STALWART: Australian's over-70s team member Ian Petherick.
STALWART: Australian's over-70s team member Ian Petherick. Patrick Woods

Aussie over-70s side in midst of series with old enemy

THEY may not be able to bowl express pace or steal quick singles like they used to but their will to win remains as strong as ever.

The Australian representative over-70s side is in the midst of a five-match series against England, with the fourth encounter scheduled for Buderim on Wednesday.

And there is a real determination from them to succeed.

That's something that hasn't diminished with time.

"You never lose your spirit of competitiveness," in-form batsman Ian Petherick said.

"It doesn't carry on off the field, but on the park you're still very competitive."

The 71-year-old is grateful he can compete, especially at a high level.

"You're forever thankful that you can run around and play because a lot of our peers, at our age, can't," he said.

"So while you can run around you sort of say 'let's keep going."

Petherick's doing more than that.

He's been a star of the series, compiling an unbeaten 86 in the first one-dayer and an unbeaten 74 in the second one-dayer.

"I've just been keeping it simple and trying to play straight, that's the basics of good batting I think," he said.

The Australians head into this encounter after the third match was washed out and, with plenty of rain on the Sunshine Coast in recent days, this match is under a cloud as well.

The Arthur Pritchard-captained side is on the verge of reclaiming what Petherick calls "the old fellows' Ashes" after England claimed a 2-1 win on their turf in 2016.

"They generally bat very well but this time our bowlers have been on top of their top batsman and we've managed to bat quite well too," Petherick said.

Both teams includes some players who played for their states or counties.

The Australian side boasts Colin Cooke, who bowled alongside Jeff Thompson and Geoff Dymock for Queensland.

Petherick, who played most of his cricket in Bundaberg, now lives in Tweed Heads.

He's toured with Australian over-60s and over-70s teams to England and New Zealand.

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