The King is dead; Long live the King
And so, onto Adelaide for our second interstate tour. It was a new season and hopes were unrealistically high. Would we be able to put on a show with just one net session behind us and lacking our star batsmen Rowdy, Gladys & Emu? The answer…a resounding no.
We fielded first and after a reasonable bowling performance (in spite of some sluggish fielding) we were set a gettable total to chase. Some fairly ordinary shot selection and kamikaze running between the wickets meant we never got close. The upside? Two new stars with the bat coming in at 10 and 11. J-Rod shocked the world with his first career 6 and Pup came of age with dancing footwork and a flashing blade.
Our hosts manned the BBQ and kept the esky full whilst we headed out to field in the hot South Australian sun. A decision that was largely defined by Dutchy getting stuck in Horsham and waiting for alternative transport. With the team kit safely in the stranded van Big Dog and Piper had a morning shopping trip to Rebel Sports to pick up some new stumps. Ed and Phantom literally mucked in and displayed their resourcefulness by shovelling mulch in to secure the stumps and we were underway.
Two early wickets had us sitting pretty until the wildcard Dan Healy came in at number 4. Ed had been working on some new sledges although bagging the former pro footy player for getting delisted after 38 AFL games does seem a little rich from the man who last graced the footy field at centre half forward for the Manchester Mosquitos.
The fence was cleared several times to bring up a a retirement on 42 and captain Big Dog showed there is no place for nepotism at the Quokkas as Pup was called on to bowl with the former Saint in full flight. We limited runs at times but lost our way in the mid afternoon heat and the score continued to rack up. Robbo and J-Rod had a busy day fetching the ball from beyond the legside boundary though only Cupsy had his homecoming ruined by having one end up in the Torrens off his bowling.
On the batting front Robbo continued his form of last season and was out twice (including his free hit) in the first over. Curto gave us an early display of his Stuart Broad impression by refusing to go until Rev put the finger up even though Curto seemed to be the only one who thought he hadn’t hit it.
Ed and Dutchy threatened briefly before Big Dog came in and ran Dutchy out trying to hide at the non-striker’s end. Shotgun returned the favour calling the Dog through for a single that was never there. Biggest surprise of the day was the two most volatile members of the team staying calm despite their calamitous run out dismissals.
The collapse continued though the Phantom was unlucky to go to a blinding slip catch from opposition captain Howie. Down to the last pair and not even close to the total, the tail end had the freedom to chance their arm. J-Rod made the best of the short boundary and will spend the rest of the season reminding us about it.
Into his fourth season with the club this was the innings where the young Pup came of age. Like his namesake plundering test attacks he went from being unable to pierce the infield with his junior bat not so long ago to standing tall and cracking boundaries. For teammates, the similarity to Rowdy didn’t end there with Ed asking Pup to be sure to let him know if he ever wanted to offer an opinion on anything. A new batting star for the new season. Hopefully he can keep the batting order afloat until Max is ready to don the pads.
We rounded off the day with a super meal at the Jasmin Indian restaurant and added to their signed bat collection from touring cricket teams with a presentation of our own version. Easily the highlight of the tour was the replacement of the 1984-85 West Indies touring team bat in the display case by the 2013 touring Quokkas.
A big thanks to Howie and our hosts for organising and well done to everyone for contributing to the charity fundraising effort which resulted in over $2,600 being raised for the very worthy www.kickstartforkids.com.au