Sport

Queensland chances take a beating at national cricket comp

RUNS ELUSIVE: Queensland and Ipswich’s Ben O’Connell bats in the 2013 Australian Country Cricket Championships.
RUNS ELUSIVE: Queensland and Ipswich’s Ben O’Connell bats in the 2013 Australian Country Cricket Championships. Scottie Simmonds

QUEENSLAND'S chances of winning a national country cricket championship title hang by a thread.

Queensland lost its second match, a two-dayer against defending champions NSW on Sunday and Monday, meaning they have to win every remaining game and hope NSW loses at least one.

Ipswich-based Queensland coach Len Martin was deflated by his team's performance against its southern rival at the national titles in Bundaberg.

"We blew it," Martin said.

"We batted terribly."

In its opening game, against East Asia Pacific, Queensland's top order collapsed before a late-order revival inspired victory.

It was a similar scenario against NSW for the top order, but with no successful comeback this time.

"We only won one session of the six," Martin said. "That was taking 6-60 at the end of day one to roll them (for 280). Then we lost 5-30 in the first hour of day two.

"It was bad shot selection, lack of concentration and diabolical running between wickets.

"It was bad shot selection, lack of concentration and diabolical running between wickets.

"They were on top of us all the time. Just bowling line and length."

Martin could only sit and watch as his top order, including Ipswich- based captain Ben O'Connell, failed to learn from their opening game mistakes.

"It's not good enough," Martin said. "We never recovered.

"Even though the middle and late order got us to 206 we were never really in the hunt."

There were no excuses.

"We've got nine in the team from last year (when Queensland finished third)," the coach said.

"We know what it takes to win and we have to execute."

Yesterday brought an improved showing from a desperate Queensland side.

The home team successfully chased down 185 to beat Northern Territory in a Twenty20 match in the morning with just three balls to spare.

It was followed by a comprehensive win over Victoria in the afternoon.

Queensland bowled out the Vics for 104 and got the runs in 9.5 overs, earning two bonus points, with O'Connell finishing 23 not out.

It will mean little however, if Queensland loses again or NSW goes through the tournament undefeated.

"We've just got to keep winning and hopefully results go our way," Martin said.

"Someone's got to beat NSW. That brings everybody into it."

While its Twenty20 form might be in order, Queensland will have to ensure no further top order collapses in its remaining one and two-day games.

"We need to bat longer, concentrate longer and apply ourselves better," Martin said.

"Today we did (against NT and Victoria).

"Hopefully it comes together."

A substantial contribution from the captain with the bat would also be welcome.

"Ben's been struggling a bit," Martin said. "He hasn't scored any runs. He's taken a few wickets though."

Today is a rest day with Queensland playing ACT in a two-day game tomorrow and Friday.

Topics:  ben o'connell, len martin, national country cricket championships, queensland country cricket




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