With the 2020/21 Sheffield Shield underway, here’s a quick round-up on how Australia’s centrally-contracted players performed in the first set of fixtures, with Western Australia taking on South Australia and Queensland playing Tasmania.
114 not out | 5-103 & 1-46
Agar has come to be more renowned in international cricket for his skills in the T20 format, but the left-arm spinner delivered a sparkling all-round performance in whites as WA beat South Australia by 205 runs.
Batting at six, Agar hit 114 not out as he and Josh Inglis shared an unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 266, leading to a first-innings total of 481. Then came a sixth first-class five-wicket haul to help deliver a useful first-innings lead. Agar was not required with the bat as a Shaun Marsh century set up the fourth innings, and he added the wicket of the dangerous of Jake Weatherald to conclude his return to red-ball action.
31 & 51
The South Australia skipper offered up 31 in his side’s first innings, but his dismissal to Agar triggered a collapse as eight wickets fell for 84 runs. Batting on the final day to try and eke out a draw, Head went to a half-century but perished for 51 as he flashed hard and recklessly to a short ball to feather an outside edge to the keeper off the bowling of Matthew Kelly.
In a big innings win for Queensland, Burns perished for 7 in his only dig at the crease, making him Peter Siddle’s maiden victim for Tasmania.
167 & 1-9
Labuschagne made his way to the crease as Burns made his way back, and the Aussie Test No.3 continued his incredible run in first-class cricket, dominating with a 230-ball 167 to set up a mammoth score of 529. He now has 10 centuries and 15 fifties in his last 27 first-class matches. The part-time leggie also took a wicket in the fourth innings as Queensland secured victory in last-gasp fashion.
4 & 10 | 1 catch
There was little to shout about for Australia’s Test captain, with 14 runs across two innings against Queensland and just the one dismissal behind the stumps.