• First before any captains report, let me just go through how I was bowled by a woman.

    With that explained, I must say I was disappointed to see the Royal Oak field some ring-ins from Malvern Valley take batting positions 2,3 and 4. However, with Robbo and Pup ringing bells, we were able to keep a run rate low. That was until Ed came onto bowl. He bowled a really good toppie, but the five other balls, well, I didn’t worry about my car, the hits went over into houses.
    One ring in retired, JRod came onto bowl a wicket maiden, Derby bowled tight then Joe bowled smoke, taking pegs on two occasions.
    We kept them to 66 until we found out Klutzy the Keeper dropped the ball on the helmet. Make that 71.
    The chase started in earnest, Cupsy and Robbo slamming it about.
    “Best hundred dollars I spent” was Robbo, not referring to a trip to Bangkok but to the 2″9′ Gray-Nicolls Powerbow. As a general rule, in cricket, if it hits a tree half way up, it’s a six.
    With two retirees, Emu went in, and in true BDNO form, went out cheaply. Curto and Ed came together and just when the equation got tight, Curto saw off a ring in and a new bowler came into the attack.  He was described by Curto as “what you could wish for” and Rev described him as the “worst bowler I have ever seen with perfect tennis ball bounce” or to explain better; Ed hit him for a leg side six! Curto’s innings was 1..646 and the semi final awaited.

    The semi final occurred after 17 hours of waiting. We were a little rusty and were pelted about the park. Robbo, Joe and Shotgun all felt the pain. After five tough Tramway wicket less overs, we batted with Joe and Dutchy opening up to hopefully get near a 150 that we would need. Some big hits came off but too often boundary riders cut off fours.
    Joe skyballed and Dutchy went, not after some lusty cut shots! Then Local Derby came in and played some of the most abstract shots available…for sixes! Meanwhile, Cupsy had Jekyll and Hyded into Alastair Cook in the last Ashes, series swotting, cursing and missing everything. Relief came in all three poles being disturbed. I was at the non-strikers end and as he heard the death rattle he looked at me with the “there goes the never been out record”
    I was in again and made maybe a dozen (reverse sweeps are so 2012) but made the error of driving and calling before it beat the bowler. He dragged it back and Pup was run out.
    Salvation was to come from Robbo with his Bow of Power, blasting an unbeaten 24. I happily sat up the other end watching slog sweeps and pull shots. Rev came in briefly with his new bat too, and from the thick edge for 2, he knew his purchase was special as well.

    As for the final 5 overs, let’s look at how the Tramways team saw it. They slapped us around in the first 5 overs and bowled tight to the Napier. They deserved a grand final. Surely, the Quokkas won’t let these guys make 69 of 5 overs? Emu and Pup went all out attacking with a ring field and slips and went for 7 and 8.
    Surely 54 off 3 overs won’t happen?
    Fresh from baby duties, the Phantom came on to bowl. Cupsy successfully showed why he is not a vice-captain by convincing me that Phantom could be the X Factor. Barefoot, he bowled 6 short pitched mediums that were pogoed. One nearly went over the house on Alfred Crescent. It hit the second floor guttering.  661646 equals 29. At one point the batsman walked off, only to be told he was on 19* so he returned to bat, hitting another 6, then walking off.

    Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 11.05.01 AM

    Screenshot of Alfred crescent oval, Alfred Crescent and newly damaged houses adjoining the oval – thanks again Quokkas!

     

     

    Returning to JRod, the death over king, Napier ploughed their way to finally tying with Tramways with one ball remaining. JRod bowled a decent enough OFF Stump ball, kissing the edge, Curto howled to his left and snatched it! Only for the ball to jar loose on landing because he has Mr.Burns arms. Napier were ecstatic, Tramways were gutted, musing an opinion about the Quokkas that many others had formed before.
    The real winner was the President of the league because the ar$eclown had no contingency in case of a tie.

    Overall, the finals summed up our season; batting is a feast or famine, bowling swings from very good to very poor and when switched on, fielding is awesome, but switched off, it is Tufnell-esque.

    Thanks to Rev and Ed for getting the show on the road and to all the guys for being upbeat even though with short games I couldn’t bat everyone as much as usual.

    As Cupsy said, nothing was better than watching the three ring ins for the Royal Oak with oversized bags trudge away first round losers wondering how the Quokkas rolled them.

  • On Sunday the Quokkas took on The Hated Dan O’Connell Hotel on the lush Fairlea West Oval, Yarra Bend Park.

