South Australia 359 for 5 dec (Hunt 162, McSweeney 112*) and 151 (Sandhu 4-31) beat Queensland 238 (Peirson 61, McAndrew 6-41) & 296 (Khawaja 114, Burns 91, McAndrew 3-60) by three runs
The final day ebbed and flowed, with the Redbacks on top early, then the home side, before a final-session rally by the visitors at the Gabba.
South Australia were bowled out early in the morning for 151, setting the hosts 273 to win.
Queensland skipper Khawaja, who came to the crease at 11 for 2, took his side to the brink of victory when he was on strike to Buckingham with more than five overs in the day remaining and just four runs needed to win.
The tall paceman, who had earlier proved expensive against the Queensland batters, knocked back Khawaja’s leg stump.
“Amazing. Certainly the best game of cricket I have ever been involved in. What a moment,” Buckingham said. “I kept fighting. I feel like one of my strengths is to never give in. The boys bowled absolutely brilliant.
“[Khawaja] is an international class player and he showed that today. He was outstanding.”
Khawaja had not played for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield for more than a month because of Cricket Australia’s workload management policy.
The 36-year-old missed the past two Shield games contested by the Bulls, and the break certainly did him no harm. He played an extraordinary pull shot off Buckingham for six that went five metres off the ground like a tracer bullet into the stands. He also unfurled an assortment of exquisite late cuts off spinner Ben Manenti.
Burns could not have batted any better in what was a masterclass of shot selection and execution. One cover drive off Buckingham rocketed to the boundary. He drove, pulled and cut boundaries with panache in a knock that showcased why he was Australia’s opener in 23 Tests.
Burns fell nine runs short of his century when he tickled Nathan McAndrew through to wicketkeeper Harry Nielsen.
Queensland appeared to be in control at 219 for 4 until spinner Nathan McSweeney dismissed Jimmy Peirson and Michael Neser, both lbw.
Allrounder Jack Wildermuth was prised out by a classic leg-cutter by McAndrew with 28 runs required. Gurinder Sandhu took a wild swing at Buckingham and the Redbacks were back on top. Mark Steketee threw his wicket away in the same over as the pressure told.
Queensland needed 23 to win when last man Mitch Swepson came to the crease, and Khawaja all but got them home.
McAndrew, with nine wickets for the match, was South Australia’s hero.
“He is a serious player. Within our group he is rated so bloody highly,” Buckingham said. “There is no doubt he will be in a baggy green one day.”