The King is dead; Long live the King
And so, onto Adelaide for our second interstate tour. It was a new season and hopes were unrealistically high. Would we be able to put on a show with just one net session behind us and lacking our star batsmen Rowdy, Gladys & Emu? The answer…a resounding no.
We fielded first and after a reasonable bowling performance (in spite of some sluggish fielding) we were set a gettable total to chase. Some fairly ordinary shot selection and kamikaze running between the wickets meant we never got close. The upside? Two new stars with the bat coming in at 10 and 11. J-Rod shocked the world with his first career 6 and Pup came of age with dancing footwork and a flashing blade.
Our hosts manned the BBQ and kept the esky full whilst we headed out to field in the hot South Australian sun. A decision that was largely defined by Dutchy getting stuck in Horsham and waiting for alternative transport. With the team kit safely in the stranded van Big Dog and Piper had a morning shopping trip to Rebel Sports to pick up some new stumps. Ed and Phantom literally mucked in and displayed their resourcefulness by shovelling mulch in to secure the stumps and we were underway.
Two early wickets had us sitting pretty until the wildcard Dan Healy came in at number 4. Ed had been working on some new sledges although bagging the former pro footy player for getting delisted after 38 AFL games does seem a little rich from the man who last graced the footy field at centre half forward for the Manchester Mosquitos.
The fence was cleared several times to bring up a a retirement on 42 and captain Big Dog showed there is no place for nepotism at the Quokkas as Pup was called on to bowl with the former Saint in full flight. We limited runs at times but lost our way in the mid afternoon heat and the score continued to rack up. Robbo and J-Rod had a busy day fetching the ball from beyond the legside boundary though only Cupsy had his homecoming ruined by having one end up in the Torrens off his bowling.
On the batting front Robbo continued his form of last season and was out twice (including his free hit) in the first over. Curto gave us an early display of his Stuart Broad impression by refusing to go until Rev put the finger up even though Curto seemed to be the only one who thought he hadn’t hit it.
Ed and Dutchy threatened briefly before Big Dog came in and ran Dutchy out trying to hide at the non-striker’s end. Shotgun returned the favour calling the Dog through for a single that was never there. Biggest surprise of the day was the two most volatile members of the team staying calm despite their calamitous run out dismissals.
The collapse continued though the Phantom was unlucky to go to a blinding slip catch from opposition captain Howie. Down to the last pair and not even close to the total, the tail end had the freedom to chance their arm. J-Rod made the best of the short boundary and will spend the rest of the season reminding us about it.
Into his fourth season with the club this was the innings where the young Pup came of age. Like his namesake plundering test attacks he went from being unable to pierce the infield with his junior bat not so long ago to standing tall and cracking boundaries. For teammates, the similarity to Rowdy didn’t end there with Ed asking Pup to be sure to let him know if he ever wanted to offer an opinion on anything. A new batting star for the new season. Hopefully he can keep the batting order afloat until Max is ready to don the pads.
We rounded off the day with a super meal at the Jasmin Indian restaurant and added to their signed bat collection from touring cricket teams with a presentation of our own version. Easily the highlight of the tour was the replacement of the 1984-85 West Indies touring team bat in the display case by the 2013 touring Quokkas.
A big thanks to Howie and our hosts for organising and well done to everyone for contributing to the charity fundraising effort which resulted in over $2,600 being raised for the very worthy www.kickstartforkids.com.au
Quokkas v Park Hotel – 3 November 2013 saw the opening salvo in the Pub Cricket League. With a mere blip on the BDNO and recent Adelaide travails better left unspoken about, The Quokkas were keen to regain some pride. Or something.
Turning up to the newly completed Ramsden Oval club rooms (the ones only ‘real’ cricketers are allowed to use. Hence we weren’t) it became clear the conditions were to play a part. A few of us bowled at Curto, occasionally involving the pitch, in the nets before the heavens opened up. A quick plan B was devised which mainly involved the warm confines of the Park Hotel Beer Garden but alas the rain cleared, the sun shone and the Game was underway. At least it was whilst we all watched Emu arrive not unlike Peter Hudson at Waverley Park (sans helicopter) and put his pants on one leg at a time.
I was keen to retain my 100% winning captaincy record and yet decided to open the bowling with Curto and JRod. My memories of Curto’s bowling, or was it Curto talking about himself bowling(?), had me visualising a lively spell. Keen to keep it tight this dynamic duo (who are also the only Quokkas to consistently talk about themselves in the third person) did not disappoint; four overs later score 0-45.
