QUEENSLAND quick Ryan Harris admits he's surprised that Luke Butterworth continues to miss out on national honours after the Tasmanian all-rounder produced another startling performance in a Sheffield Shield final.
Six years after starring in the Tigers' breakthrough competition win, Butterworth took his Shield final average up to 65.66 with a swashbuckling 86 yesterday to carry the Tigers to a first-innings total of 419.
The 29-year-old's fellow opening bowler Ben Hilfenhaus then produced the perfect complement, clean bowling Greg Moller first ball to leave the visitors 1-12 at stumps.
``He's a guy that seems to perform year-in, year-out,'' said Harris, who took 3-107 off 40 exhausting overs.
``He's always around the mark with the leading wicket-takers and in the mix for the runs so I think he is probably under-rated.
``You get a wicket that does a bit and he's bloody hard to play. He puts it in the right spot, bowls a good length and can also whack them at the end.''
Butterworth played down both his international aspirations and talk of a fairytale finish for coach Tim Coyle and former captain Ricky Ponting.
``It's always good to perform well in big games and I've been lucky enough to do so,'' Butterworth said.
``They [Queensland] have to make the running of the game now and that's going to play into our hands if we bowl well. But there's still three days to go, we're not even halfway over yet.''
Opener Jordan Silk also completed his second Sheffield Shield century in just his third match yesterday.