Neser reaping rewards after Ashes exposure

Qld's Michael Neser has taken five wickets, with South Australia out for 221 in their Shield match.
Qld's Michael Neser has taken five wickets, with South Australia out for 221 in their Shield match.

Michael Neser narrowly missed an Ashes Test debut but the Queensland quick said the time on the road was worth it after ripping through South Australian in the Bulls' Sheffield Shield clash at the Gabba.

The Bulls were 3-70 at stumps, chasing the Redbacks' 221, with former Test trio Joe Burns (39), Matt Renshaw (18) and Usman Khawaja (2) all falling late on Friday's opening day.

Wes Agar (3-6), the younger brother of Ashton, took all three wickets in a memorable debut, with Khawaja adjudged lbw in the day's final over.

Earlier, Neser (5-56) sent a reminder to selectors, having figures of 3-0 at one stage as South Australia limped to lunch at 5-55.

Test vice-captain Travis Head, left out of Australia's side for the final Ashes Test, was one of three in the top six to register a duck, before Tom Cooper (69) and Tom Andrews (78) rescued the innings in the middle session.

Neser returned to bowl Cooper, though, while Cameron Gannon and Mark Steketee both picked up two wickets and Marnus Labuschagne jagged the big scalp of Alex Carey, bizarrely bowled lap-sweeping a straight ball, on the stroke of lunch.

Also a handy batsman, it's likely only bulk injuries will allow Neser to earn a spot in the pace attack for a Test debut next month in Brisbane.

He has enjoyed being around Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson and isn't short on confidence after knocking over Steve Smith and David Warner last weekend.

"Watching how the big quicks went about it (in England), I took a few tips," he said.

"You just surround yourself with those class bowlers and you have to step up and follow their lead.

"That's (where I fit into Test calculations) one for the selectors to decide but, if my role is to be a bowler in the team, I could do that.

"But I do love batting. It's something I work hard at all the time."

Pushing for a Test return after being overlooked for the Ashes, Burns played with freedom before becoming Agar's maiden first-class wicket.

Renshaw followed shortly after, gloving a short Agar delivery down leg side to be well caught one-handed by a flying Carey.

Khawaja looked unimpressed when given out in the shadows of day one in a dismissal reminiscent of his first-innings departure last week against NSW.

Earlier, Cooper and Andrews put the heat back on the Bulls after lunch, blazing boundaries all around the wicket in a brisk 89-run stand that piloted the visitors away from serious trouble.

Australian Associated Press