From Captain Local…
Alphington Oval on a sunny afternoon is one of the prettier places to enjoy pub cricket – an irony maybe lost on the Quokkas as we experienced an ugly mauling.
Our opponents: The Royston, a nemesis from recent years who luckily don’t mind throwing on a few jugs after the game when we inevitably get back to their pub. They’re a very decent bunch of humans – it’s just a shame that the decency doesn’t extend to not smashing you relentlessly over the fence at deep long on.
Where to start.
Captain Local went in to his 7th game as captain with a hope, a plan and an intact W/L ratio of 0/7. The Quokkas had offered to get pizza for the innings changeover (thank you Ray Jayner), so we batted first.
Our openers J-Rod and Jay battled battlingly on the spread-out field, before Dutchy and Radar went to work in the overs pre-drinks, both bringing up hard-fought 30s. Boundaries were difficult to come by and all the Quokkas batsmen were made to run, except Dutchy, who was able to get over the fielders regularly.
Coming in next, Alex wasn’t able to capitalise on recent good form unfortunately, but Ed and Local then combined for a 50-run partnership that saw them both retiring back to the pavilion at the end of the same over. A great day for Tasmania, if not necessarily for power hitting.
What followed was definitely not a great day for Ami (who, it has to be said, had stepped in to the breach when Nimble wasn’t available and driven quite a long way to be at the ground that day – thank you Ami). Batting with The Reverend ‘yes/no/YES’ Nicholls, Ami was unhappily run out at the non-strikers end before facing a ball. A small consolation is that he is now the member of the exclusive Diamond Duck club, and a very nice trophy is coming his way.
The remaining batsmen cycled through, which brought Dutchy back to the wicket for one last tonk, getting him to a half-century. Well done Dutchy, well batted.
Overall, it was a better than solid batting performance, setting a total we thought could be competitive against the big-hitting Royston.
Ami suffered his second indignity for the day, opening the bowling with Radar and becoming the first in a long line of Quokka cannon-fodder for the afternoon, despite bowling well.
Local shuffled the bowling options and fielding positions and was fortunate that the Quokkas found wickets regularly. Radar had an outstanding game behind the stumps and both Jay and Alex held excellent catches.
But the Royston batting lineup was too strong and the runs kept coming. They had a number of retirees and any bowling success we had just meant that the retirees were closer to returning. Things turned unpleasant at about the 19th over when Ami was repeatedly picked out at cow corner. Unfortunately for him, the balls that were picking him out were already well over the fence when they reached him.
Not long after that, the Royston reached the total and the game was over. Congratulations are in order for them – they played well and in great spirit. Congratulations also to all the Quokkas who played, for their spirit and good humour. It was a great afternoon despite the loss.