Batsman Michael Sippel starred with the Kookaburra for Laidley.
Batsman Michael Sippel starred with the Kookaburra for Laidley. David Nielsen

Bowlers spin Blue Dogs to victory on challenging track

CRICKET: Laidley recorded a comfortable victory over Highfields away from home on the back of an economic bowling performance.

The Blue Dogs restricted Highfields to 129 before 39 from linchpin Michael Sippel allowed them to reach the required total of 130 within 34.1 overs for the loss of six wickets.

Captain Alex Welsh was thrilled with the way his team had bowled and fielded but admitted it was not an easy wicket to bat on for either side.

"It looked flat and by all accounts from last week it was flat but it was very hard to score,” he said.

"We're happy with the performance but glad we weren't chasing more.”

After claiming the toss, Laid-ley elected to use the ball first.

Ben Gibson and Michael Topp picked up early wickets and had the Toowoomba outfit under pressure early.

Through the middle of the innings it became clear that taking the pace off was going to make it extremely difficult for the batsmen.

Welsh turned to his spinners and the cutters of Michael Sippel, and the tactic paid dividends with the run rate kept down as wickets tumbled regularly.

Rain stopped play briefly with the score at 6/109. Upon returning to the field, the reinvigorated Laidley attack was fired up. It finished decisively to skittle Highfields for a meagre total.

Experienced left-arm seamer Sippel was able to adapt and capitalise on the challenging conditions. He finished with 3/8 from 5.4 overs.

"Michael closed out the innings for us,” Welsh said.

"We finished strong. It was a good all-round display. The wickets were shared around.

"The bowling was economical and the fielding was good, so I'm very happy.

"We dropped a couple of catches. If we had have held one of those in particular, Highfields probably would not have even made 100.”

With the bat, Sippel again proved vital. His 39 were invaluable as Laidley limped beyond the Highfields' total with six wickets down.

Welsh said shot selection had let his batsmen down at times and he would have liked to have seen them show more patience and commitment.

"Going through our dismissals, there were probably a few that were a bit lazy,” he said.

"We didn't want to be six down but it was not the easiest pitch.

"When you're chasing a low score, you need one batsman to put his hand up and go on with it.

"We made it tricky, so that is something to work on.”

Tom Bushnell