Bulls recover in Sheffield Shield clash against Blues

Josh Lalor on the field at Manuka for NSW, during the Sheffield Shield in 2011.
Josh Lalor on the field at Manuka for NSW, during the Sheffield Shield in 2011.

QUEENSLAND 7/198 - Not out batsmen:  Ben Cutting 23, Cameron Gannon 4

4.29pm: There is zero chance of play resuming today. It is absolutely bucketing down. Queensland will be pretty happy with where they are after being 4-18 at one stage. While the Blues will feel they can post 350 plus in the next couple of days once the weather turns around.

4.17pm: Rain starts to belt down and we've got a break in play. Queenslanders look pretty pleased to head off after a couple of quick wickets. Could be a decent delay.

4.11pm: Massive breakthrough for the Blues. Reardon out for a well made 71 sweeping off Zampa. First catch for Haddin. 7/193

Wicket: Reardon c Haddin b Zampa 71

4.01pm: Go and chase that! Absolutely monster six from Cutting, heaving O'Keefe over the mid-wicket boundary and out of the ground.

3.44pm: If you're in Canberra, sneak out of work early and get down for some fireworks. Cutting is known to tonk the ball to all parts, and he's got Doug the rug in his sights. This will get fiery.

3.36pm: Just the breakthrough the Blues needed. Hauritz can't get a bat on a quicker Steve O'Keefe ball and Paul ''Pistol'' Reiffel raises the finger for LBW for the fifth time today. The Pistol is on fire.

Wicket: Hauritz LBW O'Keefe - 9

3.32pm: Hauritz goes bang in the first over after tea and punishes Bollinger for dropping short with a lovely cut short for four. Dark skies overhead. Be very surprised if we get the whole session in.

Tea: Queensland take that session, as half-centuries to Chris Hartley and Nathan Reardon steer the Bulls to 5-158. After coming together at 4-18, they put on 117 for the fifth wicket before Hartley was LBW to leg-spinner Adam Zampa for 66, Zampa's first wicket in first-class cricket. Very little happening from the pitch, but the Blues know they're only one wicket away from getting into the tail. Check back in when play resumes at 3.30pm

2.56pm: Plenty of enthusiasm from Bollinger in his third spell. You can see the former bald eagle is giving it his all. He's got Hauritz jumping around on the crease. Lovely cover drive from Reardon to move along to 62.

2.41pm: Zampa's getting good flight, good to see him prepared to throw the ball up and try to lure the batsmen into a false shot. Reardon the last of the recognised batsmen.

2.31pm: Zampa gets the last laugh on Hartley, having the Bulls 'keeper plum in front LBW for 66. Vital breakthrough there for the Blues, with Nathan Hauritz coming to the wicket.

Wicket: Hartley LBW Zampa 66

2.15pm: Hartley is just as damaging to rookie leggie Adam Zampa, smashing him to the boundary for another glorious four. The Bulls are doing this easy.

1.57pm: Hartley leans back and crushes a pull shot to the boundary to bring up his half-century. Entertaining counter-attacking innings to give Queensland hope of a fightback.

1.52pm: That's the 100 up for Queensland. Decent recovery job here from Hartley and Reardon, put on 82 so far for the fifth wicket. Hartley brings up the century with a neat flick to the boundary.

1.47pm: Here's a contender for obvious comment of the day - NSW are desperately missing Josh Hazlewood. Abbott's trying his heart out but hasn't beaten the bat once. Expecting cars to drive on the pitch it's that flat.

1.37pm: Just how has Chris Hartley never played for Australia? Most under-rated 'keeper in the country. Surely must be a chance of the Ashes tour next year if selectors overlook Haddin.

1.26pm: Cracking cover drive from Reardon to bring up the 50 run partnership. Decent recovery effort from these two, Lalor and Henriques toiling away but the ball's not doing much at all.

1.09pm: An earlier than expected start to make up for this morning's rain in the first session. Ball not moving around much at all, could be a tough afternoon for the bowlers at this rate.

Lunch: And that's lunch on an eventful first session on the opening day, with the Bulls 4/49. The Blues started with a bang with two wickets in the first three balls. They're still in control, but Reardon and Hartley have steadied the ship as the ball loses its shine and the pitch flattens out. Bollinger and Lalor have two wickets each for the Blues. Join me again at 1.10pm when play resumes.

12.18pm: Steve Smith having a case of the butterfingers, drops a sitter at second slip, his second miss of the day. Hartley survives and Dougy Bollinger is denied his third of the day.

12.10pm: Tough chance goes begging for the Blues. Steve Smith dives low to his left but can't grasp the catch and Reardon gets a life on 2. Blues still in control, with QLD at 4/30

11.46am: The Bulls are in massive strife! Josh Lalor knocks over Burns and Forrest in quick succession to leave Queensland at 4-18. Hartley and Reardon at the crease.

11.33am: Slow going from the Bulls, 2/11 after 10 overs. Strange move from the Blues with Stephen O'Keefe bowling his left-arm spinners on a seaming pitch.

11.15am: The Bulls firmly in survival mode, trying to get through the new ball. Forrest and Burns channeling Faf du Plessis with a stonewalling effort. 2/1 after 5 overs.

11.06am: Just been announced Ricky Ponting will captain the PM's XI v West Indies on Jan 29 in Canberra.

10.54am: Boom, that's two in three balls! Bollinger hits the pads of Khawaja and he's sent packing LBW. Queensland in major trouble, 2/0.

10.52am: Gone! First ball! Bollinger strikes straight away, getting Townsend LBW. Looked very plumb right in front. Sensational start for the Blues. QLD 1/0

10.50am: The umpires are walking out and we're about to go for the first ball, with Townsend and Burns to open up for Queensland under cloudy skies. Should be some swing for the quicks.

10.45am: That's either the biggest skipping rope I've ever seen or the groundsmen getting off excess water in the outfield. Let's assume it's the latter. Shouldn't be far off a start.

Teams: NSW Blues: Scott Henry, David Dawson, Peter Nevill, Steven Smith, Moises Henriques, Brad Haddin, Stephen O'Keefe (c), Sean Abbott, Adam Zampa, Josh Lalor, Doug Bollinger. Nic Maddinson (12th man)

Queensland Bulls: Wade Townsend, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Peter Forrest, Nathan Reardon, Chris Hartley (c), Nathan Hauritz, Ben Cutting, Cameron Gannon, Luke Feldman, Cameron Boyce. Michael Neser (12th man)

10.32am: Wouldn't you know it - just as play was about to get underway, the lightest of showers has forced the covers on the pitch. Shouldn't be too much of a delay but it's going to be on and off all day. In team news, the Bulls have won the toss and will bat first. Michael Neser is the 12th man for Qld, while Nic Maddinson will carry the drinks for the Blues.

Follow our coverage of the NSW Blues v Queensland Bulls Sheffield Shield match, live from Manuka Oval. All times in AEDST.

This story Bulls recover in Sheffield Shield clash against Blues first appeared on Brisbane Times.