• From Captain Snipper….

    One minute we’re walking out on the field, bowl pretty good, get a bit unlucky in the field, go out to bat, don’t hit enough sixes and what feels like 10 seconds later we’ve lost the match.

    Ahhh the BDNO.

    We had some stand out moments – Monty copped it tough being peppered at deep mid wicket but kept his cool and remains a massive legend in my books.  Gaz was kept busy at deep-backward point and saved a bunch of boundaries without putting a foot wrong.  Pup affected an insane run-out off his own bowling flicking a direct hit at the non-strikers end from side-on, some credit for which must go to J-Rod who obligingly departed the field so that I could bring Pup on (thanks J-Rod).

    Rohan kept wicket tremendously and took every chance that came his way.  Jay bowled a tight line getting the most out of the flat track.  Big Dog bowled a really tidy penultimate over and claimed another scalp.  Alex tossed one up and got carted for four, then dared the batsmen to do it again and got the wicket next ball and another one the ball after that.

    Ed’s over was water-tight and also removed someone’s leg stump while Local closed out the death sharply.

    The fact that hardly any runs (maybe 2?) were scored behind square leg was testament to our good line – the stumbling block being the semi-regular drag-downs which disappeared over mid wicket.

    We were kept well in check with the bat and unfortunately just couldn’t find the boundary enough with the exception of Dutchy who made retirement in the usual quick time.  I flat batted one over square leg that missed a small child’s face by a few inches… horrific situation avoided.

    Luckily the only drama that followed was that we pretty easily lost the match.

    Sincere apologies to those who missed out on the chance to contribute with the bat namely Pup, Big Dog, Monty and Local.  Your understanding and sportsmanship was truly appreciated despite some obvious frustration.

    Also big thanks to Kathleen behind the bar and those who put in so much time and effort behind the scenes for the wild and unique event that is the BDNO.

     

  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, March 4, 2018

    Alfred Crescent Oval, Edinburgh Gardens
    Fitzroy North

     

    Time:

    11am

     

    The Big Picture:

    The Big Day Not Out (BDNO) has been more agile than a Quokka fielder in recent seasons, moving from the end of the season to anytime where the Edinburgh Gardens is available during the Summer.

     

    This seasons effort has been moved to the quasi-traditional spot at the end of the season, providing the garlic sauce effect by adding a little more spice to the contest as YPCA teams battle it out for supremacy in the T10 format.

     

    With the ICC looking to get T10 cricket included in the Olympics, now would be a good time to get the IOC to look away at something else.

     

    distraction

     

    It is with a little sadness that The Quokkas go into this game, as it bids adieu to what has been a busy Summer, but a thoroughly enjoyable one in which the squad actually won some games and really supported one another throughout (almost).

     

    Thanks for everything, all of you.

     

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas come into this game having narrowly lost to the ANSC by about 20 runs, or the difference of their best player. Given this format is much shorter, the opportunity for good players to score 40-odd is non-existent, which works in the Quokkas favor.

     

    Huzzah for lack of opportunities! Bring back serfdom!

    hooray

     

    In the Spotlight:

    Pup comes into this match after the best game of his career (that we know of), having scored 46 and bowled some crazy left-arm swing. His Runs Per Over rate this season is an incredible 3.6, which is probably a little too ridiculous.

     

    Snipper is Captain for the match, having been the best on ground last season. The man in the shades has “only” averaged 27 with the bat this season, but done so at a strike rate of 2.08 & with 74% of his runs coming from boundaries (44% sixes) – which is more than enough for the BDNO.

     

    Team News:

    Young snip-snip has a quorum of Quokkas to choose from this week, including:

    1. Ed
    2. Big Dog
    3. Dutchy
    4. Jay
    5. Alex
    6. Radar
    7. Monty
    8. Pup
    9. Snipper
    10. Local
    11. J Rod
    12. Gaz

     

    Pitch and Conditions:

    Autumn will truly be on show this Sunday, with a wet and windy day predicted and a high of 21 degrees. The start time of 11am may include some tough conditions and sore heads, but may help the bowlers with swing.

     

    Alfred Crescent Oval is notable for its small boundaries, which can appear to get mysteriously smaller once the batsmen get started.

    Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 10.50.37 am

    Stats and Trivia:

    • This will be the Quokkas 8th attempt at winning the BDNO, this years squad arguably being the strongest since Rowdy and Gladys appeared;
    • Ed and Pup are the only players to appear in every Quokka BDNO, with Dutchy and the Big Dog having missed 1 each

     

  • Match Facts:

    Nerrena Recreation Reserve,

    Nerrena Hall Road

    Nerrena, Gippsland, VIC

    Australia, The World

     

    Sunday, February 11

     

    Start Time:

    1pm ???

     

    The Big Picture:

    This will be the third match between Nerrena and The Quokkas, and the first time we are playing for the O’Donovan – Gannon Trophy. The O’Donovan- Gannon Trophy is surely in the top 10 of Irish cricketing trophies, so there is plenty to play for there.

     

    Samuel Beckett would be amused, or possibly bemused.

     

    This match is an annual fixture that The Quokkas look forward to with great anticipation, the Nerrena ground being as beautiful a pitch as you will find in Gippsland, much like the representatives of the team itself.

     

    Despite all this, and perhaps unsurprisingly, The Quokkas have never won in Nerrena; which possibly explains why we keep getting invited back.

     

    Last years game was great fun; The Big Dog got his opposite number out in the first over of the game, Tuesday hit some handy runs, The Rev knocked himself out while fielding, everyone had a laugh at that and a general good time. Oh yeah, we also raised some cash for Beyond Blue.

     

    Form Guide:

    After starting the season in imperious form, normal programming has returned on Channel Quokka, with 3 losses in a row.

     

    The efforts and attitude have remained high though, and some players (Radar, Dutchy, Alex and Ed) are arguably in career-best form. Should these 4 keep up their form (and the rest not play too badly), The Quokks are a good chance to push for a win here.

     

    In the Spotlight:

    After debuting against Nerrena in our first match against them, Jay, has gone on to play pretty much every game since, whether they be in Sri Lanka, Rottnest Island or Clifton Hill.

    Jay

    One of these guys has taken 17 wickets. The other has taken 15.

     

    In his 16 YPCA games, Jay has taken 17 wickets at 16.12 and scored 254 runs at 25.4. All of this has been done with impeccable technique that speaks of afternoons spent at proper cricket training and an application that is possibly wasted at our level.

     

    More than this, though, has been Jays contribution to the team. Always positive and supportive, Jay has brought the spirits and the performances of the team up with him.

     

    Team News:

    It’s obviously been a long season, as we’ve had to scramble to get an XI together for the first time this season. While many weeks this season have started with 14 or so available for the coming weekend, this week started with horse trading and has ended with a high likelihood of a full squad.

     

    Radar has managed to convince his Dad to play, which will be a real boon to the teams bowling stocks, as well as the general level of cool in the team. Can anyone else’s Dad casually talk about working with Sugarman?

     

    Yeah, thought so.

     

    Snipper is scheduled to make his long-awaited return to the team this Sunday too, though musical commitments may provide an obstacle.

     

    The XI (at the time of writing) is:

    1. Local
    2. Radar
    3. Dutchy (c)
    4. Jay
    5. Alex
    6. Ed
    7. Big Dog
    8. Pete Sforcina
    9. Snipper
    10. Roley
    11. Cat *
    12. Rev *

     

    * Cat will probably bat & Rev will probably field for her (this way he cant run anyone out – on either team)

     

    Pitch and Conditions:

    The Nerrena Recreation Ground is an absolute Quokka favourite and has an average rating of 5 stars on the Quokka Travel Guide**. With the green, undulating hills of Gippsland making up the background and pine plantations neighboring it, Nerrena is an empowering place for the spirit and the senses – kind of like the opposite to India.

     

    The weather forecast is for a cool 22 on Sunday with a chance of rain, here’s hoping that the wet stuff stays away long enough to get a game in.

     

    ** May not exist

     

    Stats and Trivia:

    • Local is only 21 runs off hitting 100 for this season, which he should do rather quickly as long as he stays in. His strike rate for the season is Darcy Short-esque at 1.61
    • Roley got his first Quokka YPCA runs in the last match, scoring 14 in fairly quick time after deciding that hitting boundaries involved a lot less running that singles
    • Captain Dutchy is only 35 runs off ONE THOUSAND career YPCA runs for The Quokkas. Given he is averaging 56.7 for the season (at a strike rate of 2.02), he could get there in a couple of overs on Sunday
  • From Captain Alex:

    Woke up 11am.

