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  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, March 1

    Alfred Cres Oval, Edinburgh Gardens

    Time: 11am

    The Big Picture:

    There are several regular statements heard in and around the Quokkas during and outside of games, the most common being:

    • “Heads!” (on release of a head-high full toss);
    • “There it is!” (on release of a ball that an opposition batter hits into the next suburb); and
    • “I think we are a real chance at the Big Day Not Out this year”

    The last one is probably the most traumatic, often being seen as a harbinger of doom. That’s right, doom. I’m not being melodramatic.

    I believe Jay was the last person to drop the prophetic line, leading Big Dog to look around for something to commit seppuku with. Thankfully all he could find was his Lyrebird bat, which (again), wasn’t up to it. This is the last game for this Summer before the trip to Japan, Coronavirus permitting, so here’s hoping we have some fun. And maybe put some old curses to bed.

    Form Guide:

    Despite the fairly straight-forward loss last weekend to Nerrena, the Quokkas have done well in the YPCA this season; only losing 1 match while being able to defend big totals with the ball. This, our fielding and bowling performances, could be the key to this years BDNO; holding the opposition to less than a run a ball while hitting out at higher rates.

    Interestingly enough, our only loss this season was against the Royston who we are playing first up, though it was close enough to indicate our first match could be a cracker.

    Team News:

    As is pretty normal for these events, a huge number of the squad have put their hands up for the match. The squad, at the time of writing, is:

    1. Sizzle
    2. VP
    3. Radar ©
    4. Jay
    5. Alex
    6. Dutchy
    7. Nimble
    8. The Animal
    9. VP
    10. Snipper
    11. Pup
    12. Sandy
    13. SPECIAL
    14. Ami
    15. Big Dog (foot permitting)

    In the Spotlight:

    A lazy person might write that everyone is in the spotlight. So yeah, there you go, everyone is in the spotlight.

    Stats and Trivia

    • This is the Quokkas 10th BDNO, the only two to have played all 9 are Ed and Pup
    • I haven’t got a record of other BDNO stats, but will happily make some up for a cold beer
  • Match Facts:

    Nerrena Cricket Club

    Nerrena

    Time: 1pm

    The Big Picture:

    With the YPCA season done, the only stand-alone match left for the Quokkas is against our old friends in Nerrena.

    This will be the 5th instalment of these games and a brilliant way to finish off what has been a suspiciously successful season for the Quokkas.

    The Nerrena game is always great fun, played in good spirit in beautiful surrounds. Incidentally, anyone who is interested in supporting the communities in this region that were impacted by the recent bushfires can do so here.

    Form Guide:

    As mentioned above, the Quokkas are going into this game with unknown success, having only lost one game for the summer (yet still hitting over 200 runs in 25 overs in the process), and stealing a victory from the jaws of defeat in the last outing.

    The game against Nerrena is always great fun, though played under proper cricket rules (read: LBW, can go out first ball), so that may provide a challenge.

    In the Spotlight:

    Despite starting a blood feud with Local due to something that we will not talk about, Pup is having a break-out season, with three scores of 30+ in 4 games, as well as some very tight and swingy bowling (post Curran emulation). He should be on alert though, as his catching is so good that Coronavirus must only be around the corner.

    Well done Pup.

    Team News:

    With a big season over, the Quokkas snuck enough players together for a game to celebrate our 10th year in the Pub League last week and are scraping an XI together this week. The squad (at the time of writing) is:

    1. Big Dog
    2. Dutchy
    3. Local
    4. Pup
    5. Flanders (Hi-diddly-ho!)
    6. Sizzle
    7. Rev
    8. Alex ©
    9. Jay
    10. Napalm (on debut)
    11. Cat (batting only)

    Pitch and Conditions:

    Nerrena is always a gorgeous ground, surrounded by some soft and green undulating hills. We are expecting a top of 25 degrees so it should be a great day out.

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  • Well, that was rather exciting.

     

    A cursory look at the scoreline above may tell you the game was close, but what it didn’t tell you how close, with (spoiler alert) Dutchy hitting a 4 on the last ball of the day to get the winning score.

