Test star Marnus Labuschagne made another century for Queensland

New father Marnus Labuschagne started his summer in style by blasting a 24th first-class century to put Queensland in total control of its Sheffield Shield clash against Tasmania.

The Test superstar, who finished the recent series in Sri Lanka with a century in Galle, powered to his seventh Shield hundred in the past three seasons, the most of any player, in a commanding performance at Allan Border Field.

Labuschagne made 127 as the Bulls charged to 4-357 at stumps on day two.

It gives them a 210-run lead over the Tigers, who had been dismissed for a paltry 147 on Thursday.

Former Test paceman Peter Siddle claimed Labuschagne’s scalp, trapping him LBW to bring to an end a 234-ball innings that included 19 fours and one six.

“(It was) my first hundred as a dad,” said a delighted Labuschagne, whose wife Rebekah gave birth last month to baby daughter Hallie.

“The first ball my wife saw today was the 100. She came here when I was on 99. It was nice for Bek and Hallie to see the 100.

“I was in the spare room last night making sure I got enough sleep so I could score some runs today but I think I’ll be back on duty tonight.”

Others to shine with the bat for the Bulls included opener Joe Burns (85) and captain Usman Khawaja.

Batting at number four for his state, Test opener Khawaja iwas unbeaten at stumps on 71, while wicket-keeper Jimmy Peirson was 58 not out in an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 88 between the pair.

“It was a very good day for us,” Labuschagne said.

“It puts us in a really good position coming into day three. I think the wicket’s still got plenty in it.”

Paceman Riley Meredith has two wickets for the Tigers, with Siddle and Beau Webster each having a scalp.

DAY ONE

Tim Paine has made a mixed return to the Sheffield Shield arena, taking a sharp catch but failing with the bat for a Tasmanian side that struggled against Queensland at Allan Border Field.

Batting at No.7, the veteran wicket-keeper strode to the crease in the 34th over of the innings with the Tigers – who had been sent into bat on Thursday morning by Queensland – in trouble at 5-59.

Paine couldn’t come to Tasmania’s rescue, making just six before edging former Tigers paceman Gurinder Sandhu (2-18) to Matt Renshaw at first slip.

Paine’s dismissal in the 39th over left the Tigers reeling at 6-74.

A fighting 44 from spinner Jarrod Freeman allowed Tasmania to reach 147, with his dismissal off the bowling of Test paceman Michael Neser (3-42) signalling the end of the visitors’ innings.

In reply, the Bulls were 1-70 when bad light forced stumps to be called early.

Joe Burns (35*) and Marnus Labuschagne (26*) were the unbeaten batsmen, with Paine having taken a good catch low to his left to complete the dismissal of opener Renshaw (8) off the bowling of Riley Meredith in the 13th over of the Queensland innings.

“He’s one of the best keepers in the world still and it would be silly not to have him in the side from that aspect,” Freeman said of Paine.

“Having him back is great for the game, especially with what he’s been through.

“It’s good that he’s bounced back and he’s showed that he’s not done yet. He’s actually got something to give.”

Earlier, the returning Paine was greeted with a big hug from Bulls bowing coach and former national selector Andy Bichel after ending his 11-month hiatus from cricket after stepping down from the Australian Test team in November last year following a sexting controversy,

Paine’s return failed to inspire the Tigers, with Neser striking on just the third ball of the day, dismissing Caleb Jewell for a duck after the Tasmanian opener edged a ball into the safe hands of Renshaw at slip.

The visitors then seemed to steady their innings before paceman Mark Steketee struck twice within the space of three overs to leave the Tigers reeling at 3-24.

Opener Tim Ward (15) edged Steketee into the slips where Bulls captain Usman Khawaja took the catch via a deflection off Joe Burns.

Ben McDermott then fell in Steketee’s following over for a duck after edging to wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson.

However, Peirson then blotted his copybook, dropping Jordan Silk down the legside off the bowling of all-rounder James Bazley with Tasmania at 3-44 less than a quarter an hour before lunch.

But Silk (16) fell soon after lunch to Steketee, whose good day continued with a fourth scalp when he had Beau Webster (0) caught behind a few overs later.

Steketee was the pick of the Queensland bowlers, finishing with 4-43 from 17 overs.

“Conditions favoured us bowlers a little bit today, but that boys batted well this arvo,” Steketee said.

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