The Quokkas departure from nail-biting finishes and last-wicket wins for massive losses was finally ended on the weekend, with a last-over victory for the mighty touring army.
Finding themselves in the lush surroundings adjoining Barnes wetland centre, The Quokkas looked optimistically at the green-top pitch and short boundaries, though thinking and doing seem to never to meet in Quokkaland.
Losing the toss and heading in to bat, the Skip looked pumped up after his 99n.o the week before and he was, smashing his 2nd ball to cover point. The Rev and Bushranger then steadied for about an over, before the Rev decided to let a straight one go (straight onto the stumps).
The wickets continued to fall relatively regularly, with Big Karl, the Bushranger, the Attack and PJ all making starts before getting themselves out. At 33-5 things were looking grim, until Nige and Simon Doherty (on debut) took the game in hand and put on a record 100-run stand to create a worthy total. The innings was completed with contributions from Smithers, Terrible and the Professor to bring up a grand 167 in 35 overs.
Notable in the batting innings were the Quokkas stand-in fielders; PJ and the Rev, who both took good catches to dismiss their team-mates.
The defence started strongly, with the Attack making the early break-throughs and Skip being economical from the other end. The boys from St Annes didn’t seem too fazed though, and continued to get the scoreboard to tick over.
The introduction of Smithers (now suspected as being a secret agent) drew puzzled glances, though it proved to be astute, with the big man holding up the scoring and taking a crucial wicket with great support from the re-born Terrible who has taken over the glove-work with aplomb.
Simon Doherty was given the responsibility of sharing the old-ball duties with Smithers and responded, backing up his 50+ with the bat with 3 great wickets. Support in the field was also evident, with tight fielding, great chat and two run-outs executed.
With 5 overs to go, St Annes needed an achievable 40 runs (having carted the Rev and PJ for quite a few previously) and looked good. The introduction of the Professor and Simon D held things up though, and it was left to the Skip to apply the strangle and see the Quokkas home in the last over by 15 runs.
A great game by all, played in an excellent spirit. We look forward to the return fixture of next year, and more directly, more Quokka wins in 2008!