Thunder players celebrate taking a Centrals wicket during Saturday's first division match at Tivoli.
Thunder players celebrate taking a Centrals wicket during Saturday's first division match at Tivoli. Inga Williams

Centrals keen to bat way into two-day contention

TWO fine batting partnerships ensured Centrals secured valuable points and gave their lower order batsmen some much-needed time in the middle.

Although hoping his team could challenge for an outright against Marburg-Mt Crosby Thunder, Centrals coach Scott Barrett found some positives in his team's latest performance on Saturday.

After Centrals slipped to 4/74, Queensland Country player Ben O'Connell and another handy all-rounder Adam O'Sullivan joined forces to put on 145 runs.

O'Sullivan top scored with 79 and O'Connell made 72.

Late in the day with the storm threatening, Mick Abbott (38 not out) and Rhys O'Sullivan (28 not out) put on 60 runs to lift Centrals to 7/315 off 78 overs.

"We couldn't push for an outright,'' Barrett said, after Thunder toiled hard to make 162 at their Tivoli home ground.

"With the weather around, we didn't get them out early enough last week.

"We dropped a few catches last week which allowed them to get probably an extra 40 runs.''

However, Barrett was happy to see batsmen like Abbott and Rhys O'Sullivan rally at the end after limited opportunities during the recent one-day competition.

Barrett praised Thunder all-rounder Tobias Nugter for his tidy performance. He snared 2/4 off seven overs at one stage having made 74 the previous week.

With Centrals missing the semi-finals in the recent Ipswich-Toowoomba 45 over competition, Barrett is keen for last year's two-day grand finalists to build some momentum.

"For me, it's about being consistent,'' Barrett said.

However, the coach expects Centrals depth to be tested in coming weeks with players like his son Luke and O'Connell having more representative commitments and the usual holiday period challenges.

Centrals play Brothers in their next two-day match at Mark Marsh Oval starting on Saturday.



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