• On a clear and sunny day that we have started to become accustomed to in Mid-March, The Quokkas made their way to the main oval in Edinburgh Gardens, excited by the opportunity to play on the newly laid turf wicket and have some fun in the process.

    Unfortunately for The Quokkas, the clear and sunny weather available to us on Sunday wasn’t the case on Saturday, leaving the turf wicket looking like northwest Ohios famous Black Swamp.  That’s right, the famous one.

    The Black Swamp of Fitzroy

    Thankfully the good people at the City of Yarra had the sense to keep the astro wicket in the ground, so we were able to get a game going with little interruption.  In fact, I arrived to see wickets set up and the boundary cones laid out with some of the Quokkas warming up having a bit of kick-to-kick with one of the better used Sherrins I’ve ever come across.

    It’s probably not worth noting that I, the Captain of the day, was the last to arrive to the ground because I got distracted liberating some lemons from trees in Clifton Hill, but it is worth noting that citrus would be my only successful catch of the day.

    Catch of the day

    With covid restrictions still in place, a coin toss was had to decide who would bat first, which I promptly lost and the directed the team to do some catching practice.  Probably should have started this about an hour earlier.

    I asked Dutchy to take the new ball, leading to one of the strangest starts to a YPCA game I’ve come across.  The first ball, a free hit, was pinged straight to mid-wicket and resulted in a diamond duck for the non-striker.  Good run out Local and Dutchy.

    The second ball, another free hit, was belted out of the ground and nearly into the stands.  The third ball was belted straight at me, though about 100m above my head, leading to a call of “Mine!”, followed by me running around in circles on the spot and ending with the ball landing 5m behind me.

    You, dear reader, may be starting to pick up a theme here.

    J Rod took the second over and kept it to 2 runs, the start of a dominant afternoon from the suddenly aggressive man from Moree.

    The bowling card kept rotating with good efforts from a high-quality buffet of medium pacers including Local, Jay (having lost TFB status to Radar, according to J Rod), VP and Ed.

    Few runs were given but even few wickets (e.g. zero) were taken until the introduction of Snipper, fresh from learning how to kick a drop-kick, who hit the pegs with his second ball. Fair effort, that.

    This brought on a brace of wickets before drinks, with Ed taking a good catch off Alex’s bowling and Radar getting (another) stumping, this time off Dutchy’s bowling.  It should be noted that Dutchy entered the swamp in his first over to field a ball and was nearly lost to us forever.  Not all heroes wear capes.

    After 12 overs The Rose “Petals” were 4/84 and I was feeling pretty good about our chances.  It’s the hope that kills you.

    It should be noted that the game was interrupted on multiple occasions by a group of families that were playing a number of ball sports on the edge of, and sometimes within, the boundary cones.  Now, I’m not sure if they were somehow magnetised to that location but it seemed an odd decision considering the amount of space at Edinburgh Gardens available that didn’t have a cricket match on it.

    Shown: Edinburgh Gardens inc WT Peterson Oval (cricket ground) and other area that is not a cricket ground

    We returned from drinks and were given a display in fast bowling from Radar that J Rod had one or two comments about that may have been directed at Jay.  At the other end The Fridge came on and was, and I don’t think its over-cooking it to say this; un-playable.

    More Westinghouse than Hilfenhaus.

    Lord knows where this bowling form has been hiding but it was great to watch, even from knee-deep in Mordor, which is where I’d chosen to field for some stupid reason.

    I eventually brought myself on to bowl and got one of the more embarrassing wickets of my “career”, with the batter backing away to the leg side for one that was heading that way, missing the ball by a minute or two (it may have been deceptively slow), letting the ball ricochet off his pads and onto the stumps. 

    The last few overs were wrapped up by Jay, hitting the top of off stump, J Rod, Fridge (un-playable) and Local; also taking a pole in the last over.  I should note that it was good that our bowlers kept hitting the stumps as I kept dropping them.  Apologies, J Rod.

    With a total of 145 set, I was still feeling confident about our chances and sent Ed and Radar in to get the chance underway. 

    Ed, doing stuff

    I didn’t get a chance to give them any last minute messages, but Radar was soon back on the sidelines and free for a chat.


    Ed was then joined by James in the middle, both of whom worked extremely hard for runs against some excellent swing bowling.  Unfortunately James did not come out to bat with his paddle, as Ed sold him down the river and he was soon run out. 


    Snipper, appointed by Local as a specialist 4, soon arrived and found the boundary regularly, though went out just as quickly trying to hit their captain out of the ground.


    Next up came Local, who looked very calm in his approach after initially trying to reverse-sweep the first ball for 6.  He missed that and then missed another one that hit middle stump.


    Fridge, fresh from his dominant bowling spell, came to the wicket looking to hit out but struggled with the excellent bowling on display.  A rank full-toss finally arrived but it so surprised him that it got right past him to find middle stump.


