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Ferguson fluffs Test chance at Gabba

AAP logoAAP 19/11/2016 Laine Clark

Baggy greens have gone begging as Queensland's Joe Burns and South Australian Callum Ferguson fluffed their final chance to stake third Test claims in their Sheffield Shield clash at the Gabba.

But the Bulls' Matt Renshaw has firmed as a selection smokey.

At stumps on day three on Saturday, the Redbacks are 2-71 chasing 446 for victory after Ferguson fell for just four in the second dig.

The incumbent Australian No.6 - still smarting from a disastrous Test debut in Hobart - also went for four in the first innings against the Bulls.

Test opener Burns fared worse.

The Queenslander was trapped in front by Chadd Sayers for only two on Saturday - his second failure in the crunch game.

Burns' past six first-class scores have been four, seven, one, zero, four and two.

It's not a good look before the Australian team is named on Sunday for next week's third Test against South Africa in Adelaide.

Burns and Ferguson needed runs - and plenty of them - after all incumbent Australian batsmen were sent back to Shield duty this week following their second Test humbling by South Africa in Hobart.

Queensland captain and Test No.3 Usman Khawaja still backed Burns.

"It's never fun getting out. I feel for Joe but I am sure he will get runs in his next game," said Khawaja, who backed up his first-dig 106 with 17 on Saturday.

In contrast, Renshaw made national selectors sit up and take notice.

The 20-year-old backed up his first-innings century with a quick-fire 50.

The towering left-hander - who hit a mature 108 in his first dig - thumped nine fours in an entertaining half-century on Saturday.

In the process Renshaw passed 1000 first-class runs in just his 12th game.

It is his first game back from a knee injury.

The stage had been set for Ferguson to stake a last-gasp Test claim after Queensland declared their second dig at 7-228 early in the final session on day three.

While Ferguson fluffed his final chance, there is still hope for Redbacks teammates Travis Head and Jake Lehmann - son of national coach Darren - at the Gabba despite first-innings failures.

Head is not out 13 after his 37 in the first dig while Lehmann is yet to bat in the second innings.

Queensland earlier resisted the urge to enforce the follow-on after bowling the Redbacks out for 258 in their first dig early on day three - 217 runs behind the Bulls' first innings.

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