Quiney upstages Rogers, North cracks ton

Former Test batsman Rob Quiney outshone current Australian opener Chris Rogers as Victoria battled to 3-119 by stumps on a rain-marred first day of the Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania.

Quiney fought his way to an unbeaten 57 with six fours, having had a life on 24, after losing opening partner Rogers for just three.

Tigers quicks James Faulkner (1-17) and Adam Maher (1-36), and part-timer Mark Cosgrove (1-1), had a wicket apiece for the home side.

Rogers, George Bailey and Faulkner are all hoping to use the match to tune up for the Ashes series beginning next week.

Rogers had already shown some superb early season form, cracking 117 and 88 in the Vics’ last Shield outing, against NSW.

Two sessions were lost to persistent rain before Tigers captain Bailey sent the visitors in on a sticky Bellerive strip.

Western Australia recovered from the loss of centurion Marcus North and regained some late momentum as honours were shared on day one of their match against South Australia at Adelaide Oval.

The Warriors were on the back foot when North departed for 110 after tea amidst a collapse of 5-44 which left the visitors at 6-200.

But a handy partnership of 69 between Ashton Agar (39 not out) and Sam Whiteman (30no) steadied the ship for the Warriors, who finished the day on 6-269.

Redbacks captain Johan Botha (4-71) was at the forefront of the Warriors’ collapse, snaring four wickets including the vital scalp of North, while fellow spinner Adam Zampa (2-63) also chipped in.

While spin claimed all the wickets, former Test player North remained largely unfazed, reaching his second Shield ton of the season.

North produced 15 boundaries and one six before he was caught in the deep for 110 attempting a slog sweep shortly after tea.

Contrasting half centuries by Test batsmen David Warner and Steven Smith helped NSW move to 8-368 at stumps on day one against Queensland in Brisbane despite a late stumble.

Cruising at 2-247 at tea, the Blues at one stage lost 5-41 as they lost six wickets in the final session late at Allan Border Field before bad light stopped play.

In an ominous sign ahead of next week’s Ashes opener, Warner (52 off 62 balls) came out swinging after the Blues won the toss, bringing up his whirlwind half century by hitting leg-spinner Cameron Boyce out of the ground.

But next ball he tried to repeat the feat, only to send it down the throat of Usman Khawaja on the white picket fence boundary at deep mid-wicket.

In all, he thrashed six fours and a six before chancing his arm once too often on the small suburban ground before lunch.

Smith (69) opted for a more patient approach in his two-and-a-half hour knock – a stay 60 minutes longer than Warner’s.

And England’s attack for the first Test is no closer to being finalised, after Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin turned in underwhelming performances on day one of their tour match against an Invitational XI in Sydney.

Fallen Test star Ed Cowan played a brave knock of 51, before Ryan Carters (94no) and skipper Peter Nevill (76no) got on top of their more fancied opposition with an unbeaten 178-run stand.

With big names Usman Khawaja, Phil Hughes, Adam Voges and Steve O’Keefe pulled from the match, a chance was provided for some unheralded NSW players to test themselves against England.

Originally, it was a NSW second XI that was scheduled to face the tourists until the ECB complained about the standard of opposition and they were replaced by a Cricket Australia Invitational outfit.

At stumps on day one the Invitational side were 5-271, having recovered from 5-93.

Carters is on track for a maiden first-class hundred and Nevill is staking his claim as a potential new Test understudy to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

In a positive for England, fast bowler Stuart Broad (3-36) found some form, taking three wickets.

Finn took two wickets but bowled without rhythm, going for 79 runs, while Rankin finished on 0-60.

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