From Captain Radar….
At first when I was informed of my captaincy debut in our social rematch against The John Curtain (who we always enjoy a good fair game against) I thought I was off the hook in terms of pressure to win. Little did I realise that this game was set up for one reason: To win back Rev’s hat.
In the lead up to the game I was given a couple of ‘thoughts’ on what the batting order might look like. So like any good leader there was always someone else pulling the strings. I did enjoy some of Rev’s notes as to the qualities of individual batsmen in the Quokkas line up though… Dutchy – Jayasuriya style (I thought Jayasuria often got past 18?), Pup and myself – Calm clean strikers (Both of whom started a collapse on this day playing wild shots outside off trying to break the shackles after a great platform was set), Rowdy (Best bat in the team… I’ll come to that in a moment) and Rev himself – Hit or miss (Aren’t they the only two options in pub cricket? I mean only Phantom is game enough to either pad away or leave in this league).
Right, so the game. Rev said Rowdy was the best bat in the team, but I think rowdy was out to prove he was the best bat in the history of pub cricket. After Gladys and Dutchy made a very solid start with Dutchy going for 18, Rowdy came in and proceeded to hit his first 4 balls for 6,6,6 and 4. This was pretty much how his innings continued eventually retiring for 42 off 11. All the while Gladys was taking his time to make 35 off 16. The middle order, including myself really played our role perfectly today making sure we didn’t hang around too long with relatively modest innings before the lower order got to come in and take control of the innings again.
Alex started off slow but once a top edge found his bat then his eye all bets were off, on his way to 37 off 26. But a black eye would leave him wondering how his strike rate would be looking in other parts of his life for the following week. Emu also made a typical 39 off twenty after being dropped down the order to manage his workload as a bowling all rounder.
Bad boy and Rev occupied the crease for a while and one of the most important moments of the season came during Rev’s innings – He hit a cover drive for four! But then it was time for the fire works to begin again. Eventually after Bad Boy‘s dismissal it was time for Rowdy to to return and if you though his start last time was impressive how about going step further with 6,6,6,6. This on the way to 45 off 12. Combining his two stints at the crease Rowdy made 87 off 23 (has to be one of the highest scores in pub cricket yet??). With the Quokkas totalling 6 for 264.
The heat started to get a bit serious when we went out to bowl and I was wondering whether with that total we could have just given them a t-ball set and gone to the pub, but alas in pub cricket spirit we gave bowling a shot. My memory is hazy of this innings as for a good chunk of it I was suffering quietly in the shade while I dealt with too many late nights in a row in preparation for the game but ill give it a crack.
We started well keeping runs to a minimum whilst taking a few wickets. Alex struck with his second over and Curto with his first before being strategically dragged from the attack. I took one wicket and celebrated very early once I realised it was Rowdy fielding in slips and not myself.
After drinks I think the heat got to us and the pressure loosened a little. The intensity we had begun with was hard to maintain for the whole innings and it saw a couple of The Curtain’s batsmen retire. Even still, we managed to keep enough pressure on for them to never really threaten for the win. The Curtain ended up going for 200-odd.
So in the end the day was Rowdy’s supported by some great performances which on any other day would have been absolute stand outs. The Curtain were as gracious as ever and took a couple of absolute screamers in amongst all the big hitting. A happy Christmas game was had by all (Quokkas) and most importantly… Rev got his hat back!