That’s right ladies and gentlemen, after a weeks delay due to rain (explanation of rain to follow for Australian readers) the Quokkas season began in familiar fashion with the game coming down to the last wicket and a handful of runs.
After a slow start to the day in which both teams arrived to King George’s Field, tardily before deciding on which pitch was the least likely to cause injury, the coin was tossed and the season began.
With memories of the pace attack from Wantage CC still fresh in their minds, The Rev and The Mantis looked on in disbelief as The Egg called incorrectly, resulting in them being sent in to bat.
Thankfully though, Wantage had decided to ‘make a game of it’ and sent in their bowlers with phasers switched to military medium. The Mantis took to this quickly, hitting the boundary almost immediately.
To everyones surprise, including his own, The Rev also sent the ball to the boundary with this first ball. This was the end of the surprises though, as he continued to make a further two runs in fourteen overs. Even the ball was bored.
Seeing that it was up to him to score runs, The Mantis started playing some rash shots and soon fell. This precipitated something of a collapse, with a further three wickets falling quickly for five runs.
With hearts in mouths, The Quokkas watched the enigmatic Attack stride to the crease and were soon leaping with joy as he found his line and started sending the ball to all quarters. He was joined by equally explosive, yet less durable, contributions from Smithers and The Thug. The Thug later revealed that he was just keeping it ‘real’.
After chancing his arm once too often, The Attack found himself strolling back to the pavilion (note: there was no pavilion) and again The Quokkas were in trouble.
Their prayers were answered by two hundred and fifty kilograms of brilliance in the form of the Fatman, The Egg and Loughie who whipped anything loose to the boundary and scurried between wickets to take the final score to 147.
After a refreshing tea (wonderfully supplied by Anna, Kylie and Nat) the Quokkas took to the field with a spring in their step and a dollop of strawberry icing on their shirts.
Ever the traditionalist, The Egg began with the bowling combination of The Attack and Thug P. Thug found some early swing while The Attack was simply ferocious, having to be asked not to bounce the batsman repeatedly. “But I wasn’t” he replied each time, putting further fear into the hearts of anyone within earshot.
Showing insight beyond his young years, The Egg made deft fielding and bowling changes, bringing on the Fatman and Smithers, which resulted in a wicket almost immediately. Notably, the introduction of the Fatman also saw The Rev and the slips (not to be confused with the fifties skiffle band of the same name) push back almost to the boundary.
“As the Lord is my witness, this bloke is quick” The Rev was heard to say.
“Word” Thug was heard to reply coolly.
The wickets started to fall steadily, though they didn’t stop the score from increasing. It soon became obvious that the only way to victory would be to bowl out the brave soldiers from Wantage.
The unexplained power that creates Quokka victories soon came into play though, with the Wantage wicket-keeper gloving one to The Rev and walking without appeal. Next, The Bushranger dropped a sitter, picked the ball up off the ground and proceeded to throw down the stumps from 20 paces (his duelling range), running out the batsman in perhaps the most comedic wicket ever.
Loughie and Smithers continued to assist the front-line bowlers, with good catches being held by The Attack and the newly streamlined Skaff.
With seven runs in hand, The Egg turned again to the Fatman, who first fooled the batsman by dropping his pace before sending in a missile that took the edge, and hurled straight at The Rev, where the catch was held. Had the ball not been heading at The Revs second-most prized asset, his face, the result may not have gone the way it did.
Still, The Quokkas walked off the pitch victors and beaming in anticipation of the season ahead.
5 – The Fatman. 5 Wickets. Scorching pace. 20+ runs at the death. You beauty.
4 – The Attack. Ridiculous pace. Steady line. Held the innings togethor and took a couple of great catches.
3 – The Mantis. Started the innings in typical fashion. An inspiration to us all.
2 – Loughie. Steady batting at the death and a couple of crucial wickets.
1 – The Rev. Decent first game with the gloves and possibly the most boring Quokka innings. Until Paris.
The Iain Edwards Bravery Award:
Goes to the Wantage CC Wicketkeeper who walked after gloving one. None of The Quokkas were cognitive enough to realise that the ‘nick’ sound before the ball was caught could indicate the batsman was out, but this gent upheld the spirit of the game and made us all look better just by being in his presence.