Gracemere paceman Ben Milne has earned selection in the 2014 Queensland Country cricket team. Photo Guy Williams / Morning Bulletin
Gracemere paceman Ben Milne has earned selection in the 2014 Queensland Country cricket team. Photo Guy Williams / Morning Bulletin Guy Williams

NQ Ben Milne won’t be steaming in off a long run for Bulls

FEAR not, Frenchville Falcons.

North Queensland quick Ben Milne won't be steaming in off a long run for the Gracemere Bulls in Saturday's 50-over match against the reigning premiers.

Unfortunately other commitments will prevent him from turning out in the Frenchville Sports Club A-grade premiership this weekend.

Milne hasn't been seen in a Gracemere shirt since before his North Queensland selection in early November after battling a calf strain.

But, he is keen to return to his club side in the near future with a new-found confidence.

The Bulls opening bowler helped North Queensland to a 76-run win over South Queensland at Mackay's Harrup Park on the weekend, in the process earning his first Queensland Country cap.

Milne, and five other North Queensland players earned a berth in the Queensland Country Open team to contest the Australian Country Cricket Championships in Canberra, from January 7-14.

"It was the same as when I got selected for North Queensland," Milne said.

"I never expected to get picked then and I didn't expect it now. I just went out there and did what I could and hoped for the best."

After missing out on a bat in NQ's innings, which ended at 277 inside 92 overs, Milne took the new ball on Saturday afternoon.

Wicketless during NQ's 16-over spell to finish the first day, which bagged them three wickets, Milne didn't have to wait long to celebrate his first wicket in NQ colours.

In his third over on day two, Milne collected his first wicket for NQ, knocking over SQ middle order batsman Chris Gillam.

"It went straight through him; it sent off-stump cart- wheeling," Milne said of the dismissal, which ended the dangerous Gillam's innings on 39.

Milne's first wicket triggered a SQ collapse, with the travelling side losing six wickets for 65 runs on their way to being bundled out for 201.

Lone wicket aside, Milne figured it was his pace that earned him the inclusion in the Queensland Country side.

"I don't really know; I bowled pretty quick and that might've caught their eye," a modest Milne said.

"I'm looking forward to it. It'll be bloody good to see what everyone else in the country has to offer."

Milne was joined in the Queensland Country team by pace attack partner Brenton Edwards, North Queensland captain Todd Schloss and left-arm finger spinner Michael Salerno.

Wicketkeeper batsman Tony Hampson and opening batsman Justin Reid, who top-scored for NQ with 53, also earned a place in the Queensland Country team.

Gladstone's Jason Seng, Central Queensland's only other representative in the NQ team, scored 33.



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