Quokkas 150 (Hairdresser 24 ) lost to ISIS CC by 5 wickets ( Mr Ed 2/30, Egg 2/20)
May 31st and the Quokkas fourth game of the season, ISIS away. Back on English soil and unbelievably, it was sunny. Only 5 of the Czech tour party had recovered in time so Rob F, Terrible, Bangwayo, Mr Ed and the Professor were quickly called up to fill the breach. An accident on the M40 meant that it looked like the Hairdresser would open alone, but in the nick of time the rest of the team came skidding onto the outfield in their highly polished motors. Last year the game had been close, the Quokkas narrowly losing by a single wicket. The Mantis and the Hairdresser had hit 82 between them, but with the Mantis still not on the team sheet this season the result was difficult to predict.
Paul & Rob F opened and immediately showed their potential…as test batsmen. 1, 1, 3, 6, 11, 13….the accumulation was steady but slow. Too slow. Some lovely shots were being played against a couple of decent bowlers and it wasn’t until the 16th over that the pair were broken. Rob F was back in the pavilion for 16 and it was the turn of the Terrible to have a knock. 6 runs later and Paul was joining Rob. The Quokkas were 54-2 off 19 overs and were looking like they would not score much over a ton. We needed runs. The Terrible scored quickly but then went for 9….and then it started…the hairdresser joined the fit again Skip and the boundaries started to come. 4 overs later and 23 runs had been added but the Skip lost concentration and he was gone for 19. Up steps Bob. Can he fix it? Well to be fair it wasn’t yet broken, but his score of 6 kept the Quokkas nudging up in the right direction. With 6 wickets down we were on 122 and only had 3 overs to reach a decent total. Mr Ed & Trigger put on a further 18 but then double tragedy in the 38th over with the fall of 2 wickets. Mr Ed was gone for 13 and the Professor failed to trouble the scorers which meant it was down to Smithers and Trigger to see what they could do. Only the Egg remained on the bench and he wanted to remain fresh for the bowling so Trigger and Smithers were under pressure. Trigger collapsed and was caught for 5 aiming for the boundary and finding a fielder so it was down to Smithers and Egg. Smithers faced and decided to hit out. A huge 6 was followed by lost ball in the ploughed field. Sadly with only a single ball remaining, Egg did not get the chance to show his prowess. Isis needed 151 to win.
Tea was good, and the Quokkas over-indulged. The eating of cakes cut heavily into the fielding practice time, and it would show.
Mr Ed opened the bowling and immediately showed the Quokkas what it was all about. He clean bowled their 2nd and 3rd bats who had looked dangerous, but the early signs of some poor fielding were exhibited early with a couple of dropped catches. Their opener was still there and he looked like he could play but he was joined at the crease by a small 14 year old boy. Surely he was no problem for the Quokkas. Wrong. Very wrong. It seems that the boy had played under 14 county level and he was soon showing us how to bat. Trigger, Egg, Skip, Smithers all tried to remove him but to no avail. The bowlers were not helped by a number of dropped catches. The cake had clearly inhibited the natural athleticism of the Quokkas. Damn those chocolate logs. Finally the Skip struck, with the Egg managing to hold onto one and Blatchford joined Lewis at the crease. Knock him over and we were into the tail no? No. Lewis and Blatchford remained where they were far too long. We needed inspiration so the Skip called on the Egg. A breakthrough! Egg’s cleverly flighted delivery bamboozled the batsman who was clean bowled. However, by now the damage had been done and with the Egg dismissing the boy for an impressive 43 only 9 runs were required. Despite the Professor, Smithers and the Hairdresser trying to postpone the inevitable, we were beaten by 5 wickets.
4 losses in a row. The rich vein of narrow wins snatched victory from the jaws of defeat which had flowed strongly in 2008 season had evidently dried up. The team were stunned. Surely the game at Salix would be different. Wouldn’t it?