Thu. May 19th, 2022

Bull declares backwards as race runs

On a course that bore striking similarities to bitumen, it was not surprising that a guy named Street made himself at home and hurried at speeds unprecedented in his previously overwhelming Queensland career.

Bryce Street’s career-high 143 from 334 balls in the bat-dominated Marsh Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania not only came at a speed of almost 40 percent higher than his typical cruise pace.

It also included three sixes, the first time in his 26 Shield innings to date, the 23-year-old has cleared the boundary rope, which explains why the left-hander has developed a reputation for wear rather than acceleration.

All three strokes were landed against spin — first a stroke-sweep by Jarrod Freeman as he crossed into the 70s, then a pair of seemingly effortless on-drives against rival skipper Beau Webster’s offies as he closed in his hundred and one second next to Freeman to the delight of his Bulls teammates.

When he eventually fell-caught in the ravine of the only fielder behind Stump after a half-hearted attempt to slip to third man, Street boasted an innings stroke rate of 42.81 compared to his career mark of 30.50.

“I definitely got a bit of an upgrade in bats, so thank you Kookaburra,” said Street, whose previous Shield innings were a cautious 46 in almost five hours in the final against New South Wales.

“And I can joke and say that the training program has certainly improved me too, but no.

“I’ve just been working on a few things in the low season, of course I’ve been a pretty slow scorer from the start of my Shield career.

“But I definitely want to have a few more tricks up my sleeve when the ball gets old and the wickets are flat, so I think it was nice to be able to use them on such a wicket.”

Street Shield Century in Adelaide

And as the self-acclaimed ‘state nerd’ was also very aware, his grandeur came one day after claiming his maiden Shield wicket with his useful medium-pacers that – given the nature of the strip at Rolton Oval -even can stand as an even greater achievement than his trio of maximum.

Although Webster’s scalp yesterday was probably a minor surprise to the Queensland brain’s confidence as Street had taken 6-62 in the previous round of Queensland Premier Cricket, bowling their sailors first switch for Sandgate-Redcliff, who he captains.

“I got a chance to bowl in my first season of Shield cricket and was really disappointed,” Street said at the end of the day.

“I think I threw two games against Tasmania, and one over against Victoria, which included three fullies (full-throw), so I lost the right to bowl from Uzzie (Khawaja) for a while there.

“But I have bowled okay in club cricket, so when we got so desperate, Uz threw me the ball and I was actually more nervous about the bowl than with batting.

“It was a very special moment, so I appreciate it.

“I had a couple of laughing people who bowled 30 overs before a Shield game, but I only bowl 115 (km / h) average speed, so it’s not that hard to fend for myself.

“I would not say I will ever be an all-rounder, I lack the pace … and the build-up.

“It’s just a golden arm, so if you’re 150 overs deep and need a wicket, I might be something for you.”

Peirson piles on the races before the Bulls declare

Despite Street’s recently found strike rate and an even more sparkling 106no (from 168 balls) by Bulls goalkeeper Jimmy Peirson, the Shield season certainly seems to be its second consecutive draw with Tasmania 1-59 in their second innings and leading by 204 with a day to play.

Queensland skipper Usman Khawaja tried to breathe life into a match as deadly as the playing surface by declaring his team’s first innings 145 runs behind, shortly after Peirson had reached his century and ensured the follow-up mark was surpassed.

But the prospect of Tasmania – who have lost 13 of their last 14 Shield matches against the reigning champions – setting a generous goal is about as far off as those claiming 10 Queensland wickets, given the blow, are bent under with a button one per. Session during the game so far.

In fact, the only period the ball threatened to dominate was in the hours on either side of Stump last night when Queensland lost star quartet Joe Burns (26), Marnus Labuschagne (32), Khawaja (20) and Matthew Renshaw (11) after each had started.

Khawaja could consider himself unlucky to have sprung an attempt at a glance at the leg, which stand-in goalkeeper Ben McDermott intercepted in stunning style with an outstretched right glove.

McDermott flies after screamer behind stump

Renshaw was off-spinner Freeman’s second wicket as he was hit low on the front cushion, leaving Queensland shaky at 4-172 and 328 runs powered by Tasmania’s terrifying first innings in total.

However, the reliable Street and enterprising Peirson – who had also received a new batch of hardware from his bat sponsor after his existing kit was stolen from the team car earlier in the week – barely gave a chance across the ensuing one and a half session.

The fleeting prospect of a run went begging after the pair had crossed their wires and Peirson could have been caught at 36 as he cut a head-high chance between McDermott and slip that was put wide.

But those moments aside, it was Tasmania’s bowlers’ turn to work unpaid as Street blunted and then blazed to its fourth Shield tone in its 17th game and then past its previous highest score, which was 117 (from 335 balls on almost eight hours) towards Western Australia last summer.

The ungrateful task for bowlers was highlighted by Tasmania’s decision shortly before tea to insert bowling pair Jordan part-time and Charlie Wakim, who boasted one wicket each from their total of 100 first-class appearances.

Peirson’s second-class hundred-his first, who also came to Adelaide, against South Australia at the Glenelg Oval a year ago-arrived with a brutal move to the square leg boundary off Sam Rainbird and was greeted by fierce applause from the Queensland grave- out.

Which was probably just as well, as the 28-year-old seemed completely unaware of the milestone until the diner warned him to check the electronic scoreboard.

With 20 overs to face after Queensland’s statement, Tasmania started a windy start with openers Caleb Jewell and Tim Ward taking 14 of the first three overs before Renshaw’s off-spin was introduced to try to dampen the pair of left-handers.

But when Jewell was caught lbw by Matt Kuhnemann with six overs left on the day, the Tigers chose safety by sending the first innings night guard Lawrence Neil-Smith, who duly soaked up 25 deliveries by scoring a lone run before stump.

“For the statement we gave them, I hope they give us the chance to get a result,” Street said when asked if he expected a sporting goal to be set by Tasmania tomorrow.

“That’s how we set up the game for them, it would have been easy for us to keep hitting and getting a head start … but I think the ball is in their court.”

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