    At this point I was feeling less confident but still had Jay, Alex, Dutchy and J Rod in the sheds.  A couple of retirements and we should be fine. This was also the point I had to put down the scorecard and pad up.

    Jay and Dutchy battled bravely, even hitting out for the first boundaries in a while, but neither managed to get more than 22 runs.

    Alex was out quickly trying for fast runs but J Rod was getting well set, hitting sixes with ease while everyone else had struggled to get off strike.  Unfortunately I was the only batting partner he had left and I ran myself out searching for quick runs, leaving J Rod on 37 off 19 (not out), and more importantly, The Quokkas 12 runs short of a draw.

    Sometimes life gives you lemons, and sometimes you steal them from someones front yard.

    While it would be possible to ruminate over the areas that could’ve won us the game, and believe me – I have, its also important to remember the words of Rahul Dravid: “Cricket is like life, you lose more often than you win.” And this from a man who scored over 13 thousand Test runs.

    What makes more sense is to reflect on the sunshine, the friends and the fun that was had – thanks all for a great afternoon out.

    In all, it was a great day out and it was great to see the joy that the win (their first in years) brought to The Petals’ faces.

  • Visit Romania, the best ground in Eastern Europe. Also has the best bats….

  • Match Preview: Quokkas v The Rose Hotel

    Match Facts:

    March 14, 2021

    Brunswick Street Oval



    1pm Start

    The Big Picture:

    It is with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to season 2020/21, a season which meant so much to so few.  After the 15 (?) weeks of lockdown, the possibility of being on an oval with 10 of your mates trying to knock over 2 other “cricketers” seemed quite the pipe dream.

    Incidentally, if you are dreaming of pipes, you could be a plumber.

    Which reminds me, why should you never buy drugs off a plumber?

    You never want the plumbers crack.

    Things are going as seamlessly as ever.

    Back on track though, it has been therapeutic in a way that I didn’t realise to get back on the park this season, so many thanks to Ed, Foz and all the team at the YPCA for all their hard work in making it happen.

    Many thanks also to the good people at Nerrena CC for hosting us (again), the offer for us to host you is absolutely alive and well.  Maybe a few Covid symptoms, but never mind.

    Final thanks goes out to everyone who has turned out for us this season, it wouldn’t be possible without you giving up your precious Sunday afternoons to spend time with a plethora of fearsome athletes.

    This weeks game is the last for this season, and while previous Autumns have been positively scorching, this year has been as cool as the mood in lockdown, giving us hope that Sundays game will happen without any guarantee.

    That being said, its been a great season, if not on the field.  The Big Dog played his 100th, Local played his 50th, and this game will be Jays 50th for the club. But more stats later.

    Form Guide:

    Well, it hasn’t been great of late.  We were fairly well drubbed by the Terminus in the last game and pipped by Nerrena before that.  That being said, there have been some great efforts put in (though maybe not in the catching department) and the conviviality of the team is as high as the number of useless cricket training objects J Rod has collected.

    In the Spotlight:

    Yup, this guy

    J Rod is having what can only be described as a golden summer. 120 runs with the bat at 24 and 62% of his runs coming from boundaries, with an average of 8.18 runs per over. Moreso than that has been his bowling this season, taking 5 wickets (oh yes, he’s near the top of the wicket-takers and run-makers) at 20 and going at only 7.14 an over, he’s also taken ONE CATCH this season!

    Stats and Trivia:

    I was disappointed that in all the hype around The Big Dogs 100th that I missed Locals 50th.  I can comfort myself that he still owes me for the bet around whether Steve Smith will ever Captain Australia’s Mens Test side again.

    In the words of Heath Ledger, here we go:

    • As mentioned above, this will be Locals 51st game and Jays 50th for the club, many thanks to you both, you tireless servants
    • Jay has played in 32 YPCA matches and batted 30 times for 591 runs @ 32.83 (not bad) and a high score of 38*.  He’s also taken 31 wickets (5th highest overall) at 16, giving away 6.24 runs per over.  You’ve got to bowl a bit worse to get wickets at this level, champ.  He’s also the leading catcher for this season with 6. Pity we don’t have an award for that.
    • Local has played 35 YPCA games with 34 Innings, scoring 526 runs at 18.79 with an incredible high score of 46.  When he goes, he goes big.  He’s also taken 21 wickets at 24, going at 6.81 an over if you don’t mind. 
    • Yours truly is on 396 YPCA runs and is hoping to join the 400-club with the likes of Snipper.  Sure, 20 less innings, but so what?
    • Dutchy is on 980 runs conceded in the YPCA, does he have it in him to join the stratospheric region that is the 1,000 club?  I’ll give him every chance to do so.


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