     

    Before that, the game had collapses, run outs, horses (no, really) and almost seismic shifts in momentum before the aforementioned dramatic finish. It really was rather exciting.

     

    But lets, you and I dear reader, reminisce.

     

    The game was scheduled to start at 2pm on a very warm and unusually muggy Melbourne day. With the Curtin hosting, we would be fielding, which caused me trepidation as captain as I wasn’t sure how The Quokkas would fare in the conditions. How foolish I was!

     

    Having started the week with 16 players available, a series of text messages conveying various levels of interest had me with an interdeminate number of players as the game started.

     

    Tell a lie, we had ten players walk onto field, but Nimble represented his brand well; appearing from seemingly nowhere with a cheery smile and goodwill. I took this as a good omen. And a relief.

     

    Soon after Rowdy also arrived, giving us a spare fielder for the arduous fielding conditions, as well as a handy cricketer.

     

    Our fielding innings before drinks went extremely positively, with Jay making an early breakthrough, thanks to a solid catch behind the stumps from Dutchy.

     

    Pup followed his Captains request and dumped the Sam (or Tom?) Curran-inspired change to his bowling action, resulting in only 3 runs scored from his 2 overs. His efficiency was replicated by the Big Dog, Sizzle and Ami before the drinks break.

     

    Ed bowled two overs as well.

     

    The Animal, by now visibly frothing at the mouth and having to be restrained by chains, was then unleashed and showed us all the lost art of bowling on a good length. Rowdy, who had silently substituted on to the field for Pup provided support to The Animal with genuine pace that the Curtin batters struggled to hit and the rest of us struggled to see. Amazing what 5 years out of the game will do for you.

     

    Nimble, Jack and Local then came into the attack, each of them claiming a wicket, which was something of a relief. Jack bowled some excellent spin, toyed with his length and had The Curtins biggest hitter back in the sheds for only 2 after he tried to clear yours truly on the fence. He really was very unlucky.

     

    Local dug deep from his sweat-laden fielding position for have a ball pop to Pup and Dutchy made use of Rowdy behind the stumps to get a very handy caught-behind.

     

    I also bowled two overs.

     

    Jay then got to bowl the last over of the game, picking up another wicket (caught Pup) and leaving us to chase over 161 for the win.

     

    After a really very enjoyable barbecue provided by The Curtin, Local and Rowdy padded up and walked up full of vim and vigour. Rowdy then hit the first ball for four, all along the ground to the cover boundary.

     

    “Woosh” I thought, “91 off 24 now”. I started to wonder if he’d get to 100 runs against the Curtin before he tried to launch an inswinger over midwicket and had his middle stump knocked out of the ground.

     

    “Ah” I thought.

     

    Pup then came to the wicket and very promptly Local was back in the sheds. The less said about it the better, I thank you.

     

    2 wickets for 4 runs in the first over wasn’t the start I’d hoped for, nor was a combined 4 runs from Rowdy and Local.

     

    The weather had also started to change at this point, with the humidity almost gone and a strong breeze billowing in from the East. I knew it was strong as it knocked my beer over.

     

    Sizzle arrived at the wicket to my curiosity; which Sizzle would this be? The Sizzle that hits them out of the park, or the Sizzle that goes out in the most unlucky circumstances conceivable? It turns out it was the Sizzle who plays with aggression and intent and soon another 38 runs were added in quick time before Sizzle got so aggressive that he (unluckily) ran himself out.

     

    Pup retired soon thereafter, having compiled a patient 31 off 29 balls, leading to a period of the game that shall henceforth be referred to as “the rebuild”. Nimble and The Animal (batting at last!) put on another 40 runs, leaving the Quokkas at 4 wickets for 81 in the 15th over.

     

    It really was a terrific effort from the pair, running singles and creating a platform for the “finishers” in the team to work their bludgeoning trade from.

     

    Ami, in his debut game for the season, was the first on the scene; blasting 28 from 21 balls, including 2 massive sixes over cow corner. I’m fairly certain one has permanently damaged the road adjacent to the ground, such was the ferocity with which it was hit.

