An indifferent season for the Quokkas culminated in the BDNO, where we once again took part in the triangular preliminary rounds against the Prince Patrick and the Pinnacle. Following last seasons semi final placing, expectations were high (and misguided as it would turn out)
News of the late withdrawal of Bad Boy due to injury filtered through the camp in the morning. The injury is yet to be determined, but early diagnosis is that it is liver related and should be overcome by round 1 of next season. Fortunately Pup was on standby to fill in the designated bowler roleIn a season first all team members arrived at the ground early! Whilst the captain arrived on time. We bowled first and Robbo, Phantom, Pup, Paris and Emu did well to restrict the Prince Patrick (eventual finalists) to 2/40 off the first 5 overs. Unfortunately the Pinnacle could not do as good a job and the Prince Patrick completed their 10 overs amassing a healthy 95 runs which was our target to chase.Rowdy (24*) and Gladys (19) got the Quokkas off to a sound start and at the 5 over mark we were on target at 1/48. It was then when the Quokka batting depth would be tested and if we were giving grades it would be something around a D- as the wickets began to tumble. Dutchy (15), Emu (5), Andy (2), Robbo (0), Radar (2) offered little resistance. Ed (9) chimed in with a boundary late in the innings, as did Big Dog (3*) with a couple of leg byes but it was to no avail. Quokkas 9/84 and effectively out of the BDNO.We were required to bowl our final (inconsequential) 5 overs to the Pinnacle promptly as the matches were running over time and the organisers fearful that the final would be played out in darkness. Rev then proceeded to bowl a ‘spell’ consisting of 16 balls (10 wides), however only conceded 2 runs as the batsmen appeared to be bamboozled by the Rev’s lack of coordination and controlAll bowlers bowled well without luck, the only wicket takers being Paris, Ed and whoever bowled the ball that Cruiser caught one handed at point (I have asked 5 players who the bowler was and got 5 different answers – well bowled to either Robbo or Phantom or Emu or Pup or Andre Nel). It must also be mentioned that Rev picked up a wicket…but not for the Quokkas. In what can only be described as a Chris Gayle like ‘gun for hire’ / ‘mercenary’ maneuver Rev filled in for the Prince Patrick who were 2 short and bowled an over much to the disgust of the Quokka faithful on the boundary. The level of disgust was made known over the boundary line in no uncertain terms (Morts, Dutchy and Ed leading the charge on that front). Rev went on to represent the Prince Patrick in the final where they were defeated by the Hated DanSpecial thanks to Ed and Kathleen who managed the bar and ground all morning and afternoon, as well as Rev for his efforts throughout the day. Morts’ sledging both on and off the field was exemplary, Dutchy’s was not so good following Big Murphy from the Newry threatening to punch his head in if he uttered another smart remark. Although crude and not in the in spirit of the day, Big Murph’s threat was adhered toAs we look ahead to the Presentation Night it should be brought to the attention of the award-ers that correspondence from Leon Davis has been received and the crux of it was this “expect legal recourse should Emu be given an award named after myself again this season as none of my grand final performances were anywhere near as bad as what Emu has dished up in his last 3 BDNO innings”. I concede that the correspondence was hand written, the smudging of the ink suggests it was scripted by a left handerRowdy 87*
Sunday, March 17th
Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy
From 9am…Quokkas on from 11
The Big Day Not Out (BDNO) could just as easily be called the Bittersweet Day Not Out (BDNO), as it marks the end of another summer season of social cricket and sledging of teammates while providing a great day out. Once again the Quokkas will be hopping off to hibernate for the Winter after Sunday, with only the odd training session on sunny days drawing them into the light over the next 6 months.
There is a record number of teams (14) in this years round-robin tournament, which has resulted in the day starting earlier than ever before. The Napier and The Rose are amongst those kicking off the dew at the unbeknownst hour of 9am this Sunday. Given that the team from The Rose was still waking and struggling to the ground at 1pm when the Quokkas played them this season, it should be interesting to see what sort of condition they arrive in.
The Quokkas have drawn The Pinnacle Hotel and The Prince for their first match, starting at a more responsible time of 11am at their most familiar of grounds; Alfred Crescent. The Quokkas were able to account for the Pinnacle earlier in the season thanks to some big hitting from The Big Dog and Curto (believe it or not) and only lost to The Prince by 1 wicket, with Curto taking one in the snozz and the Big Dog being chewed up like bamboo by The Panda.
The modified format of the BDNO round-robin stages does play to the Quokkas strengths (or should I say; “strength”), as the limited number of big-hitting batsmen only have 10 overs to stick around, which is more than enough for most. Further, the 10 overs of bowling means that poor performers only get 1 chance.
This worked so well last year that The Quokkas actually made the semi finals. What happened next on the field wasn’t worth repeating, though the squad and extended families all stuck-around to enjoy the cricket and each others company for the last time that Summer. Apart from The Rev, he went home to a baby that just doesn’t seem to sleep. His Mother calls it Karma.