    First and foremost it must be said that Sunday was a victory for cricket, in the sense that the game of cricket is infinitely richer for not bearing any resemblance to whatever it was that was played by the Quokkas on Sunday afternoon.

    Led for the first time by Local, the day got off to an ignominious start when it was discovered that no one had organised paper plates and sauces for the bbq. Choosing  to ignore that we live in a world which is connected by more devices, networks and communication tools than at any other time in history, both Local and Big Dog decided to go it alone and get the plates etc. themselves without further consultation. The Quokkas are now well stocked for sauces and paper plates.
    The Quokkas opened the batting with Dutchy and Joe, both of whom negotiated some tricky swing and movement form the Dan’s fast men to quickly begin laying the foundations of a good innings. Knowing that the Quokkas had failed to defend 150ish on this same ground several weeks earlier, both batsmen appeared determined to score quickly and heavily. And despite the fact that appearances can sometimes be deceptive, they both succeeded. Dutchy was first to reach retirement, making 35 well-struck runs, followed soon after by the un-Quokkaly talented Joe.
    They were replaced at the crease by first Cupsy and then – in a move that had surprised no one more than the man himself – Shotgun. It seemed Local was prepared to make bold and/or uninformed captaincy decisions at any moment.
    Cupsy opened his account with a boundary and never looked back, and the Quokkas went to the drinks break at 0/90ish. Bold predictions were being made amid much back-slapping. Pup raised the possibility of 200+, and at this stage who could deny a young man a dream? The Quokkas were flying, with batsmen in the shed and the runs coming – for the most part – easily.
    Shotgun began his innings a little more unsteadily than Cupsy had, with some dots on the scorecard that didn’t do justice to the kind of airy swings that they represented. However, he too started to find a rhythm, and by the time Cupsy had played his part and retired off a crisp 32 there was a feeling in the air that we might all be about to see something very special indeed.
    Not from JRod though, unfortunately coming and going without troubling the scorers on this occasion and bringing Pup to the crease for his usual solid contribution.
    The main event was unfolding at the other end however, as Shotgun began to act like his namesake, scattering the ball to all corners of the ground, including two hits that cleared the rope. By the time Pup had been replaced by Big Dog, Shotgun was approaching 30 and a well-earned retirement. It was a big innings that had the crowd on their feet.
    After Shotgun’s departure the innings progressed amiably towards its close, aside from one moment when Big Dog was nearly cleaned up by a beamer that seemed to follow his head as he took rapid (and thankfully successful) evasive  action. He, Local, Morts, Rainsy and Ed managed to drag the innings to 179 after 25 overs, a respectable target that had everyone feeling quietly confident as they enjoyed a beer and Dutchy’s excellent BBQ.
    The ground at Fairlea West can be described in many ways, most of which will rely on some variance of the words ‘dry’ and ‘hard’ to best create an accurate impression, and one of its key features is that any ball which is struck with force – or indeed without it – can run quickly to the boundary unless stopped by a well-placed fielder.
    This critical element was however lacking in the Quokkas bowling efforts up to the drinks break, as balls flew merrily into every available gap, stopped only on one occasion by a spectacular sliding effort from Joe which also ensured that there will forever be a small part of this not-so-foreign field that is forever Quokka (and that Joe may be limping all week).
    The confidence that had begun the fielding innings was starting to flag, but then Ed gave an inspirational speech at drinks which can be summed up as “we’re fucked”. With these stirring words spurring the Quokkas on, they turned the screws and started to dry up the boundaries, piling on the pressure until breaking through for their first wicket of the day, a nifty piece of glovework from Pup off Rainsy, in only the 18th over. The faintest hint of hope still glimmered and when Local improbably held a catch off Dutchy in the 20th the Quokkas had their tails up again.
    Unfortunately, the Quokkas also could not see the score at that point, and whatever momentum had been gained was quickly undone when – two runs later – the scorers called out to their batsmen to start shaking hands with the losing team.
    It wasn’t meant to be. Or – less fatalistically and more realistically – the Quokkas let a good chance to snare a win go through some loose bowling and fielding. Credit must go to the Dan also for some fantastic hitting, especially at the top of the order.
    However, the early finish in the 20th over meant an early trip to the Dan O’Connell for beers, which was well-attended by both teams, and the game was played in great spirit despite the result.
    Well done to all the Quokka batsmen who reached retirement, and thanks to everyone for turning out to play, it was a good afternoon out on the park.

   

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