Following on from the form of 2006, The Quokkas had managed (to this point) to fight out close victories in the face of injuries, dynamic team selection and highly questionable form.
Our last match of this year, against The Whalers, was obviously our bridge too far, with The Quokkas being comprehensively found out.
After meandering to the wonderful suburb of Dulwich, The Quokkas were a little underwhelmed by the pitch. A good one for batsman, to be sure, which was quite unfortunate as we had a strong bowling line-up.
The next stroke of luck came when the new captain for the day, The Rev, lost the toss and was duly asked to field. Thankfully, the rest of The Quokkas were there to help him out.
Specifically; The Fatman, Smithers and Slingy were all firing them in early – restricting the Whalers from scoring without getting the rewards with the wickets. They weren’t helped by the field, who went on to drop seven or eight catches for the day (depending on your definition of a chance).
This wasn’t always the case though, with The Express hanging on to a running blinder in the deep, The Mantis running out one of the openers and The Bruce holding on to a sharp catch as well as providing plenty of baseball banter that was unintelligible to all.
A rotation of the bowlers did bring some break-through, with PJ providing some particularly solid (if unrewarded) overs in the middle-overs. The re-introduction of Slingy and Fatman helped see the wickets fall, though The Whalers had upped the run-rate with the last two overs going for 30-odd.
The Quokkas trudged back to the pavilion for the innings-break facing a daunting total of 151 on a pitch that would only bring delight to a member of the ‘Backyard Blitz’ team.
The bumpy surface showed its nature early, with The Rev being bowled by one that pitched behind his legs before hitting *something* and turning 90 degrees to take out leg-stump. The Mantis was also baffled early and similarly bowled before being followed to the pavilion by The Express and PJ for donuts.
Thankfully, the Hairdresser was not about to let the season be a loss and started putting the bowlers through a full shampoo and dye, hitting over the top at will and clipping quick singles.
He was complemented at the other end by the newest of Quokkas, Joe “The Rage” Warren-Meakes, who put a great price on his wicket and was rewarded for it with a top-score of 27.
The untimely end of The Hairdresser saw the introduction of Slick, Robert The Bruce and Slingy, who all put up brave resistance and started something of a revival that had the sidelines all aflutter. The Bruce and Slingy being particularly effective at scurrying singles off the spinners.
The Bruce eventually fell though, bringing the (now) one-legged Smithers to bat with The Rev as his runner. Enthusiasm may count for something, but there is no accounting for taste.
After Smithers found the boundary early, Slingy and The Rev managed to dash through a couple more before The Whalers made the break-through to end it all. A real credit to The Quokkas tail, and possibly something of a positive to take into the next season.
Until then, there will be some nets organised and a new schedule to fill and we look forward to reporting to you all until then.
Stay tuned for these updates, and that from the Presentation Night, as well as many more…
The Iain Edwards Bravery Award
Undoubtedly goes to Smithers for coming in at XI despite having one knee and remaining not out at the end of the day.
The Andrew Smith Champagne Moment
Many contenders for this award, including;
*The plethora of dropped catches
*The Rev waving a ball past him on its way to the boundary
*PJ joining the rest of the team on the sidelines after the match, and his nap, to inquire about what he’d missed
But the winner would have to go to Joe “The Rage” Warren-Meakes who managed to out-congratulate (and thereby confuse) the Whalers own bowlers while he was on and off the strike