Spin to win as Shield starts with belter

Queensland captain Usman Khawaja says it’s frustrating to have to return home following a thrilling opening Sheffield Shield win because of a fixture change he couldn’t understand.

Mitchell Swepson took four wickets including the final Tasmanian scalp in the Bulls victory with the Tigers falling just 34 balls short of forcing a draw.

But a schedule change by Cricket Australia, after concerns were raised by Victoria about playing just two days out of their 14-day quarantine in Adelaide, had pushed Queensland’s nest game from next Monday to October 30.

The Queenslanders have to go through a three-day isolation period on return to Adelaide for the clash with SA.

“I just wish we had four games and we miss one now, which is disappointing,” Khawaja said.

“It’s a little bit frustrating because we are ready to play.

“If anything it’s not the right time to be choosy about when we can and can’t play. I think all states should be playing cricket from my point of view.

“It’s disappointing we are not playing game two. for me it doesn’t make too much sense. I know Victoria has had it hard, but at the amer time I think everyone is keen to play cricket because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

BACKYARD FUN

Plenty of curveballs have been thrown at sport in 2020 but the sight of eight men around the bat late in the day as one team pressed for victory was about everything cricket could have hoped for.

With duelling Queensland leg-spinners bowling at both ends, a few lunging catches and then one through the gate for victory the on-field action finally provided the drama in a year thwarted so much by events off it.

Swepson (4-66), in his 46th over, rolled through the Tigers last line of defence, number 11 Riley Meredith, to jubilation from nine of his Bulls teammates who had been surrounding the batsman.

“They were pretty attacking fields. it was a bit like being in the backyard, and a bit going on,” Queensland skipper Usman Khawaja, who missed out on runs himself, said.

“We knew we had one hour and we had two spinners going … we were just churning through the overs. Sweppo (Swepson) bowled beautifully the whole game.

“One game and one win. The boys are pretty excited.”

How good is this? The moment @MitchSwepson bowled @qldcricket to victory! #SheffieldShield pic.twitter.com/wQRzB1AOn8

MAGIC MARNUS

Marnus Labuschagne would bowl every over if he was allowed, just like he’s bat all day, and maybe Khawaja held him back too long.

After flaying 167 in Queensland‘s first innings, Labuschagne bowled his first over in the final hour, dismissing Nathan Ellis, who had dug in for 112 balls, thanks to a sharp diving catch from his skipper in the slips.

TOUGH TASSIE

There was no doubting the Tassie fight.

The Tigers were five down before Beau Webster and Nathan Ellis not only saw off the second new ball but stubbornly stayed at the crease for 23 overs before the Swepson, brought Webster undone.

As Siddle then began prodding Swepson away four fielders around the bat became five, then six, then seven then eight as Khawaja turned up the heat in a good old fashioned nailbiter.

It was to no avail and Tassie not only lost but also ended the first round of matches as the only team without a batsman to make a century.

Queensland leg spinner Mitchell Swepson couldn’t bowl his team to victory over Tasmania. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

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