Big batting day sets Hornets up for Uni breakthrough
HAVING not swung the willow in a competitive match for "close to four weeks", the Ipswich/Logan Hornets relished the opportunity to bat first against University at St Lucia on Saturday.
And they made the most of a return to the crease.
The Hornets posted a commanding first innings total of 7/328 against a UQ outfit which has traditionally caused the Ipswich/Logan side troubles.
Levi Thomson-Matthews (83) and Harry Wood (56) took over after the early loss of Dan Wilson, before Anthony Wilson (64) and Jack Wood (51) upped the run-rate to put the Hornets in a winning position ahead of UQ's innings this Saturday.
Coach Aaron Moore was pleased with the Hornets' performance, but cautioned it could all be for naught if the bowlers fail to fire.
"It was a good day. The boys were pumped to actually be playing some cricket," Moore said.
"It'd be a shame to see so much good work done on Saturday come undone. A good result will be crucial to us moving forward - to grab the momentum we had before the rain break."
On "a good cricket wicket" which offered plenty for both spinners and seamers, and rewarded patient batting, Moore felt the Hornets' 328 was a competitive total "because the outfield was quite slow" but knows it may quicken with a week of sun.
"We're happy with where we're sitting. We have control of the match. It all depends now on how we turn up this week," he said.
"It's not a wickets-focus, it's a process-focus for us. Build maidens and the wickets will take care of themselves."
The Hornets coach was pleased to see Thomson-Matthews cash in, but added it was tough to see the opener fall short of a deserved century through a little bad luck.
"Anthony (Wilson) hit to to the left of short cover and Lev had a bit of a slip," Moore said.
"We were itching for him to get to 100. He almost made it. Just one of those things."
After losing Dan Wilson early, Moore praised the composure of Thomson-Matthews and Harry Wood to right the ship.
"Dan just got a really good seed. Most blokes are nicking that," Moore said of the opener's dismissal.
"Then Levi and Harry showed patience but also had good intent. That partnership was crucial to the end result. They did the hard work early which set the day up for blokes like Anthony and Jack to come in and reap the rewards."
With go-to spinner Nick De Giusti set to miss the next few weeks as he rehabs a lingering back injury, the return of Jack Wood was a welcomed one to bolster the Hornets' spinning stocks.
That he added 51 runs in the batting innings was a welcome bonus.
"He adds so much to the balance of the side. Someone like him coming in at seven or eight is crucial," Moore said.
Ipswich/Logan Hornets 7/328 (Thomson-Matthews 83, A. Wilson 64, H. Wood 56; Sale 2/60, Philipson 2/105).
University resume 0/0 on Saturday