• 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!

  • Quokkas 166-5 (Skip 97)

    Defeated by lunch

    After rustling up some quality Bacon baps, Skip and Karl the Kiwi hit
    Satan Dave’s Audi Quattro. The Quattro was so retro it only had a tape
    player, but then this is Satan’s car so he can have what he likes. Bon
    Jovi and Rock was played all the way to Wantage.

    With spirits high and the sun out, Skip won the toss again and elected
    to bat. It was a belter of a track, plus the fact Joe the Rage had go
    walkabout with bushranger leaving us with only 9 players. Ivan picked up
    the Rev’s mantle of opening. Looking solid and robust Ivan looked the
    part. Skip at the other end was being encouraged by the hairdresser
    umpiring to keep ticking over, mainly by the Egg’s favourite shot, the
    edge for four.

    All was going well until Ivan and Dac were dubiously given out by our
    Umpires….we will never learn!
    Let me replay the Ivan’s dismissal.
    Ball nips back and clips Ivan’s pad and the Wantage boys appeal loudly
    (wanting to break the solid opening pair).
    Smithers “Bradders, is that out?”
    Bradders at the non strikers end “I don’t know, you are the bloody
    Umpire.” Which was obviously the wrong response. Smithers feeling the
    pressure thought he better raise his finger.
    Bradders “Did he actual hit that??”
    Smithers “I think I may have been glove”
    Tweeky (Wantage Legend) ” Your umpires are being very generous today,
    that was never out!”

    Tweeky came on to bowl, thinking he cannot fail, took off his pick
    Cowboy hat(which he wore for the whole 35 over) and gave a master class
    of deceptively straight spin bowling. Once Tweeky was seen off, the
    wickets kept tumbling with skip holding up his end. At 75 for 4 with
    about 10 overs to go Hairdresser and Skip picked up the pace. Gav,
    finding a new shot, slog sweeping down his legside. Skip pasted his
    fifty and let the flood gate open. With 3 balls left Karl the kiwi had
    joined Skip to get over 150. Skip hears confused messages from the
    boundary finished with Dac stating “don’t tell him..remember the Odney
    Club”. A four later and with 2 balls to go Skip asks the fateful
    question “how much am I on?” 97 is the reply. Easy, thinks Skip and
    slaps the next ball that is athletically stopped for 2. Last ball of the
    innings in true prudent style, Skip push the ball back at the bowler for
    a dot ball. Very conservative and prudent. Once an accountant always an
    accountant. Quokkas 166 for 5.

    That was basically the end of the game. Wantage brought out their secret
    weapon….. The Teas. Quokkas, never to look a gift horse in the mouth,
    preceded to eat until they dropped and forgot about the fact we needed
    to play cricket. A 10 wickets defeat followed.

    Nice day out, great lads at Wantage and as their Captain Duncan said,
    “2-1 to Wantage, best out of 100?” See you next year Wantage.

    Tags: , , ,

  • Salix CC 152 def Quokkas CC 98 (Mantis 30, Trent 16, Gav 3/24, Jason 2/12)

    For those of you waiting for a lift on the Quokka bus to victory, keep your thumb out or get a train, as this bus is still in the mire.

    Returning to the Glaxo grounds of West London, the site of some great Quokka victories of previous years, the mighty men in marsupial-adorned shirts weren’t able to live up to previous standards and dropped a game that was there for the taking.

    With Skip winning the toss and sending in the Salix lads, the Quokkas were quietly confident in their spin-friendly attack on the very green wicket.

    Some (now) customary changes from the Skip also saw the Mantis given duties with the gloves, while the Hairdresser was given a chance to show his bowling figures in Eastern Europe could be emulated in Britain.

    The chances had good foundation, as the Attack took wickets in the first and third overs (no fielders needed, straight through the gate, thank-you) and Skip provided a road-block to all runs.

