For those of you, dear readers, who have a long-term memory, you may recall that the last time the Quokkas travelled to the lush meadows of Greenford to play Salix CC, they came away with a ninth-wicket / last-over victory. Not wanting to be too predictable, they came close again in 2007, though with a couple of overs to spare.
Arriving at the ground to find a pitch with rather a lot of ‘life’ after the previous days downfall, The Eggs eyes lit up at the prospect of a turning pitch and had no hesitation in sending Salix in.
The move was a good one, with wickets tumbling regularly once the bowlers found their radar. This was also, arguably, the best bowling line-up fielded by The Quokkas, with The Attack & Fatman being relegated to first change after Quokka-great Smithers and the new left-arm slinger; Andy Seddon.
The Attack was obviously not happy about this and started the rot with disciplined rather than fierce bowling. This was celebrated with a little more fervour than usual by The Hairdresser, who then fell to The Quokkas ‘keeping curse by rolling his ankle.
The Attack was ably assisted by Slingy, Smithers, and Fatty, who all got in the wickets. Their early work wasnt helped by some sloppy fielding (7 drops for the day) and some enthusiastic umpiring (with 23 wides being recorded for the innings).
Salix didn’t give up though, and their 6th wicket put on a 40-run partnership with some dogged batting, defying the deft bowling changes and the newly introduced spin / medium pace attack of Loughie (who seems to improve by the minute), The Knock, The Egg, Michael Cunningham and The Professor who combined for 2 wickets for 30 runs off 10 overs.
Recalling The Mantis’ heroics from last year, The Quokkas looked at the target of 128 and wondered who else would get a score. The answer wasn’t quite what they were after when his stumps were sprayed for just 4 runs. The Hairdresser, still obviously settling into first drop, also did little to trouble the scorers, registering his first Duck and leaving the Quokkas on 2/12 after 5 overs.
Many of you may again be able to recall some classical Quokka middle-order collapses, but not on this day. Michael Cunningham strode to the wicket and kept walking down it as the bowler approached, plundering a huge six and some big fours before getting himself out with another attempt at clearing the field. “Hide his passport, don’t let him leave” was the whisper from the rooms as he returned to the boundary.
Next in was The Attack, who smashed two massive fours off his first two balls and went on to plunder a lightning-fast 28 before falling to the oddest delivery seen since The Egg ‘special’ at Wantage in 2006.
Another small collapse set-in, with The Professor, The Egg and The Knock all falling despite solid resistance from Fatty and some more swashbuckling from Loughie. With ten runs needed off as many overs, The Quokkas were somewhat at ease as Smithers strode out to bat and started pushing singles and a nice four through point.
It wasn’t to last though, as the ease changed to confusion then great mirth before shock as he managed to fall-over some air between wickets, do a pirouette in the air, flail about on the ground and manage to get run-out.
This brought Slingy out, our number 11, who had predicted that he couldn’t bat but could certainly bowl. He had been right once already and we preyed it wouldn’t be twice. Good thing we have a man of God on our side, as Slingy and the Fatman managed to make up the required couple to draw close on another day of long shadows and Quokka history.
Well done all. Next, a fired-up Wantage at home. Stay tuned…
- 5 – The Attack. 3 for 10 for Christs’ sake. Then 28 off about as many. Nessun dorma.
4 – Fatman. Couple of handy wickets and the rock in our batting innings.
3 – Andy ‘Slingy’ Seddon. 1st over went for 5, the next 6 yielded 6 runs and a wicket. Get some spikes.
2 – Michael Cunningham. Pietersen-inspired hair and batting. Good sledging too (drew our first complaint).
1 – The Professor. Opened the batting and saw off the openers. 1-0 off 1.4 with his deceptive straighteners.
Iain Edwards Bravery Award
This weeks winner is The Knock, who stopped a ball that came charging back at him off his bowling, causing severe bruising but not stopping him from taking 1 for 7 off 3.