Debate over whether Victoria should have opened with Aaron Finch quickly became a moot point as the Vics crumbled with the bat on a green Gabba deck in their JLT Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland.
The visitors lost 8-45 to be routed for 167 early in day one’s final session despite Peter Handscomb staking a Test claim with a gritty 81 and Finch striking 50 batting at No.3.
Handscomb and Finch put on 116 for the third wicket but were the only batsmen to make double figures as the rest of the Vics were routed, including Glenn Maxwell for a second-ball duck.
Victoria ignored pleas from the likes of Ricky Ponting to pick Finch at the top of the order in his only Shield clash before the first Test, sticking with openers Marcus Harris and Travis Dean against Queensland.
However, the decision mattered little with Finch arriving at the crease in the match’s first over after Dean was bowled for a five-ball duck by Michael Neser (3-39).
And the visitors were reeling at 2-6 after Test squad member Harris was caught at first slip for just two off Luke Feldman (2-38).
Mark Steketee was the best of the Bulls bowlers, claiming 4-52.
Rookie Harris is in the Test opener mix with Finch and Queensland captain Usman Khawaja, but missed a chance to impress after the Bulls won the toss.
Vying for a Test middle order return, Handscomb struck 11 fours and a six in his knock of almost three hours.
Finch hit nine fours including a confident straight drive to the boundary with the first ball he faced.
Their defiant stand on a lively Gabba wicket ended when Finch was caught at gully by Khawaja off Neser.
Handscomb had a ton in sight before he was caught at point by Mitch Swepson off Steketee.
Six members of Australia’s 14-man Test squad feature in the Shield clash at the Gabba.
Qld: Matthew Renshaw, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja (c), Charlie Hemphrey, Marnus Labuschagne, Jack Wildermuth, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Michael Neser, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Luke Feldman
Vic: Travis Dean, Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb (c), Glenn Maxwell, Seb Gotch (wk), James Pattinson, Chris Tremain, Peter Siddle, Scott Boland, Jon Holland