'Big' job ahead

ON TARGET: Northsiders captain Paul Milne is happy how his Ipswich Premier League team is bowling along preparing for a huge weekend of cricket.
ON TARGET: Northsiders captain Paul Milne is happy how his Ipswich Premier League team is bowling along preparing for a huge weekend of cricket. David Nielsen

NORTHSIDERS skipper Paul Milne will hand over the captaincy to Rob Hillier after playing in the opening round game of tomorrow's Baxter Big Bash competition at Amberley.

The SEQ under-16 side coach will join his young side in camp after Northsiders' morning game against Alberton.

Milne likes what Ipswich Cricket officials are doing to improve the game through T20 matches.

"It's good fun. It's a good idea," he said of the annual Big Bash competition.

"The Monday nights (also T20) is a good idea as well.

"They need to improve the lights a little bit but that's all in time."

While he'll miss tomorrow afternoon's T20 games, Milne is keen to lead Northsiders to victory in today's Ipswich Premier League one-day clash against Centrals at Mark Marsh Oval.

"It's a big game for us," the experienced allrounder said.

"If we get a win, we jump them and it will be nice to go into Christmas with that momentum."

Milne expects to have a near full-strength Northsiders side available for the final one-dayer of the year.

However, he knows his side will need match-winners like Kev Cumming and Michael Ridgewell to fire.

"They (Centrals) are the gun side. They've got all the rep players," Milne said, wary of regulars like Ben O'Connell, Sean Lutter, Rhys O'Sullivan and Luke Barrett.

"Kevvie is bowling really well leading the (Northsiders) attack. When he's on, it gives everyone else a bit of a lift."

The return of Ridgewell has been another boost for the defending premiers.

"He's a quality cricketer," Milne said, happy to welcome Ridgewell back after a stint working interstate and overseas.

In his first season as Northsiders skipper, Milne said his team was keen to build on recent wins over Laidley and Swifts.

"Laidley was where we know we can be," he said. "If we turn up to play like we did against Laidley, no-one will get near us.

"Generally overall, we are pretty happy with where we are at.

"The boys are all chugging along. We're a bit more settled now."

As for his form, Milne hopes to take advantage of the extra opportunities this weekend.

"I feel good in the nets," he said, having been batting at five and opening the bowling attack.

The spinner hopes his team also uses this weekend's additional games to advantage.

"The Twenty 20 is an opportunity for a few guys to have a decent hit, give the boys some centre wicket practice," he said.

Centrals star allrounder Ben O'Connell is also ready to play.

In the other Premier League games today, Brothers meet Eastern Taipans at Ivor Marsden and competition leaders Laidley face Swifts at the same venue.

Topics:  central districts, ipswich premier league, mark marsh oval, northsiders tigers, one-day game



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