Bulls need to turn up the heat to secure Shield title

Nathan Hauritz will return from injury to play in match against Western Australia.
Nathan Hauritz will return from injury to play in match against Western Australia. Brett Wortman

THE equation is simple - the Queensland Bulls must beat Western Australia outright at the WACA in Perth if they want a shot at defending their Sheffield Shield crown.

The Bulls shock loss to Tasmania at the Gabba on Sunday saw them slump to sixth on the ladder, eight points behind the table-topping Victorians and four points behind South Australia (second) and Western Australia (third).

With one round remaining, every state is still capable of reaching the March 22 final, although a first innings victory will not be enough for the Bulls.

The Queenslanders have made three changes to their line-up for the game which starts today.

Off-spinner Nathan Hauritz has recovered from a calf strain and all-rounder Michael Neser and paceman Ronan McDonald also return.

Batsman Dominic Michael, leg-spinner Cameron Boyce and paceman Alister McDermott (back) have missed out.

In the other final round games, Tasmania host Victoria and New South Wales play South Australia at the SCG.

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin won't be playing for the Blues after he flew to India as standby for the injured Matthew Wade for the third Test.

Topics:  cricket queensland bulls sheffield shield

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