    James said he’d pick me up.

    Got a strong latte.

    James picked me up midday-ish.

    Got another latte.

    On root to Ramsden Street Ed says we got booted.

    Stand by for a new ground.

    Ed sorted out a ground near the Yarra.

    Grass was long and short and the pitch was notably narrow.

    Vote to Ed for sorting out new ground.

    BBQ set up no worries.

    Cones dropped.

    Quokkas fielding first.

    I asked everyone to pitch it right up at the toes.

    To bowl em.

    To avoid short balls which traditionally get hit for runs.

    Opening bowlers didn’t bowl as good as usual.

    Bowled short.

    Got hit for heaps o runs.

    That’s essentially it.

    Ground was Gallipoli-esque and ball was soap.

    Dog didn’t mind.

    Held catches.

    Legend.

    Even Ed stuffed a few up.

    Bowled myself.

    Realised the bowling was hard yakka.

    Narrow pitch was crippling.

    I understood.

    I bowled shit.

    At drinks we were up against it.

    BUT – we had a great attitude going on.

    Big talk in the field.

    Heaps of encouragement.

    Impressive.

    We decided we would try to get through the overs real quick in the second half.

    I reckon that worked well.

    Rohan kept really well.

    Kept rolling the ball back the bowler real quick after each bowl.

    The batsmen were caught off guard.

    Pup bowled like a legend.

    Even after being flattened by a large bloke with no sense of spacial awareness.

    Ed bowled good.

    Local bowled good.

    Dutchy bowled real good.

    Fielding remained a challenge and we let a few through.

    We really kept the run rate down toward the end.

    Pressure was high.

    We walked off at the the end of the innings like a bunch of legends. We supported the hell out of each other while under the pump. It wasn’t an easy day to be captain. But an easy day to be proud of the Quokkas attitude.

    We needed 220ish to win. lol.

    Dutch and Pup opened.

    Dutch got out.

    Dylan came in.

    Dylan blocked it to a fielder.

    Called yes when he was 3 paces from the bowlers end and took a few extra skips past Pup.

    Bowler rolls ball to keeper.

    Keeper knocks bails off.

    Rainbow think it’s all pretty funny.

    Pup surprised to see Rev his end o pitch.

    Rev stands his ground.

    Pup displays an impressive feat of maturity and martyrdom decides to solve the stale mate by leaving the field.

    Top order collapsed.

    Local and Dog looked good but saw red and got unlucky.

    I went in at 6.

    Over 8 maybe?

    We were probably on 60ish.

    I hit excellent cricket shots and retired.

    Then Ed did the same.

    Rolley did a good job of holding up an end.

    I came back in and batted like Brian Lara.

    Then I got out which was shitty because we could have won if I had of kept my head and batted on.

    Ed continued to bat like a hero.

    We lost.

    But only by 20ish.

    Which is incredible.

    As captain I was so impressed with the Quokkas attitude.

    We faced a better team and almost got there.

    We (almost) maintained a positive and supportive attitude all day.

    Then we went to the Rainbow, proud as punch.

    See you in Nerrena for some quality Quokkas cricket. 

  • The Quokkas win, Rev plays a switch hit (and pulls it off) and The Dog bowls the 25th over, all pretty standard for one of our games…..

    With the outfield and the tourists still sozzled from the previous night (one got barred from the Gaso) we had them on the ropes at 6/85 with all the debutantes (Gazza, Robby & Stewart) getting a wicket on debut to go with Jay rattling the castle and the now normal 2 wickets in an over from the reigning B&F who now adds club all-time leading wicket taker to his life achievements.

    After drinks, the tourists ring-ins Rev (21), Roley (Rev minus 21)  and the league president Fos (58 off 20) got them to a good score of 9/177 with the Dog, Jay and Radar grabbing more wickets. Jay 2/19 and Dog 3/24 sharing most of the spoils. Special note to Pup who took 0/1 in his 23 ball two overs.

    After another amazing potato salad and spread from the Dog (is there anything he can’t do?), Radar and Alex got us off to a solid start with 30* for Rohan and a Curtoesque 17* (16 singles) for Alex. The runs continued with Stewart 23*, Dutchy 36* from 14, Robby 27 and 23* from Gazza in the best quokkas innings ever played in a gray cardigan, plus he let the captain hit the winning runs.

