The clash is South Australia’s penultimate game in the shorter format this season, and they will be looking to reverse their fortunes to this stage. Unable to qualify for the first vs second final, there is still plenty to play for on Sunday for those in red.
Fielding a mix of experience and youth across 2020/21, South Australian cricket may well see another debutant this week, with allrounder Sam Kerber featured in the squad for this clash. Just this week crowned joint winner of the Bradman Medal alongside Brad Davis, Kerber was in line to make his first class debut this week in the Marsh Sheffield Shield, but was unfortunately denied by the weather.
On the other end of the experience scale, skipper Travis Head, averaging 61 with the bat, sits second on the run-scorers list in the competition. The left-hander has collected 183 runs across three games, including a remarkable performance against Western Australia that yielded 142. Harry Nielsen is the Redbacks other century-maker this season, while fellow wicket-keeper Alex Carey scored 99 against NSW at Adelaide Oval earlier in the campaign.
Finals cricket is still a strong possibility for the Bulls, who currently sit third in the standings in pursuit of New South Wales and Western Australia. They will be throwing everything at the visitors on Sunday in the hunt for a birth in the 11 April Final. The Bulls also have a player in line for a One Day Cup debut, with allrounder James Bazley named in the squad alongside experienced campaigners Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns.
Queensland’s last four fixtures have been affected by rain, including this week’s Sheffield Shield clash against the Redbacks, which was abandoned without a ball being bowled. That was the second consecutive fixture without a single delivery for the Bulls, after their Marsh One-Day Cup game against Victoria suffered the same fate on 20 March. The Queenslanders last took the field on 16 March, the second and final day of their Shield clash against the Victorians which was brought to an early conclusion by stubborn rain.
Despite not taking the field as often as they would have liked recently, the Bulls will be confident in their return to Allan Border Field. In the last eight fixtures held at the venue, Queensland have emerged victorious on six occasions. The ground has also been a haven for those batting second, with the last three triumphs all claimed by the side chasing.
The last time these two sides met in 50-over cricket was October 23, 2019. It was an absolute thriller at the Gabba, with the Redbacks chasing down the Bulls first innings total of 9/295 with just two balls to spare. Marnus Labuschagne was unstoppable with the bat, amassing 135 from 127 in a truly stunning innings. With the ball, Wes Agar did the damage for the Redbacks. The big quick took five wickets, four of which were the top order batsmen Khawaja, Bryant, Renshaw and Burns. A team effort with the blade from South Australia got the job done, as Callum Ferguson, Alex Carey and Jake Lehmann all notched half-centuries in the successful chase.
The Marsh One-Day Cup fixture between South Australia and Queensland begins at 10.30am ACDT on Sunday March 26. The game will be streamed live via the cricket.com.au Match Centre and Kayo Sports and entry to the ground is free.
West End Redbacks Squad
Travis Head (c)
Queensland Bulls Squad
Usman Khawaja (c)