This situation called for drastic action, some might say self-delusion, thus I threw myself the ball and combined with the steam-from-nostrils-edition-
At drinks the Park Hotel were looking rather too comfortable on 3/93.
Morts sent down some crackers but the same wind and his fringe also playing havoc with his dipping, zipping leggies 1/19 off 2. Rev was finally called upon, mainly to shut him up about his fielding position, and managed to combine the tailwind with his trademarked change-up bouncer to deliver some normal-paced deliveries. Rainsey, Rev’s last minute emergency fill in and the Quokka’s first cross-dresser, sent down some handy pills but alas combined with BigDog to help the Park’s total along and ensure Pup, Ed and JRod were kept busy on the legside boundary.
Emu returned and got a wicket maiden, Dutchy (see how Im now speaking about myself in the third person?!) got a wicket and Morty finished off with the alst three overs encapsulating 2/9.
Dutchy decided to regale the team with a story obviously about another game in which only one catch was dropped; upon reflection (and Curto laughing a tad too hard) the captain did vaguely recall, through his haze of positive thinking, that there may have been another four muffed chances along the journey. 6 for 211. A rather large chase for the quokkas but the ground was hard with runs a plenty in it. Onwards to a spiffing BBQ break with a spliffing group of guitar-hero accompaniments from the Park Hotel was enjoyed by all.
The chase started somewhat ‘solidly’ by Ed, who despatched the first ball for four to cover point. For the rest of the match the Park had a sweeper there who choked up the runs; possibly something to note for future Quokka captains. Ed and Pup proceeded to be ‘more solid’ if not Tavare-ish but soon the tempo was picked up. By this stage Rev was noted with scorebook in hand telling everyone in earshot just how attractive Pup’s inning was. This covetous display was not helped when Pup, now in his 30’s and needing to see out the over, put the Ball over the cones and the fence for good measure; 36 off 20.
JRod wandered to the crease and awoke the ‘holding an end down’ Ed by holding his own end down whilst Ed plundered his own 35 off 39. JRod proceeded to relive his Adelaide Six, which up until now not many had heard about…, by playing the same stroke to the mid wicket boundary. Only problem was the ball was consistently passing him on the offside. At the drinks break JRod was most appreciative that every Quokka and a passing jogger offered batting advice. Amazingly it worked as JRod returned to the middle and inversed his innings to finally fall for 21 off 31.
Kurt made a brief appearance and Curto, having given advice freely from the boundary about scoring rate compiled 9 valuable runs; off 12 balls. Big Dog’s stumps were splayed. Rainsy, who by now had developed a disturbing case of ‘these-jocks-don’t-fit-it is’ and Morts got a handful each. Meanwhile Dutchy (see how I did that third person thing again?!) gathered 37 off 25. The innings whimpered to a close and the Quokkas had compiled 144.
Not a bad effort, just not good enough to beat a good team in the Park Hotel who are consistent BDNO finalists. On the positive side*, we didn’t repeat the Adelaidian batting collapse, Pup batted and bowled like a Dog; one who probably should be referred to as the larger canine of his family now(?), Tendulkar’s bat continues to make Ed look like a batsman, Emu bowled like a man possessed, Rev’s son is still claiming any male who walks past as his dad, and we have expanded the Quokka skillset to cross-dressing (Special thanks to Rainsy).
*Whomever made the rule that the captain can’t give himself votes sucks. That Dutchy bloke had highest score and best bowling figures!
Finally, some food for thought, or Dutchy brings ‘Money Ball’ and my baseball perspective to the Quokkas
Scoring shots (slugging Rate), allowing for extras and wickets:
Quokkas = 73 scoring shots from a possible 150 deliveries to score 141 = 1.93/shot
Park = 92 scoring shots from a possible 150 deliveries to score 206 = 2.24/shot
QED more shots at higher slugging rate Beats less shots at lower slugging rate plus at least four dropped catches. Simples.
Serving suggestion; Bowl tighter, bat harder, drop less catches.
This is what the ladies have been waiting for, a Quokka event that doesn’t involve sitting around watching Quokkas making fools of themselves….. Wait a minute, this is a Quokka social, there is bound to be some tomfoolery.
And the Quokkas weren’t too foolish in the field this year, a winning season for the first time in Skipper’s memory.
This is when we find out the answers to the big questions:
Date: Saturday 7th Dec
Venue: The Queen & Artichoke, Great Portland St
Time: 7.30 for 8pm sit down
Dress code: Jackets, ties and fancy dresses for the Aussies (and ladies)
Any questions, give Skip a shout.
ps Will send more venue details out near the time.
pps Faggie, please give Skip the trophy back.