The Quokkas are coming off a mixed run of form, though plenty of cricket, so should be adequately familiar with the rudiments of the game come Sunday. While it hasn’t been the most successful of seasons for the Quokkas, they have been close on most occasions and played more games this season than ever before (12!), which has also enabled the squad to gel (well, we pretty-much know each others names, apart from Dutchy who can’t seem to remember his own) and get *some* experience bowling, batting and fielding.
There is a fairly even competition for the Quokkas bowling award this season and an obscene number of players who are nearing the 100-run mark for the season. The trick now is to pull it all together on the day.
In the spotlight:
Emu has enjoyed a season with the Quokkas with more ups and downs than the roller coaster at Luna Park. The Quokkas have had as many passengers in the team too. After leading all scorers last season & averaging 97.5 with the bat, he has fallen away in 2012-13, possibly believing his own hype that he is now a “fast bowler”. The big Mu had a Barrry Crocker in last seasons BDNO, taking home the Leon Davis award for worst performance under pressure. He will be looking to do a Gloria Estefan and “turn the beat around”.
Similarly to Emu, Dutchy was most unfortunate at last years BDNO to be run out for a diamond duck. The Dutchman is in form with the bat this season and will be looking to strike anything in his hitting zone out of the park.
The Big Dog was the Quokkas player of the BDNO last year, with crucial wickets and a handy batting partnership with Ed in the semi final. A big game player, “the Dog” will be barking this Sunday.
An injury cloud is hovering over the team, with Pup and Cupsy both in doubt. A sure blow to the men in maroon with one of their all-time leading wicket-takers and this seasons “find” big losses on the seasons big day. Further; Mo and J Bomb are out with family commitments while Paris, Phantom, Robbo, Rev, Gladys and Big Dog are ignoring their families for the last time this summer to get out of the house and smash some cans.
There is sure to be some competition over who will get to wear the gloves on the day, with no less than 6 of the squad having performed the duties behind the pegs at some point. Not only does this allow one the chance to sledge ones own teammates without pause, it also provides a license to not run anywhere.
- J Rod
- Rowdy (c)
After initial confusion, with the Australian Frisbee Championships claiming they had exclusive rights to use Burnley Oval, we got a game going. Or more adequately, Curto was making a speech and a cricket match broke out.
Pro frisbee is played in a rectangular field where players have to throw the disc in any direction to be caught in an end zone. The US are current champions. Its big on ESPN Channel Ocho.
I digress, Curto sent in his two heavy hitters, with Waz Dog putting Robbo, Phantom and all early bowlers about the park. Robbo also managed to drop a catch when Gladys had a free hit, he let it roll over the boundary for good measure. He is a nice bloke.
After sledging Gladys ruthlessly, and watching Rowdy doing as much damage as fluoride does to teeth, I felt I better take a belting like everyone else had. Fortunately, Gladys gave me his wicket with my first ball. Not that he’d watched me bowl the leg cutter all season and get blokes edged/play on. He is a nice bloke.
With our tail up, the Quokkas put the Clampetts on the middle order. Phantom was brought back in and bowled like a man with shoes on. At drinks, 1/98 looked imposing.
With Mo and J-Rod slowing the runs, I then knocked over my brother after two balls. Mo continued and was really tight. (Leave pause for your own joke). I played my trump card.
Much like the 18% beers Morts was to buy us later on, facing Rev is tough. On one hand, with technique and a bit of guts, runs are there, but to be dismissed is life long tramp stamp. Rev started bowling sharpish off peg balls. Curto was fending like a wood fired oven chef. It ended badly. I think Curto was bowled on 2. He has got the yips. Think Mark Taylor-yips. But worse. A 334 must be close.
Then Alex chipped in. All the bowlers were now online and cloud cover made it tough for batsmen. Morty was dealing out peptide based mojitos and risky single ended up with Alex picking up the ball and underarming at 1.5 stumps. No square leg umpire is needed with direct hits. Alex then bowled disturbing some furniture.
Andy “Cruise Control” Cruice was thrown the ball with a Quokka record 6 fielders around the bat. Like a paternity test after a Katie Price group cuddle, someone was going to get it. Phantom took a catch at short square leg. Waz Dog returned from retirement, but unlike Tony Lockett, he launched again. I was taken downtown. Aside- how does Rowdy keep getting to bowl the second last over? I feel like Elle Macpherson’s body guard, busy protecting Rowdy’s figures. A huge one must go to Big Dog who kept all day in hot conditions and now must have risen from his previous 6th best keeper ranking. At tea, Luke made a touching speech, thanking everyone for their attendance and told people to hug his fiancee.
Aiming for 160, Rowdy formed a great partnership with Phantom, (51/7) to have us at 0/58.
Rowdy played really well, scratchy early but fought through it to hit some big sixes. Rowdy’s early troubles had nothing to do with the “Wild Thing” it was mojito based. Much like Curto early seduction of Navina.
Radar came and went for a little, luckless, I thought with Scooter and the other Mitchell now swinging the ball. However, with Andy and Phantom keeping the runs going, things were okay. Phantoms strike rate was solid, not bad, but he was hampered by his thigh guard. It came off on six occasions. He even tried to run himself out, completing a run sans bat in hand.
