TOP KNOCK: Ben Dunk celebrates scoring a century against Queensland this week.
TOP KNOCK: Ben Dunk celebrates scoring a century against Queensland this week. Brendon Thornegetty IMAGES

This slam Dunk was not good for Bulls

WELL sports fans, if you are anything like me, Monday this week came around all too soon after the most Queensland of rugby league grand finals.

Unlike a lot of people, though, my head had to be pretty clear because less than 12 hours after the heroics of the NRL decider, the Queensland Bulls were out at North Sydney Oval getting our cricket season underway.

Unfortunately, we felt more like the Broncos than the Cowboys by the end of the day, with the Tasmanian Tigers giving us a bit of a touch-up in our opening Matador Cup one-day match.

To rub salt into the wound, it was a proud North Queenslander and ex-Bull in Ben Dunk who did the damage.

The old Innisfail boy hit a pretty tidy century, continuing his annoyingly good form of late against Queensland-based teams.

Here's hoping the Brisbane Heat get him cheaply a few times when we play against his Hobart Hurricanes later in the summer when the Big Bash League gets underway.

As for the Bulls, we have had a few days to lick our wounds and take stock of where need to be ahead of our day/nighter today against Victoria at Blacktown, and then against South Australia on Sunday at North Sydney Oval.

The Matador Cup is a very different beast this year compared to the past two domestic one-day competitions.

With the postponement of the Bangladesh tour, the influx of international players back into their respective state teams means that the competition is easily the strongest I can recall. A team like NSW, which has a starting 11 where all of the players have Australian experience, would beat most international teams.

Unfortunately the strength of the teams has had one unexpected outcome, with the new Cricket Australia XI team getting pantsed in their first two games.

It's a shame because the original concept of picking a development team from outside the state squads is a worthwhile one.

But perhaps in light of the changing nature of the competition, they might have been better including a senior player or two to assist the young bucks to learn during the heat of battle.

Someone such as Mike Hussey or Brett Lee, as they tend to do with the Prime Minister's XI.

Hopefully the CA XI boys, who include some young Queenslanders like Jimmy Peirson, James Bazley, Mitch Swepson and Jack Wildermuth, get a chance to regroup and finish strongly.

Although not too strongly - we still need to play them.

And just on young Queenslanders - congratulations to the Queensland Under-17 team which produced two outstanding batting efforts under pressure in the past few days to win the national championships in Brisbane. Well done lads.



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