December 8 2013 saw a return to Alfred Cres for the first time this season, and J-Rod’s return as captain.
It was a grey day but with our new mobile BBQ & cold beers, our spirits were high. (Not as high as half the Pinnacle’s team, but high enough). After a mock toss won by the Pinnacle Captain, which they thought was a great joke, we were out to bat first.
I sent Cupsy & Ed’s mate Joe, who Rev quickly nicknamed “Lonely” out to open. Lonely faced the first ball which sent his stumps flying, it looked like Ed was supplying players to make himself look good. But after that, Lonely Joe quickly raced to 30 with 4 fours and 2 sixes. With his 30 up and looking to bat out the rest of the over, he edge one to the keeper and was out.
This had the in-form Ed “The Author ” Henty strutting out to the crease to join Cupsy who at this stage was only on 2. With Cupsy getting more of the strike and Ed keeping his good for going hitting a few boundaries , 2 consecutive down to 3rd man, he was almost looking like a proper cricketer. (I’m sure you’ll all read about that in his next book). They put on a good partnership and our run rate was ticking along at around 7 an over. Ed was finally dismissed edging to the keeper for a solid 20.
Pup was next in, his recent good for was a distant memory when his stumps were knocked over twice in his first 2 balls, he was walking back for a 2nd ball duck.
Captain J-Rod joined Cupsy in the middle, and quickly gave Cupsy the strike with a single off his first ball. Cupsy picked things up with 16 off an over to retire on 34.
Big Dog joined me in the middle and we strategically slowed the run rate down a bit while fending off some of the Pinnacles more difficult bowlers. J-Rod almost hit another 6, with the ball landing a metre short of the boundary to the delight of 11 other Quokkas, who thought they would not hear about the shot if it wasn’t a 6. (But seeing as I’m writing the match report, I thought I would put it in. YOU’RE WELCOME!) 3 balls later I had my off stump knocked over and was out for 11. (Yes Ed it was my off stump, not leg stump.)
Dutchy was in and hit a 6 off his first ball, another boundary after that and he was out for 12.
Shotgun was in and managed to get bat to ball only to be caught & bowled for a duck.
Big Dog must have realised with Paris coming in to join him he was quickly running out of partners. He blasted 21 off his last 16 ball to be our second retiree.
Rev walked out to join his brother. With his cover drive for four in last seasons rematch with the Curtin a distant memory, The Rev, after telling the opposition we are a 140 run team, realised we were already on 143 and played out a scoreless 25th over, getting dismissed from the last ball leaving Paz not out for 1 and Phantom padded up cursing Rev because he thought there was one ball left.
With 143 on the board and Mo on the BBQ, we were in reasonable shape innings break. (At least we knew the Pinnacle wouldn’t make 200.)
With our total looking a little short on the Alfred Cres oval, we walked out to bowl with Rev trying to inspire the troops. I can’t remember the exact words but I think it went something like this, “Something, something, blah, blah, blah, go team YAY!”
We opened the bowling with Phantom & Cupsy who bowled tight for the first couple of overs with, as Ed put it, a not caught behind by the Dog. We were 0/26 after four overs.
I watched Paris roll his arm over to Shotgun while we were batting. Shotgun went out for a duck, so I concluded that the practice was for Paris’ bowling not Shotguns batting. Paris came in at first change and had both openers out within 3 balls. With 2 great catches from Pup at deep square leg, Paris had figures of 2/0. He finished with figures of 2/5.
With ‘Golden Arm’ Paz doing so well, I put his brother in to see if he could do a similar job. Then I remembered his brother is Rev. The Rev finished with 0/25 from his 2 overs. (Rev may have had a catch dropped in the covers by some unknown person, but there was no record of that in the scorebook.)
The Captain came in and had 1/4 from his first over, with a nice catch take by Phantom at mid wicket. My second over was, well…, lets just focus on my first and third overs.
Ed came on and rattled the stumps with his first ball. Being his first wicket of the season he was very pleased with himself. 2 balls later, he let out a squeal that sounded like a 13 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert, as he took his second wicket ‘c&b Ed’. 2/6 off his first over and the quokkas were looking good coming into the drinks break.
After the break, Dutchy started off OK, Phantom dropped a catch with the gloves (Which I’m sure Dutchy has forgotten already) but found the Pinnacle batters like them down the leg side so he kept putting it there.
Send in ‘Lonely Joe!’
Lonely came on with his 20m run up and terrorised the Pinnacle middle order. He had a his first wicket caught by Phantom with his second ball, which Dutchy was happy about. So we set a more attacking field, moving in a couple of slips, Cupsy at gully and Dutchy at point. 3 balls later Dutchy took an easy catch lobbed to him at point and Joe had 2/2 from his first over. With a swashbuckling 30 with the bat, 2/2 with his first over and finishing with 2/8 off 3 overs, this very un-Quokka like performance was great to watch.
With some very tight bowling in the final overs from Shotgun, Pup and Mo, it was looking like it was going to be a close finish. I called Big Dog in to bowl an over. He came up to me and said “Are you sure you want me to bowl?, we have a chance at winning.” With the Dogs second refusal to bowl, saying “There is a time and a place for me to bowl, and this isn’t it.” I took the hint and threw the ball to Cupsy, Joe and Ed to finish off. There were a few tense moments, with Dutchy & Rev blowing kisses to each other across the pitch.
Ed gave us ball by ball commentary on balls remaining and runs needed. It came down to the Pinnacle needing 8 runs to win from the last over.
With the game in the balance, the Captain took it upon himself to bowl the last over. With the striker on 29 and only needing 8 runs from 6 balls to win, I knew I needed something special from my last over.
With my first ball I put it about 6 inches outside off stump, big swing and a miss! Dot ball. 8 runs from 5 balls to win.
Second ball, again 6 inches outside off. Big swing and a miss! Dot ball. 8 runs from 4 balls to win.
3rd ball of the over, same spot. Big swing and a miss! At this stage, the none striker was busting to get himself down the strikers end. You could cut the tension with a knife.
4th ball, same spot, at this stage we had everyone saving the boundary. 2 runs. The non strikers was still not where he wanted to be, he was very restless and desperately wanted to get on strike. 6 runs from 2 balls to win.
2nd last ball. It was a little straighter and was bunted down the pitch, I ran down with the non striker who was looking for a quick single, I picked up the ball from the middle of the pitch, knowing I had a 5 metre head start on the striker and not wanting any over throws, I ran back and we had the striker ‘run out’ for 31.
Last ball of the match. The Pinnacle need a six to win. The batsman is standing on off stump with middle and leg exposed. I thought I would go for leg stump and try and take a wicket with the last ball. It just misses leg stump, if the stumps had a coat of paint he would have been out! Umpire calls it a wide. In disbelief I gave the umpire a spray, “You’ve got to be kidding, it just missed leg stump!”
For the second time, last ball. They still need six to win. With the batsman again standing on off stump, I decide to bowl it straight at him, looking to cramp him up, he lobs it just over my head, I run back pick up the ball, not wanting any over throws, I run it in and knock the stumps over. 2 runs, QUOKKAS WIN BY 3 RUNS!
With our first win of the season, and J-Rod’s first win as skipper, the Quokkas went back to the Labour for a few jugs. Some directions were needed. (Thanks Rev.)
Quokkas – 7/143. Cupsy 34 Not out, Big Dog 30 Not out, Joe 30, Ed 20.
Pinnacle Hotel – 8/140. Paris 2/5, Lonely Joe 2/9, Ed 2/12,
J-Rod 1 wicket, 1 run out, 1 win as Captain, 1 wedding on Saturday.