A great knock of thirty brought me in and in one for scriptwriters, I edged meekly, giving Luke his only wicket. At this point, I will repeat what he said;
“Bad luck, Emu, next time mate”
Robbo was swinging but never got the engine going, but Alex provided late resistance with a towering six and a four to give late hope. Of course, Rev ran him out, two men, one end style. There’s another Katie Price reference.
Mo was sent in to face the lions after Rev ate it and J-Rod was unable to get the 10 needed off the last two balls.
Rowdy (51*), Phantom (30*) and Andy (25) were the pick of the bats.
Curto made another speech. It contained 34 less expletives than the speech when he got me out.
All in all a great day and the quokkas look ready for the bdno. Maybe less mojitos, though
March 10, Burnley Oval (Park Grove, Burnley)
The last match of the season before the Big Day Not Out (BDNO) gives us a chance to get some much needed match practice before the 17th, as well as giving us a chance to bowl at Curto and his Barbarians.
Coming off a last ball win against the Curtin, The Quokkas are now looking to comprehensively beat the Curtains (see what I did there?) – or at least DRAW them!
(I am seriously on fire here)
Better left unsaid
In the spotlight:
Emu has come into sparkling form with the bat in recent times and has now been handed the mantle (curse?) of captaincy for the first time. How will this impact his own game?
After initially having 15-odd available for this game, the standard drop outs have occurred and we are now down to 12:
- Emu (c)
- J Rod
- Big Dog
“I don’t play for this team to win. I play to have a bit of f**king fun”
Never has the intent of the Quokkas been better summed up. Not all opponents we come across get the ‘spirit of pub cricket’ but the boys from the Dan O’Connell sure do. We like playing them so much we have taken to ironically calling them the HATED Dan.
We encountered a late switch of venue from the postage stamp at the Kevin Bartlett Oval to the far more picturesque Burnley Oval. After some initial confusion from the hordes making their way across the City of Yarra this was greeted with general approval and by the end of the day plans were under way to switch the Curto family grudge match to the same venue.
The Dan took their good nature a little too far by only turning up with 7 players for our last scheduled regular season game. We offered to let them bat as they tried to drum up a few last minute replacements and congratulated ourselves on the impending victory when we had them 3-15 in the first 5 overs. Emu, Phantom, Paris and Cruiser (an Emu recruit from the Proteas via Moorabbin Park) got the bowling off to a fine start.
Captain Big Dog rung the changes with one over bowling spells the order of the day. At drinks the Dan were 5-63 but as has been common this season we relaxed after drinks and the Dan had a middle order revival, a retiree and boosted their numbers to nine. We took our good nature a little too far when we gave them our new recruit Freo Mike to bat at the end and he promptly hoisted his free hit for six before scrambling a couple of leg byes.
Somewhere in here Rev had a hissy fit in the process of getting hit for 3 successive fours that seemed to be everyone’s fault except his. He particularly seemed to direct his ire at his mild-mannered captain; the poor, defenceless, hard-working Big Dog. There were knowing looks from those who Paris had told earlier in the season of Rev’s teenage anger management issues and the real reasons behind why he was sent to London.
We finished with 8 wickets and the stylish Gladys took 4 of those behind the timbers. Emu and Phantom finished with two each with Cruiser, Paris, Rev and Bad Boy each picking up one. There were calls to only let Bad Boy play after a bucks night as he rolled back the years with a hangover/fiery bowling duet just like he used to. Having restricted the Dan to 135 we were confident of knocking them off. You can see what’s coming next.
The delay with the food at the break, a lack of coleslaw on offer and the hot weather combined to undo our batting effort. Rowdy and Bad Boy opened up and after clubbing 10 off the first over they combined to run our Bad Boy with a direct hit off a risky single. Dutchy clubbed his free hit for 6 over the left centre-field fence but Rowdy departed shortly afterwards and Big Dog’s post-Xmas form slump continued and the only trouble to the scorers was recording 7 dot balls.
Gladys and Rev came and went for a pleasingly symmetrical (though unhelpful) 7 each to leave us 5 wickets down and the run rate heading skywards. Dutchy top scored with 29 but was determined not to save anything to come back in at the end. In his own words “All bets were off as he sent down an absolute pie and I proceeded to loft it straight down the throat of midwicket”.
Emu and Phantom built our best partnership of the day and then captain Tom of the Dan offered us a lifeline by putting Rev on to bowl. This was all too much for Emu who already had some conspiracy theory about the Dan and their ever-changing team line up. He edged behind in the next over and as he seemed to be the only person in the suburb that hadn’t heard it he stood there all David Warner style waiting to be given out. We continued our generosity to the Dan by offering them two substitute fielders from our ranks and Gladys upped his catches for the day tally by catching Cruiser for 1.
J-Rod and Paris brought proceedings to a close as we crumbled to all out for 97. A defeat in pub cricket is always less important than the spirit you play the game in. The Dan even wanted to muscle in on our love affair with the John Curtin and suggested a tri-series. In any case visiting a pub like the Dan O’Connell after a loss never feels like a consolation prize. Big Dog was spotted there late at night staring into his Thunder Road Pale Ale and wondering if he would ever captain a winning side, or take another wicket, or hold onto a catch, or even score another run…