In a week that saw a multitude of sporting upsets and controversies in the FIFA (who?) World Cup, the biggest shocks of all were once again reserved for The Quokkas.
Not wanting to change the plot too much, their final game of the scheduled season once again came down to the final over, although there would be no-one to answer the call of heroism or take the charges.
The day had started well for most of The Quokkas that had survived the tour night out without being bull-whipped, arrested or consuming their body-weight in beer, leaving the rest to hold their heads and wonder.
The positives soon started though, with The Quokkas winning the race to have eleven on the ground, giving them the extra time to ‘gel’ and the ability to send the opposition in while the rest of their team arrived (take note; Salix CC).
More positives soon came with The Quokkas answer to Mathew Hoggard, Thug P, taking the first three wickets of the game for a combined total of 35 runs. He was, once again, ably support by Dac ‘The Attack’ Nguyen who unleashed some frightening pace that was combined with such accurate line and length that it had NASA researchers nodding their approval.
Some unusually tight work in the field kept the pressure on Wantage CC, particularly from Iain ‘The Egg’ Edwards, whose hands have now been classified as a national treasure.
Another clever change in the bowling from The Skip brought in Gav ‘The Hairdresser’ Slater who took three quick wickets to leave Wantage struggling at 7-70 after 20 overs and with only 10 more overs to face.
The introduction of ‘The Tweak’ though, changed everything as he dropped a dolly of a ‘caught and bowled’ chance that saw the Wantage batsmen breathe life into the scoreboard. This was best evidenced by The Tweaks own record of 15 runs in an over being threatened in just 3 balls that went for 14 runs.
The remaining bowlers had few questions that challenged the batsman, with the last 4 wickets putting on 97 runs to leave the Quokkas with another challenge.
The Quokkas response started well, despite Wantage unleashing two of the fastest bowlers that had been seen by Quokka eyes this season.
The Skip and The Mantis saw off the opening pair, bravely matching them although struggling to keep the run rate up. The Mantis’ premature dismissal brought a shock through The Quokkas on the sideline, who started questioning their own mortality for the first time this season.
Another quick wicket saw The Skip join The Mantis in the rooms, although he didnt seem so downcast once the offer of Parma ham and Port arrived.
Not giving up all hope, The Hairdresser looked deep inside his soul for inspiration and heard the voice of The Mantis of Christmas past say; “Just keep going fella”. Taking a lone hand, Gav saw a multitude of batting partners arrive and depart, although the notable exceptions of the Thug and The Skaff did keep the scoreman in employment.
The innings came down to requiring 20 runs off the last eight runs, but it wasnt to be with The Truth recording a Duck of the golden variety (undoing some flash work behind the stumps), The Tweak topping off an all-round appalling day by running out Gav, The Egg tonking himself out after a nice 4 and The Caveman putting in an appearance with his new helmet for the last ball of the innings.
Still, a great game was again recorded in The Quokkas annuals, and the rematch next year should be a doozy to compete with the 1989 VFL Grand Final.
The day was capped off with The Mantis taking home the 2006 Best and Fairest Award, finishing the season with an average of 73 after hitting 220 runs. Smithers was the pick of the bowlers for the year claiming 5 wickets in 3 matches at an average of 11.2.
I would go into further detail about various statistics, but the scorebook wasnt too well maintained for the last game so they are a little out of whack.
Regardless, a great year for The Quokkas and a big thanks must go to all The Quokkas and The Quokettes for the year.
Bring on 2007!