O'Connell figures in T20 defeat
BEN O'Connell's figures may not scream "star", but statistics do not always tell the story.
Ipswich Pioneers captain O'Connell made 12 and took 2-16 as his Flames team went down to the Burners at Deagon in round two of Queensland Cricket's T20 Challenge yesterday.
Much as he did in the opening game a fortnight ago against the Infernos, O'Connell made the most of limited opportunities.
In that game he finished 12 not out, coming in late in the innings.
Yesterday he was asked to open the batting on a rain-affected deck and watched from the bowlers end as four partners came and went.
Given the circumstances and his team's total of 93, his 12 runs was a decent knock.
"The plan was for me to go for it," he said of his promotion up the order. "But it didn't help losing three or four early wickets."
In response, the Burners reached the target losing just two wickets after 11 overs. O'Connell claimed both wickets.
He dismissed Queensland players Corey Barsby and Joe Burns with his left arm tweakers on a deck that had dried out and improved since O'Connell had to bat on it.
"All of our early wickets fell to front of the wicket shots, so the pitch was holding up a bit," O'Connell said.
"When they went out to bat the ball came on a bit better and they were able to play some shots."
O'Connell credited "change of pace and line," for his scalps, with Barsby top edging behind and Burns bowled by a quicker one.
"He played all around it," O'Connell said.
The Central Districts 26-year-old is uncertain but optimistic he has done enough for another chance in the final round next weekend, when the Flames take on the Blaze at Ashgrove.
"Hopefully I've done enough with the ball to show my wicket taking ability when I'm brought on," he said.
At stake is one of four Queensland Academy contracts and two spots in the Queensland Heat team for the upcoming Big Bash Tweny20 series.
In the other game, Marburg-based Sam Truloff made 20, including two sixes, batting at number seven.
His Blaze team (160) went down to the Infernos (5-161).