ANDY Bichel showed he has lost none of his ability, inspiring the Queensland Bulls Masters to victory over the Ipswich Invitational team at Baxter Oval yesterday.
The Laidley product, now a national selector, hit 52 not out as the Masters compiled 5-142 from their 20 overs.
At the other end, not out on seven, was Australian rugby league skipper Cameron Smith.
Both Bichel and Ipswich captain Michael Sippel praised Ipswich opening bowler Sean Lutter, who claimed the scalps of Clinton Perren and Chris Simpson.
Any thoughts Ipswich would be able to take advantage of a well-matured Masters bowling attack were soon dispelled.
Bichel and Greg Rowell opened the bowling and it was as though their first-class careers had finished just yesterday.
Ipswich opener Tyrone De Silva hit his third ball off Bichel for six but was gone next delivery, caught behind.
It brought Sippel to the crease.
"Greg could still play," Sippel said, having been dismissed by Chris Simpson for 19.
"He was probably the pick of the grade bowlers for many years.
"He hits the deck hard.
"On a wicket like this, he's hard to get away."
Craig Cumming top scored for Ipswich with 47 not out but Ipswich fell 14 runs short of the Masters' total.
Bichel was glad to be among the runs and wickets, but even more pleased to have been able to provide some entertainment and hopefully some inspiration to the young cricketers and spectators involved.
"Ipswich did the right thing picking a team of young talent," Bichel said.
"Giving them exposure to the way Greg Rowell goes about his work and how the batsmen go about their batting is wonderful.
"For some young cricketer, they might now decide they want to be one of them.
"So full credit to Ipswich."
Bichel also revelled in being out in the middle with former team mates from the Bulls' golden years in the 1990s.
"It is a good feeling," he said.
"There were a lot of good memories."
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