ISIS CC 235-4 bt Quokkas CC 195 (Hairdresser 59, Chris 46, Rusty 32) by 40 runs
You would have thought that, with a cloudless sky, the temperature up in the high 20’s and a match at one of the nicest grounds around, the Quokkas would have been turning away players left right and centre. Erm….. not exactly.
With the Brazilian getting last minute day release from the missus and joining only 6 other true Quokkas for the trip to Oxford, the chances of a win were decidedly slim. Some of the excuses bandied around were truly abysmal – topped off by The Binman bailing out of the game to “go for a nice picnic” instead.
Evil Dave had already found out to his cost that when the Skip says “Can you send an email reminder about the next game” it actually means “Organise the whole thing” (cue turning up to the match with only 7 players), and the Quokka chances were not improved when it also transpires that you’re captain as well.
Arriving early, Tom the Yank managed to recruit Chris who was practicing in the nets with some ladyfriends. When he came back and told us this, we all turned to see Chris run up and bowl straight into the side netting – ah well – one more for the field anyway. One of the Isis players had brought his son Luke along to play for us who had scored 40 against us the year before, then Shandy went on a recruitment drive over to a nearby game and managed to get 2 youngsters Rusty and Sully to join us, and we were up to a full 11 – things were looking up!
Having lost the toss Evil Dave came back and told everyone that we were in the field. Given we didn’t want it to be all over in under an hour, this was a good outcome although there wasn’t the same enthusiasm when he said we’d be fielding in the heat for the full 40 overs.
With the bowling cup not exactly overflowing, the Quokkas opened up with Satan and the Hairdresser. This occasionally fearsome batting partnership didn’t exactly provoke any fear as a bowling one, and they ploughed though 9 overs for 40-odd taking no wickets. Tom the Yank came on bowling some decent away swing, and Chris was bowling some great stuff. Tom managed to get one of the openers and with Chris causing all sorts of trouble, The Quokkas might still be in it. Unfortunately, the Isis opening batsmen now started to loosen up and despite Evil Dave’s innovative field positionings (“Dave, the idea is to take wickets” – Egg) the game was slipping away and 300+ was on the cards. Turning to the Egg, one end was locked down with spin, but the Quokkas now had to turn to the unknown quantity of Rusty. Fortunately it turned out that Rusty bowled the quickest of anyone on the day and the run torrent had at least slowed to a stream (this was also helped by their opening batsmen retiring unbeaten on 100+). Evil Dave again displayed his unique captaining style by giving the entire team a bowl and good spells from Rob F, Luke and Sully meant that with one over left, The Brazilian was turned to, to close out the innings. Some generous umpiring allowed him to use his samba style bowling action and the innings closed on 235-4.
With their bellies full of a lot of cake from a marvellous tea, the Quokkas came out to bat. It was going to take something special to get close and with the news that Rusty and Sully had both gone home, the Quokkas would have to do it with only 8 wickets. Now was the time for Shandy to reproduce another of the innings that earned him Best and Fairest award last season. He duly departed for 5. Rob F played a good nurdling innings but soon followed for 11 and we were in trouble. Yet again though, the unknown quantities of Chris and Luke and the reappearance of Rusty proved that if you want to win cricket matches, perhaps it ‘s best to recruit the whole team from the side of the pitch before the game. Scoring over a hundred between them we were amazingly still in the match. With the Hairdresser holding up the Quokka contribution, maybe we could do something special here…..
Sadly not. Evil Dave went cheaply, unwisely trying to defend instead of deploying the usual slog. With the ringers departing and still 50 or so to get, it was down to the Hairdresser to work with Egg and the Brazilian and see us home (Sully had gone home for his tea). Faced with this daunting task, the Hairdresser ran himself out at the first opportunity. And then in a few more deliveries, that was that. The Quokkas finished on a highly respectable 195 all-out, our second highest score of all time but it was not enough on the day.
Further softening of the defeat came when we later found out that this was the 4th century in 4 games for the Isis opening batsmen (who we managed to drop on 30-odd).
Quokka of the match: Hairdresser, top scoring with a fine 59.