QUEENSLAND Country has made a successful start to its national country championships campaign.
It was not without drama however, as the Queenslanders overcame an early collapse to beat East Asia Pacific in a two-day game at Bundaberg.
EAP batted first and made 180 before Queensland reached 294 in its first innings, having been 5-32 at one point.
"The wicket did a fair bit with the new ball," Ipswich-based Queensland coach Len Martin said.
"We had them 5-26.
"When the ball was new it did a bit, seaming and bounce."
The Ipswich and Queensland Country captain was one of those back in the pavilion watching as it looked like the host team might go down.
"He got one that went away from him and just played the wrong line," Martin said.
"But when the ball is leaving you, what can you do?"
Queensland's recovery came on the back of a century to Townsville all-rounder Riley Ward (114 not out), with strong support from Gold Coast veteran Sean Fitzsimmons (79).
"We were definitely in trouble," Martin said.
"You're always concerned when your top order is sitting in the pavilion. We had to tough it out and we did."
EAP reached 4-165 in its second innings with O'Connell claiming two wickets and a direct hit for a run out.
Queensland heads into what could be a championship deciding two-day fixture against NSW, starting tomorrow.
The defending champions easily accounted for ACT in their opening match and Martin has no doubt where the home team needs to improve if it is to stand a chance.
"Just our top order getting runs," he said.
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