    The introduction of Nige and the Hairdresser saw a couple of runs tick on the board as Salix began chancing their arm, though it wasn’t to last, with the loss of another 4 wickets to this bowling pair.

    The Knock was soon brought on to resume his antagonisation of the Salix batsman, but they picked his googly early and had a few lucky breaks in-between. Jason wasn’t so easy to beat though, picking up 2 late wickets.

    Although The Terrible picked up a late wicket, The Quokkas still weren’t able to bowl-out Salix, despite some steady bowling and possibly their best effort in the field yet. Great catches were held by the Rage, Rev and The Terrible (with a great pirouette).

    From this point on, though, things started to go very wrong. The Rev, facing first ball, went for a golden (playing a shot that could only be classified as ‘retarded’) before the Rage and the Skip followed for low scores despite seeming quite ‘in’.

    The Hairdresser came in to introduce his now-customary middle-order resistance, though the loss of the Mantis (who hit a scarily-powerful 30) and The Attack meant that a lot of runs were needed with not much in the way of overs or wickets remaining.

    A lesson in patient batting and shot-picking was provided by Nige, though even he eventually fell (to a beauty) before the bottom-order succumbed after some quick fireworks by Trent, who debuted with possibly the fastest 16 ever.

    The end of the game proved to be quite soul-crushing for The Quokkas, who were used to marking a ‘w’ next to this fixture and now seem to be as far from victory as they ever have been. Still, these marsupial-icon-wearing lads have always been fans of defying fate and the season is only half way there.

    Stay tuned.

  • Quokkas CC – 183 (Attack 66, Evil Dave 19, Skip 15)

    Llubljana CC – 174 (Charlesworth 55, Lalantha 32, Professor 3/19, Hairdresser 1/6)

    Having started 2008 without a win and flown for 2 hours to continue the streak, The Quokkas were desperate for a change, and did so through a brilliant twist which saw the batting and bowling orders swap responsibilities.

    While The Egg had performed heroics the day before, he could barely make his way to the crease on this occassion, though managed to find his way back to the boundary fairly soon after falling for a golden.  The news wasnt all grim at the top of the order though, as Justin and Evil Dave both got in the runs with some lavish strokes.

    Their bravado wasnt to last though and also ushered in some sort of a collapse, with Smithers and the Professor falling cheaply before the rejuvinated PJ started rotating strike and the Attack exploded.  After being told that he ‘was due’ before the match obviously had some effect as the Attack went on a rampage, clubbing 5 sixes and 5 fours onto a high score of 66.

    Such was the ferocity of his batting that he almost killed a toddler, started a diplomatic incident (by launching balls into Croatia) and justify the purchase of a 10 pound bat.

    Only the re-introduction of LCCs best bowlers finally brought the Attack down (though at the cost of some mighty sixes), and saw quick dismissals of the Hairdresser, Rage and Mantis.  A late innings steady by the Skip saw the Quokkas finish on an impressive total of 183.

    Impressive that is, until the reversed bowling order came on to LCCs opening batsman.  Taking one look at The Revs one-step chuckers, LCCs batsman (and ice-cream hoarder) LaLa started trying to outdo the Attack in terms of destruction.  Thankfully, the Skip saw sense and sent the Rev back to the boundary.  Unfortunately, he brought on Smithers, who finished off his ‘worst on tour’ with bowling to match.

    The new-look Quokka order had a unique feel to it, and despite dropping 11 catches in the innings and fluffing the ball around in the field generally, the Mantis was able to run-out one of the openers with an electric performance.

    The Rage and the Professor were also able to contribute with the ball, with the Rage finding some late swing and the Professors deceptively straight ones claiming 3/19.

    The mid-innings pressure from the bowlers, including the Hairdresser who was free of the gloves, was enough though and by the time the Skip brought himself and the Attack on, LCC were unable to conjure up the firepower needed to win.

    Well done to all Quokkas and many thanks to Llubljana Cricket Club for hosting us over the weekend.  Surely a series that will be hard to top.

