Bartlett’s brilliant bowling for Bulls blitzes Redbacks
A FOUR-WICKET haul from emerging quick Xavier Bartlett has seen the Queensland Bulls take a strong position in the Sheffield Shield, as day four of their clash against the South Australia Redbacks kicks off.
With the Redbacks coming into the game boasting a reasonably strong batting lineup, it was essential that the Bulls did not allow the opposition to get going early on day one at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
Bartlett took four scalps in the opening innings, ripping through South Australia’s top order with the fast-medium bowler proving too much for some of the opposition’s best. Although the Bulls may be beaten by time and forced into a draw, Bartlett’s performance may still prove crucial in giving Queensland the best chance at winning.
Xavier Bartlett’s 1st Innings – 4/64 from 28 overs
With the Bulls missing opening pair Mark Steketee and Michael Neser, Queensland’s bowling attack looked depleted, but it meant more opportunities for the 23-year-old. The youngster was thrust into the role of leader of the attack, and thrived with increased responsibility.
The Adelaide native struck immediately, making his impact felt from the very first opener when he sent Jake Carder packing with just the fourth delivery of the match, with his well-placed delivery seeing Carder hand the ball to Max Bryant, who made no mistake with the catch.
Bartlett continued to look dangerous, and claimed his second scalp in the third over of the match, as South Australia’s top order crumbled like a house of cards. This time, the victim was Daniel Drew, who could not play the seam that came from Bartlett’s delivery, edging the ball back to second slip, where Joe Burns was waiting with open arms.
Replacing Drew was Nathan McSweeney, but after coming in with his side sitting at 2/8, he struggled to get into the game, especially with Bartlett up and about. McSweeney lasted just eight deliveries, unable to even hit the scoreboard as he defended like his life depended on it. As soon as he tried to play an attacking shot, his drive was poked up into the air, as Bartlett claimed his first caught and bowled of the match, taking wickets in all sorts of ways. Suddenly, Queensland was 3/12 and in some serious strife thanks to the 23-year-old’s work.
Bartlett’s teammates got involved for much of the remainder of the match, but he was not done yet. The emerging gun chimed in for one more wicket later in the match, and it proved to be quite a crucial one. South Australia had been dragged back into the match thanks to a stirring middle-order performance from Harry Nielsen, who had reached a patient total of 90 runs, and looked likely to raise the bat and make it to triple figures. However, Bartlett was the hero once again for the Bulls, albeit it was more a poor shot from Nielsen that made it happen, with the batsman chipping the leg-side delivery to Bryant at square leg for the easiest of catches.
The future of Queensland cricket looks promising after Bartlett’s dominant performance, and the result of the match may be shaped by the impact he had in the opening innings.