Speaking before the team flew to Townsville, Khawaja told media that he had no doubts that Labuschagne was set to cash in after missing out on a big score in their two previous games.
"I've seen how hard he has been working in the nets and in the games. The last match, we both had to grind it out for at least a session and I saw enough then to tell me he will score a century in this game."
Khawaja's confidence was not misplaced, as Labuschagne motored to his 19th first class century, with the Bulls complementing his ton through composed knocks from Joe Burns (79) and Khawaja (63no) on the way to a fine first day return of 3-311 at stumps at Riverway Stadium yesterday.
But from that point Queensland steadily asserted control as Labuschagne, Burns and then Khawaja piled on the runs.
Labuschagne fell late in the day to the second new ball, and told media after play that he was disappointed not to push onto a bigger score.
Earlier, pace bowlers Connor Sully and Gurinder Sandhu were confirmed as starters at the toss, won by Khawaja who elected to bat.
Sully, 20, made his domestic one day debut earlier this month for Queensland, as did Sandhu, who added a baggy maroon to his previous represenations of NSW and Tasmania.
Blake Edwards was named 12th man while Mark Steketee, who took 10 wickets in the last match against South Australia in Adelaide, was ruled out yesteday morning due to a badly bruised heel that has not healed as quickly as he had hoped.
Usual pace spearhead Michael Neser is also missing the game while on paternity leave.
The Bulls will play the Shield game and a Marsh One Day Cup match at the venue, with the limited overs game set down for Monday.
It will be the first Shield match at the North Queensland venue since 2016-17, while the last one-dayer was held there in 2018-19.
The two teams fought out a draw earlier this month on a docile Karen Rolton Oval wicket, with centuries to Jimmy Peirson and Bryce Street.
Admission for all Shield and One Day matches is free, and all games will be streamed live through cricket.com.au and broadcast on Kayo.