     

    Ed then came to the crease for his first hit since reappearing from the shaky isles, striking and running as wildly as his appearance. Eventually he ran himself out, also wildly.

     

    The last partnership of Jay and Dutchy then went about chasing the total with purpose, running twos and threes as the target reduced but still remained unflinching and intimidating.

     

    From 61 needed from 7 overs, it became 47 off 6, 41 off 5, 33 of 4, 26 off 3, 18 off 2 and finally 9 off 1.

     

    The ending, dear reader, has already been shared but the excitement of the day was palpable and really, that is what we will remember; how enjoyable the contest was. Not the result, but the experience. Experiences like this can only be achieved through collective team performances and collaboration, and with an equally respected opponent who shares your philosophy.

     

    This game wouldn’t have been possible without the Curtin, or the culture which they fully embrace. Both of these things were started by Owen, whose name adorns the trophy that is passed to the winner of these contests, and who we will always be grateful to.

     

    Many thanks to Owen and to everyone involved for a great day, and here’s looking to many more.

    Curtin

  • Match Facts:

    Ground TBC

     

    Time:

    1pm

     

    The Big Picture:

    This is the last YPCA game of the season for the Quokkas, in what has been a scarcely recognizable Summer, and not just because the country is on fire and the air is full of smoke.

     

    After playing a few new pubs this year and some re-modelled ones, its nice to finish off against one of our oldest “rivals” in The Curtin Hotel.

     

    The Quokkas have played a number of really enjoyable games against the “Beefies” over the years, not least the one in which I ran a four, but more on that later.

     

    This game has taken on particular meaning of late, becoming a tribute for one of the Curtins founding members; Owen – who sadly (and prematurely) passed two years ago.

     

    With this in mind, we will go into the game looking to wrap up a great season in the YPCA with some old friends.

     

    Form Guide:

    If you told me last October that The Quokkas would be 5-1 going into our last game, I probably would have told you that was inconceivable, yet here we are.

    To top this off, the boys in the baggy maroons had their lowest score of the season last week (173) but still managed to win by 90 runs.

    Going alright.

     

    In the Spotlight:

    I mentioned earlier about the time I ran a 4 and the really crazy thing about it was that it was at the postage stamp of a ground on Alfred Crescent. The 4 was struck, memorably enough, by Rowdy who went on to score 87* off 23 deliveries that day.

     

    So great was his innings that our opponents of that day, The Curtin, have been asking nervously of his whereabouts every time we have played them since.

     

    And so it happens that the loud one makes his comeback agaist the same opposition, looking to add to his 355 runs at 50.7 (it should be noted that I am now up to 352 runs…at 14), 26 fours, 22 sixes and 7 wickets at 25.

     

    Team News:

    The week began with heartbreaking news; J Rod was out. It’s the sort of thing that really separates the weak from the strong in showing ones adversity. How would we manage? Who would fill the self selecting and vote giving hole that suddenly appeared in our lives without warning?

     

    In happier and possibly unrelated news, a plethora of Quokkas have suddenly made themselves available since J Rods out was announced. I’m fully expecting a few drop outs during the week and we may well need to go with a few ‘bowling only’ players, but the squad (at the time of writing), is:

    1. Sandy
    2. Flanders
    3. Pup
    4. Rev ©
    5. Rowdy
    6. Nimble
    7. VP
    8. Local
    9. Ed
    10. Dutchy
    11. Radar
    12. Sizzle
    13. Special
    14. Jay
    15. Big Dog
    16. Pete “The Animal” Sforcina

     

    Pitch and Conditions:

    With local veterans teams and other groups that are more important than us in the finals, ground availability is a little skewy at the moment. I will update on where we will be playing asap.

     

    The weather should be lovely though.

     

    Stats and Trivia:

    • Radar has 592 career YPCA runs, needing only 8 more to get to 600. Given he averages 18 for his career and is seeing it like a beach ball this year, he could well get there in a couple of balls.
    • Sizzle is on 49 runs scored for the season. Should he do so, he will be the 10th Quokka this season to score 50 or more runs.
    • The competition for this seasons leading run scorer and wicket taker is close. Very close.

     

     

     

     

   

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