes later. He now leads the Shield wicket-taker’s list with 27 at an average of 18.40.

“My body’s come a long way. Feel in pretty good place at the moment,” he said, batting away suggestions of higher honours. “I battled a little bit early doors in this game but found a bit of rhythm today, settled in and tried to make it as hard as possible for them.”

Earlier, Bancroft’s was stoic in his 448-ball knock and  Agar pushed the pace after lunch, launching three sixes before he was well stumped by wicketkeeper Peirson down the leg side.

Day one was a washout due to consistent rain, before Queensland made 6 for 295 and declared to pursue a result.

“Declaring there, we wanted to win the game…needed to move the game forward,” Peirson said. “Good, hard-nosed cricket from the WACAs and thankfully we salvaged a draw.”

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