• Wantage CC 124 (Egg 2/4, Professor 2/7, Faggy 2/30) lost to Quokkas CC by 4 wickets (Shandy 38, Skip 37no, Mo 18no)

    I can’t remember the last time the Quokas batted first. I think it was around the time of the napoleonic wars, but some say it was actually during the late Jurassic period. Anyway, the skip made us field first in the heat of a lovely June Sunday afternoon again.

    Mo, on debut, bowled a miserly spell first up which deserved more than his solitary wicket. At the other end the returning Quokka heartthrob, Faggy, reacted to being hit for the biggest six ever by “Nordic” Steve by taking both openers in two successive balls the next over. Some fine keeping by the other quokka debutante, Josh, was letting nothing past and contributed to the ring of steel in the field.

    For Wantage, Martin and Summersbee put together a good 50 partnership, mainly by carting Guru around the ground, until Ches and Skip were repaid for their perseverance with a wicket apiece.

    The tail was quickly mopped up by the professor and the egg taking extremely slow but deadly accurate bowling to new levels.  Like last week we held onto nearly all our catches and the Quokkas had a total of 124 to chase.

    Following a plentiful tea, Professor was so sure he’d not be called into bat he started on the beers. Alas, Frumkin was not so lucky and was soon back in the pavilion as Moobs struck second over. Josh went quickly as well to be replaced by the Guru, which put pay to Egg’s dreams of a 1990s sax-based post-acid house partnership. Guru played his cover drives, and then missed a straight one. Fortunately Shandy was dealing mainly in fours and keeping his end up and the score ticking.

    Gymnast was hard to shift from the pavilion, watching his beloved Kiwi’s stick one to the cheating italians at the world cup. When finally roused the big kahuna strode in to the middle, struck a couple of glorious drives and then strode back out for 8 after being bowled in an an action packed over.

    Skip’s last innings here was a 99no (in a game we still lost by 10 wickets!) and he was in no mood to be denied a victory this time. Despite losing Shandy for 38 and Ches for 7, Skip kept the Quokkas always above the required run rate. When Mo smashed three 4s in four balls, following advice from the captain to take it easy and bide his time, victory was ours for the first time this season.

    We always look forward to playing the wantage lads and it was a very enjoyable game. Lets hope the council see sense and don’t turn their pitch into flats.

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  • Salix CC 163-9 (Simon D 2/7, Evil Dave 2/25) bt Quokkas CC 150-8 (Skip 33n.o. Simon D 22) by 13 runs

    After last year’s barnstorming batting performance by the Hairdresser and Evil Dave, expectation was high in the Quokka camp for the Salix match. A strong line up, including last year’s heroes, made the journey out west to Harlington eager to don the new dapper Quokka caps.

    Skip, winning the toss for once, put Salix into bat and in the windy, overcast conditions, on a variable paced pitch, made them pay early on. Despite half the team enjoying Smithers’ hospitality for the England game a little too exuberantly the night before, wickets fell regularly and often, as an unprecedented ability to catch overtook the Quokka fielders. Neil Bowman, Skip and Tom the Yank, looking as cool as a cucumber under the high ball, caught a couple each and eight of the nine wickets to fall came from catches as we held on to our chances. What is in those new caps?

    Evil opening spells from Simon D (7 overs, 4 maidens, 2 for 7) and, predictably, Evil Dave yielded a couple of wickets each, backed up by one a-piece for Skip and Smithers at first change. At 65 for 6 off 20-odd overs Salix looked in trouble, but when the sun came out so did some lower order resistance from the batsmen. Tom the Yank and The Egg managed a single wicket each late on and there was a fine run out from the Guru’s direct hit, but some good acceleration saw 100 runs come in 13 overs Still, a total of 163 in 35 overs still looked easily gettable on the fast outfield. 

    Unfortunately Salix decided to bowl quite well. Nearly everyone got a start – Neil Bowman, Shandy and Guru all getting into double figures early doors – but were unable to push on. The Hairdresser was obviously keen to get off on his hols as he went cheaply, however with Skip and Simon D at the crease and a few lusty hitters to come, there was still hope. The scoreboard kept ticking over, but with Simon gone and Evil Dave leaving one on off stump after some clean hits the runrate was creeping up. Could Smithers smash us to victory?

    No.

    Salix brought on their quickest bowler of the day at second change and despite a good go at some slogging from the binman, and some nice shots from the skip, we came up 13 runs short. The Verger was gutted.

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