• Quokkas CC 189-6 (Evil Dave 49, Conan 44) beat Merstham CC 186-7 (Yak 3-23)

    It’s been a while Quokkas and I’ve had time to consider things. Many things, such as whether I need to take out a second mortgage to cover my heating bill, if I have had all the required jabs to allow me to go surfing without contracting hepatitis, and should I move to Burundi to realise any value from my pension. Thank god the human hand grenade is at the wheel now, I was starting to get concerned. [Ed: Maybe Quokka match reports are not the best place for political discussions Seagull?] Er yeah, good point. OK, how about religion? That’s a subject that should cause you little consternation.

    I ventured onto Southsea high street today and as a practicing atheist I made it my duty to seek out the representative of the Gospel Tract and Bible Society to discuss whether Jesus was a batsman or a bowler. Surprisingly, he was unaware of the gospel describing Jesus’ passion for the game, so I
    enlightened him: “for Jesus would take the boys to the seashore and, carrying the playing ball and the club, he would go over the waves of the sea as though he was playing on a frozen surface, hitting the playing ball.” Unsurprisingly, the conversation turned to Satan’s wrath and his desire to destroy our body and soul. The preacher didn’t seem to understand when I explained that “it’s what bowlers do.” I look forward to our next discussion when perhaps I will borrow some of Larry David’s thoughts on prayer.[Ed: Not sure religion works either Seagull]

    Oh, right. How about the monarchy? That’s topical and completely uncontroversial. Personally, I share Robert Smith’s views, so haven’t felt the great sense of loss many Quokkas have with the Queen’s passing. I do though thank Elizabeth for her service during World War II, which helped to provide me with that freedom of thought. I struggled to understand the cancelling of the entire weekend football programme as a `mark of respect’, but it gave us all time to reflect….on how much time we waste on fantasy football. It also gave us the opportunity to focus on the final test match of the series, and created a seven hour window for me to consume Sergey Bondarchuck’s adaption of War and Peace. Silver linings. Another silver lining was unearthing Merstham Cricket Club when last week’s opponents Orsett & Thurrock pulled out at the eleventh hour. Something to do with a lack of players. It’s hard to compete with the opening of another drive-through McDonalds on the road into Southend. New fixture in place, our own lack of players became an immediate issue. These McDonalds are bloody everywhere. With many Quokkas now well past their prime, and let’s be honest more at home in a cosy foot warmer than spikes, we’ve been a little short on numbers this season.

    As bestows an internationally franchised drinking team, we were welcomed by the royal marines marching band and a rich tapestry of street food, home-made condiments and gin stalls. Timing the fixture next season with the Quality Street fair should be the number one priority of our marvellous
    fixture secretary. At 12.45pm we had four players, the draw of the chow mien stall inevitably waylaying one or two hungry Quokkas. Thankfully, by 12.55pm we had eight. Unfortunately, at 1pm we still had eight. We’d lost Skip to a McDonald’s opening in Harpenden [Ed: also known as COVID],
    which meant Harry the Great was out too. Get well soon lads.

    The Merstham skipper was kind enough to lend us a fielder, plus the square leg umpire doubled up as a square leg fielder. There were still a few gaps in the field and Seagull did little to plug them with some terrible field placements. Our fielding was pretty good though. Faggie did drop a simple catch at short extra cover, but made up for it three balls later with a great diving effort. Seagull dived around like a man half his age. Radio dived around like a man twice Seagull’s age. Radio did have trouble returning a ball hit for a boundary. A slight case of dartitis, caused him to throw the ball back over his head, over the fence and onto the 15h tee of the Reigate Hill golf club. As he retrieved the ball, Seagull introduced him Ryder Cup style: “On the tee, Radio John”, to a nice ripple of applause from a ladies four ball.

    Ali and Faggie bowled very well, restricting scoring opportunities, but without taking wickets. Not walking is like failing to pick up your dog turds. Just saying. Radio John and the Egg provided the inverse, taking three decent wickets between them in an eventful 13 over spell, but offering one or two scoring opportunities too. Unfortunately, the three wickets didn’t include the opening batsman, who looked impervious, even to the deliveries that touched the edge of the atmosphere .

    With one batter on his way to a hundred and the other relatively new to cricket, it was difficult for our “fast’ bowlers to find any kind of rhythm. The Yak seemed unphased though and he claimed his 101 st , 102 nd and 103 rd Quokkas wicket. Magnificent. Seagull bowled for the first time this season, we haven’t missed much. He did claim the wicket of a small child, before being smashed to all parts by their skipper, who saw them to a healthy 189 from their 35 overs.

    Egg seemed to have bought half a deli with him for his tea, over which we discussed whether anyone has ever driven past a field full of cows without exclaiming “cows’, and discovered that Seve Ballesteros had no need for hole-in-one insurance and the only time a swan sings is just before it dies. Fascinating stuff, but with the Quokkas not getting an younger, we had a game to win.

    Ali and Radio opened the batting. Radio took his time. Ali didn’t, hitting a nice straight six before being cleaned bowled playing something similar to one that nipped back. The Egg then triggered Faggie when going well. He took it pretty well, perhaps welcoming the opportunity to catch up on some sleep missed due to the previous evening’s “tour preparation”. A nice bit of off spin was Radio’s eventual undoing and with just four wickets left, we had some work to do.

    Conan kept wicket like he had been doing it all summer. He batted in similar fashion, showing us the trade mark smash and numerous more cultured shots. Evil Dave played a few smashes of his own, a cover drive or two and even the odd delicate shot, as he looked intent on making his maiden half century. It’s great to have goals, and reaching a half century is one that Dave still has, choosing a poor delivery, by which I mean straight, to shoulder arms to. Conan forged on, but was fortunate to have a friendly square leg umpire from Birmingham when well short of his ground running a typical Quokkas “quick” single. When he eventually fell, also just shy of his fifty, the Quokkas tail looked decidedly short. The Egg and Seagull are well accustomed to these backs against the wall type situations. And when the fast bowlers were brought on to close the game out, expectations were not high. But a couple of beautiful drives for four from the Egg, and a
    six through extra cover from Seagull saw us comfortably home.

    God save the Royle Family.



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