Khawaja makes early statement with century

ESPN Cricinfo

ESPN Cricinfo

Author 2019-09-29 17:19:15

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Queensland 9 for 322 (Khawaja 138, Heazlett 88, Pattinson 3-56) beat Victoria 168 (Sutherland 66, Steketee 4-25) by 154 runs

Usman Khawaja made a commanding start to his season with 138 off 126 balls as Queensland secured a handsome bonus-point victory over Victoria in Melbourne.

Khawaja and the in-form Sam Heazlett added 185 for the first wicket in pristine batting conditions although the Queensland innings was hauled back from 1 for 239 in 36th over to 9 for 322 as James Pattinson claimed 3 for 56 in his first outing of the season.

However, Victoria's top order was blown away in the chase as they slid to 5 for 37 in the 14th over with Mark Steketee picking up the impressive trio of Will Pucovski, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson for single figures.

Bat dominated for the first part of the game as Khawaja and Heazlett laid into the Victoria attack. It was Khawaja's first innings of the season after the Ashes series in which he was dropped and he looked in excellent touch as he struck 16 fours and a six with his century coming off 94 deliveries.

There was some collateral damage during the opening stand when a strong sweep shot by Heazlett struck umpire John Ward on the foot at square leg. Initially Ward tried to shake it off but a short while later needed to leave the field with TV umpire Donovan Koch taking his place.

With Heazlett on track for a brisk century, to follow his half-centuries in Queensland's opening two matches, he edged a drive against Pattinson to give Victoria their first opening. Marnus Labuschagne started in fine style, timing the ball effortlessly, before getting a rough decision when he was given out caught off the arm playing a reverse sweep.

Matt Renshaw picked out long-on cheaply and when Khawaja departed the middle order couldn't quite take advantage of the foundation offered.

The total was soon looking huge, however, with Marcus Harris being caught behind off the third all of the innings then Steketee scythed through the middle order. Ben Cutting, playing his first one-day match for nearly two years, added the wicket of Glenn Maxwell and Victoria's hopes were gone.

Aaron Finch and Will Sutherland stopped the rot before Finch become Steketee's fourth. From 8 for 106, Sutherland's second half-century in consecutive innings prevented Queensland claiming a double bonus-point victory, which would have been theirs by keeping Victoria below 160, so that was a small consolation for the home side.

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