Rockhampton off-spinner Jason Wells will play a key role for the CQ open cricket team in the final round of the North Queensland Championships in Mackay.
Rockhampton off-spinner Jason Wells will play a key role for the CQ open cricket team in the final round of the North Queensland Championships in Mackay. Chris Ison

Wells turns the tables for CQ

WHEN Rockhampton's Jason Wells made his Central Queensland open cricket team debut four years ago, the team was crowned North Queensland champions.

CQ has not lifted the trophy since but Wells is confident of a change of fortunes in Mackay this weekend.

The region's open, under-19 and under-17 representative teams head north today for the final round of this year's North Queensland Championships.

Still on a high following their opening round win over Tropical North in Townsville earlier this month, CQ faces Mackay/Whitsunday tomorrow and Far North Queensland on Sunday in 50-over games to decide the 2011 champions.

Players are also vying for North Queensland selection to play South Queensland in the annual selection trial for Queensland Country honours.

Wells played an important role for CQ in the team's thrilling six-run win in Townsville, with the Frenchville off-spinner and middle-order batsman making a crucial breakthrough in Tropical North's run-chase.

Chasing 315 for victory, the home side was cruising at 0-161 before Wells was thrown the ball by older brother and CQ captain, Todd.

One of the quiet-achievers in the team, Wells trapped Tropical North opener Clint Thompson LBW with a quicker delivery in just his second over before finishing with figures of 1-32 from seven overs.

In a see-sawing 100-over game, Tropical North was eventually bowled out for 308 in the 90th over.

"Last time we went up there a couple of years ago they beat us quite comprehensively so to travel all that way on a bus on the Friday and win the way we played was very satisfying," Wells said.

"We always thought if we were going to win the North Queensland Championships this year we had to win the first game."

Wells celebrated his 29th birthday last Saturday in Frenchville's top-of-the-table round five PFD Cup win over Brothers and the Grammar PE teacher is happy with his form heading to Mackay this weekend.

"It's still the same approach this weekend with the 50 overs," he said.

"You've still got to do the basics right and bat out you're overs.

"When it comes to bowling the main aspect for me is to bowl tight areas and dry up the runs at one end and ultimately try and take wickets as a bowler.

"Against Townsville I did a job there taking the first wicket and bowled relatively tidily."

Wells, who has already picked up a five-wicket haul this season after his return of 5-40 against Brothers in round two, has been a student in the art of spin bowling since his teens.

"Since probably the under-14 age group I started bowling off-spin," he said.

"Everyone at that age could bowl medium pace and I wanted to do something else."

The CQ open team has one change to its line-up for this weekend, with Rockhampton fast bowler Karl Batey replacing Gladstone opening batsman Chris Bye.