  • Llubljana CC 133 (Oman 49, Eve 25, Egg 2-31, Evil Dave 1-9)

    Quokkas CC 127 (Hairdresser 41, PJ 13)

    “What happens on tour stays on tour”, or so the old adage goes, though if that were really the case, this would be a very short match report.

    And so it came to pass that The Quokkas bravely ventured Stanstead airport and EasyJet catering to arrive in Llubljana with no knowledge of what was happening (Gav excepted, perhaps) and only Skips dubious songbook for comfort.

    Passing over the hazy details of the first night in town, aside from some of the best pizza this glutton has come across in a long time, The Quokkas survived and made their way to the beautiful country setting of Valburga for their first match against Llubljana CC.

    Like all Quokka matches, some bad signs soon arose, though this time it was before the other team had arrived.  The Llubljana pitch seemed to have been acquired at a sale, as it had 50% of its width missing though twice as bouncy, which was quite a worry considering our usual accuracy and the supposed pace of the opposition.

    Being sent in to field, The Quokkas started well with The Attack continuing on from where he left off the week before, holding the batsman and the scoreboard up.  PJ did a fine job in his new role with the new ball too, and was unlucky with a couple of chances.

    The ground was also proving to be something of a cabbage patch, with anything not hit over the top halting suddenly in the field.  LCC would do well to buy a ride on mower as they really should have put on a score to match the dramatic mountains in view from the middle.

    With the LCC openers showing no sign of budging, Skip brought himself on, only to surprise everyone with the bounce in the pitch when one sprung up, catching the top of the bat and smashing into the batsmans face.  It was not the ideal way to get rid of an opener, though he was very sporting about it.

    The bowling rotations continued with the change of batsman and after quickly discovering that Smithers was something of a Harmison on tour, the Hairdressers brother was soon brought on to bring some rather impressive left-arm swing like nothing the Quokkas had seen since the previous evening.

    Once the LCC batsman had adjusted to the pace and straightish lines of the Quokka bowlers though, the Skip had no choice but to release this years danger man: The Egg.

    The opposition had no answers to our big-chinned marvel and smelling the fear they were sweating, the field soon began chirping louder than newborn chicks. We were joined by Dave the Trumpeter, a mate of Slicks who plays in the Slovenian Orchestra (as you do), who greeted the incoming batsman with the last post.

    Egg (aka. the widow-maker) soon had the breakthrough too, taking out one of the openers for 49 (thanks to a brilliant catch from the Skip) and their other run-scorer thanks to a quick effort from the Hairdresser.

    After a refreshing lunch of more pizza and some dashing about trying to prize helmets away from the opposition, the Quokkas were ready, or so we thought.

    Under the grill for the first time, The Mantis fell to a golden, prompting the Rev to turn to the boundary and announce that the team was far.  Or something similar, it was hard to hear over the deathly silence that had overcome those on the boundary.

    The Rage came in and saw off the remainder of the over before the LCC quick took himself off for a spell, and then went on to forge a very Rev-ish partnership, putting on less than a run an over.  The Rev eventually saw mist though and tried a pull-shot to the inevitable result, bringing Skip to the crease.

    Not wanting to break his record, the Skip then ran out the Rage, before getting himself caught on the boundary.

    Thankfully, the other danger man of the year, the Hairdresser, was already at the crease and started to build a formidable counter-attack with the Attack and then PJ.  I believe Slick had a bat in there somewhere too.

    PJ, who seems increasingly determined to take a trophy home this year, kept the scoreboard ticking over as he and the Hairdresser rotated strike with quick running and the occasional boundary.

    After the scoreboard sat on 46-6 for sometime, things were looking sharp until PJ was bowled, leaving it looking shaky on 81. Admirably though, the remaining batsman kept having a go, but it wasnt to be and The Quokkas came up 6 runs short.

    Still, it was a very enjoyable game against arguably the most sporting team the Quokkas have encountered.

   

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