O'Connell century sparks Bluedogs innings
BEN O'Connell may not have stepped to the crease since before Christmas, but the Laidley batsman wasted no time in returning to form against Northsiders at Keith Sternberg yesterday.
O'Connell finished 103 not-out to help Laidley to 6/222 at stumps on day one.
The former Centrals batsman said it was "probably one of the most tiresome days” at the crease he had ever experienced, having to toil for his unbeaten century in 35-degree heat.
"I batted pretty much the whole day, I was certainly feeling it in that last half-hour or so,” O'Connell said.
"I think the wicket was pretty good. Obviously the outfield plays on your mind a little, not being very conducive to hitting the ball on the ground.
"It took a while to get in and get used to what it was offering. (The total) is probably worth a few more considering the outfield.”
O'Connell likened the outfield to Limestone Park, and felt the Bluedogs had put themselves in a strong position heading into day two next weekend.
"We had the mentality that if we could get to that last hour and a half in the day with some wickets in hand, their bowlers bowling a lot of overs in the heat, the loose balls would present themselves and we could capitalise,” O'Connell said.
"We knew it would be slow going the first half of the day.
"Now we've got to make sure we bowl well (on Saturday) and take 10 wickets, really.”