Bulls charge towards home Shield final

Queensland players celebrate the dismissal of SA captain Travis Head in their Shield game.
Queensland players celebrate the dismissal of SA captain Travis Head in their Shield game.

Queensland have one hand on a spot in next month's Sheffield Shield final after opening up a healthy lead at the top of the standings with their 118-run win over South Australia.

The Queenslanders survived a few nervy moments on the final day thanks to entertaining half-centuries from skipper Travis Head and Alex Carey before confirming victory just before tea at Adelaide Oval.

With two rounds remaining, Queensland boasts a handy eight-point lead over second-placed Victoria.

But the Bulls are refusing to get ahead of themselves as they seek to end a six-year Shield drought.

"It (winning the Shield) is not a conversation we are having as a group," Queensland coach Wade Seccombe said.

"There a lot of good teams in this competition so it will just be a case of seeing what happens.

"We have played some reasonable cricket and it is nice to be in this position but it is a very congested table and all we can do is keep playing well."

South Australia were behind for nearly the entire match but momentarily entertained thoughts of a famous final-day victory.

After resuming on Wednesday at a seemingly hopeless 4-82 in pursuit of 466, Head led the way with a four-laden 85 off 89 deliveries.

Young wicketkeeper Carey continued the momentum with a classy 98 off 107 balls.

Carey was only denied a second first-class ton after being caught on the ropes off the bowling of Queensland's best Brendan Doggett (5-77).

Though defeat keeps the Redbacks in bottom place on the ladder, two wins can still take them into a third consecutive final, with fewer than five points separating second and sixth.

After a big win in their last home match, Queensland will prove hard to beat should they finish first and earn hosting rights for the March 23 decider.

Seccombe believes the Dukes ball, which has been introduced for the second half of the season, favours his side.

"We have been using the Dukes Ball for a while now (in training)," he said.

"I think it suits our style of play. Playing at the Gabba where there is bounce, the Dukes ball swings and stays hard for longer.

"Playing with that ball, I think, is a little bit to our advantage."

Queensland host Western Australia next week and South Australia face Tasmania in Hobart.

Australian Associated Press