• Prague CC 223 defeated Quokkas CC 57

    The Tour started badly.  With 3.5 men down at Heathrow (Skip had only one hand) things did not bode well.  However, with Dac, the Hairdresser and Satan on the plane we felt we’d still give Prague CC a run for their money. 

    On arrival in the Czech capital the Quokkas were keen to start a recruitment drive.  In between the Staropramens in Wenceslas Square and a massive amount of meat at the Brazilian BBQ (the restaurant made a loss that night), the quokkas tried to recruit anyone & everyone.    Most people thought we were clearly drunk Englishmen on a stag-do and kept their distance, but happily 3 massive “disco-touts” promised they’d turn out for us as long as we drank in their pub.  We duly obliged, but sadly they did not.  And so we awoke on the Saturday of our first match, half drunk and still 3.5 men down.  The tram ride across the city was pleasant and 45 mins after leaving the hotel we stepped off into the plush green surrounds of the Czech countryside.  We prayed for a miracle and to our delight a couple of teenage pot-heads appeared in the outfield of the park.  Thinking quickly, the Skip approached them.  It took no time at all in press-ganging Peter & Jacob into the Quokkas and by pinching the Prague CC’s 12th Man Vijay, we had a full team compliment!

    The match started well.  Some good bowling from Dac, Vijay and Evil Dave meant that after 14 overs Prague CC were 39-5.  The Quokkas smelt victory in the air.  But then Malik and Myers stepped up to bat and between them smashed the bowling of The Egg, Smithers, Jason, Skip and Slick for 137 runs.  Myers in particular recognised that our pot-head Czech fielders were stoned and unable to stop a ball and continued to score freely through them.  Malik was caught just 5 short of his ton, but the wicket came too late and the Quokkas faced a massive 223 for the win.

    Our innings started in impressive style.  9 came off the first over for no loss.  However, 10 overs later we were 34-3 with Slick, Hairdresser and Evil Dave falling to catches.  Jason looked like steadying the ship and top-scored with 12, but the rest of the team let him down with Jacob & the Skip (one-handed) going for a duck, Smithers 1, VJ 4, Dac 8 with the Egg not out for 0.  We lost by 165 runs.

    Drink is clearly not the reason we lost

    We analysed our failings and decided that we had lost because we hadn’t really drunk enough on the Friday evening.  We decided to rectify that on the Saturday night.  We hit Prague harder than anyone has hit Prague before.  Evil Dave spent the evening out on the town in his whites having decided it would be unlucky to change.  I’ve since heard that the trend has caught on.  The most fashionable of Prague’s “trendy set” can be seen on Saturdays parading over Charles Bridge in full English cricket gear.

     

    Quokkas CC  97 lost to Prague CC by 1 wicket

    Our second match was where we hoped to claw back some respect.  Prague CC had put out their ‘B’ team and with a reduced 30 over format & 8-aside we felt out batting strength would yield us victory.  The unlikely opening pairing of the Egg and Skip strode out to the crease and within seconds one of them was striding back.  The skip was clean bowled which left the Egg out in the middle in decidedly unfamiliar territory.  Smithers joined him and soon they were scoring freely…ish.  However, the Egg soon departed on 7, Dac came and went for 6 which left Smithers and Trigger standing.  Smithers took inspiration from Triggers quick 17 and started to hit out.  However, a quite beautiful 6 was followed by a quite ugly catch on the boundary by their thinnest player, who had been cleverly disguising himself as one of the scoreboard struts.   Evil Dave was then bowled by the once proud Quokka , VJ, and despite the Hairdresser putting on 26 when Slick went for a duck we found ourselves all out for 98.

    Fortified by pizza we took to the field.  With Slick behind the stumps Prague CC were slow to score and after 11 overs were at 22-1.  With this run rate the Quokkas felt confident victory was there for the taking.  However this optimism was misplaced as Hunza and Dan stepped up their scoring rate to put on 59 runs between them.  Some good bowling from Dac saw 3 wickets fall but then Prague CC decided to hit us with their secret weapon.  Linda walked out to the crease.  This threw the Quokkas into a bit of a quandary.  Clearly our competitive natures demanded we push for victory, but the gentlemen in us didn’t fancy bowling bouncers at a girl.  However, after seeing Linda play some decent shots Skip decided bollox to that and clean-bowled her with a slighter quicker ball.  With 3 runs required Vijay strode to the middle, and showed where his heart truly lay by securing a duck on the whispered promise of a beer.  He returned to the sidelines with a friendly wave to the fielders with “Vijay is a Quokka” ringing in his ears.   Sadly our celebrations were short lived as Sudhir quickly took the final runs. 

    All in all cricket was the winner this tour and although none of us shone in the field, Trigger was the star.  He was duly recognised at the awards dinner that night.  His no-nonsense attitude with Prague taxi drivers, his enthusiastic involvement in all drinking games and his determination in the field earned him a new-found Quokka legend status. 

    Many thanks to Prague CC  for the weekend, even if we didn’t get to see Andy bat. Excellent drinking companions as well as consummate hosts and chili connaisseurs.

    Where will our next tour take us….will it be Africa, will it be Ireland, we’ll just have to wait and see

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  • Strollers  201 (Simon D 4/8) beat Quokkas 113 (Paul Lee – 27)

    May 17th, the first game of the season, Strollers away.  With the Skip having broken a finger in pre-season the mantle of captaincy rested squarely on the shoulders of the Egg.  Egg had a good record in the role and this inspired confidence in the team.  Despite the lashing rain and cloudy skies spirits were high.  We had lost the year before by 103 runs, but if we could see out the legendary pace bowling of French, surely we were in with a good chance. 

    The Egg won the toss and elected to field.  Jason & Evil Dave opened the bowling.  Within 10 overs Strollers had hit 46 for no loss.  Time for a change.  Bring on Sammy D and Simon.  Steadily the score crept up but in the 16th over a break-through!! Simon strikes with a wicket maiden over with Terrible taking a clean catch behind the stumps.  73-1, now we were cooking.  Sadly their 2nd bat had his eye in and it wasn’t until the 28th over and with the score at 155 that we took another wicket.  This time it was a Smithers special that clean bowled their 3rd bat.  5 overs later Simon returned to the attack and decided to go one better than in his opening spell and produced a double wicket maiden.  Their #2 who had accumulated 85 runs decided to stand half way up the wicket to face Simon who took offence and quickly dispatched him to the pavilion with the help of a great low catch from the Terrible.  2 more overs and 3 more wickets with some fantastic fielding producing 2 run outs and another wicket for Simons collection leaving him with figures of 8-4.  Target to win was 202.

    The pavilion at tea was warm and dry which meant that the Quokkas had to be cajoled into turning out to bat.  Eventually Rob F snuck out for a cheeky cigarette before the start and the sleepy quokkas saw this as the cue to follow.  The game was back on. 

    Rob F and Paul opened the batting.  Much had been made of the pace of French but it seemed that the passing of a year had slowed him down.  We saw out the first 4 overs for 6 runs and then in the 5th tragedy struck.   Rob was clean bowled, quickly followed by Sammy D and Jason in the same over.  French had figures of 3 for 3 off 4 overs and it seemed he still had some of his old magic stored away.  What could we do but send in our 2008 season opener, The Rage.  Between them Paul & The Rage saw through a further 11 overs with the Rage neatly rotating the strike to allow Paul to accumulate some good runs.  But after putting on 8 the Rage was suddenly returning to his forlorn son on the boundary and Simon’s time was up.  Simon played the shots and quickly hit 11 but then he too fell with the Quokkas still needing 127 runs from 10 overs.  The Terrible wanted some action and jogged out to the middle.   Fatally he appeared to disrupt Pauls rhythm as the next over he was stumped.    With Satan, Smithers and the Egg to come the Quokkas knew they were on a hiding to nothing.  Satan arrived and did his best to hit some boundaries but with the Terrible bowled for 17 there were just 12 balls left to hit 99 runs.  Smithers strode out, hit a 4, then strode back passing on his knowledge of the wicket to Egg on the way.  However, the Egg could not perform miracles and in the end we ran out of overs, losing by 88 runs.

    A sobering opening game.  Paul showed his potential as the season’s opener and Simon was lethal with the ball, but the Quokkas left the rain-drenched field of defeat knowing that they could and would play better.  Bring on Prague CC

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