    Quokkas 4/178 win with 11 balls to spare.

    Bring on the Terminus

  • Sunday 15th January 2017 saw the Quokkas take on Asylum Seekers Resource Centre in what has now become a highly anticipated annual fixture.

    With the Quokkas on BBQ duty and batting first, Local courageously faced up to 2017’s most fearsome opening over to date. Four balls later the pads were off and he was firing up the BBQ. Ed joined Big Dog at the crease and after 5 overs they were dug in like an Alabama tick with a run rate which projected an innings total of about 17.

    Alabama Tick

    Alabama Tick

    Big Dog eventually fell for 11 after seeing off the nastiest of the bowlers and Ed set about rectifying the mostly binary scorecard by unleashing a flurry of boundaries off the back foot, retiring unbeaten on 27.

    Dutchy came to the crease and bludgeoned 27 from 14 with support from Rania who was eventually run out at the non-striker’s for 2. Nick A-W didn’t put a foot wrong and kept the score ticking over, retiring unbeaten on 20, and it began to seem as if a competitive total wasn’t completely out of the question.

    With J-Rod at the crease a run-fest ensued as he belted an unbeaten 32 from 14 balls. However, with simultaneous retirements for J-Rod and Nick A-W the innings came to a screeching halt.

    The Captain’s (middle stump) knock(ed out of the ground) unfortunately saw the Quokkas worm plateau just prior to which Rev ran down the pitch and covered the most ground for a dot ball in the history of cricket.

    A large amount of running for no reason

    A large amount of running for no reason

    As the innings wrapped up with Rev and Tuesday unbeaten on 5 and 4 respectively it looked to be a tough total to defend with the Quokkas limping to 129 off the 20 overs.

    ???

    ???

    Rumour had it that some of the ASRC players were keen to wrap the match up and head down to the MCG, so you didn’t need to be Hari Seldon to predict what was to come…

    Boundaries. Lots and lots of boundaries. Most of them found their way to the fence, or over it, via J-Rod who had replaced Tuesday at deep mid-wicket (perhaps 2017’s most disastrous captaining oversight) however some cleared the rope so comprehensively, as in Jay’s second over which went for 17, that fielding was simply made redundant.

    The highlight was Rania’s over which claimed 50% of the wickets taken and resulted in the team’s best figures of 1/6.

    Somewhere around the 14th over the Captain had to find a way to relieve J-Rod of his fielding position while preferably avoiding the obligatory criticism from Dutchy for reactionary field changes… “So alright J-Rod, time for a bowl.”

    Somebody, maybe Bid Dog, yelled out “bring the field up, save the single” and, as the captain was trying to comprehend why in blazers we would do that, the ball once again sailed over the boundary at mid-wicket and, seemingly out of nowhere, that was the end of the match.

    As it turned out, the ASRC had good reason to steamroll the Quokkas in a hurry as Pakistan pulled off their first win at the MCG in 32 years. Congrats Pakistan and the ASRC!

  • From Captain Jay…
    O dim delicious heaven of dreams-
    The land of boyhood’s dewey glow-
    Again I hear your torrent streams
    Through purple gorge and valley flow,
    Whilst fresh the mountian breezes blow.
    Above the air smites sharp and clear-
    The silent lucid spring it chills
    But underneath, move warm amidst
    The bases of the hills.
     
    – Joh O’Donnell (1837-1874)
    Gippsland is a curious place. It looks like Ireland; every place is named with a nod to Mother Ireland and much like our QCC, the Irish-Australian folk willfully attempt cricket.
    After several country lattes (premix bourbon and cokes) and an inner urban hunt for some match balls, the splendid site that is Nerrena Recreation ground rolled up from the hills to meet Radar’s 2005 Mazda 3 like a cricketing mirage.Picture perfect, a lush outfield and solid locals on the lawn.
    Nerrena’s captain ‘Irish’ Brian and I met at the center where QCC suffered the first lost toss of the year (0/1).
    Sensing the Quokkas wished to bat first due to widespread, general and overwhelming fitness concerns Brian kindly sent the Quokkas out for a bowl.
    Nick Name AW was tossed the new ball.
    The captain favoring his late, subtle swing, solid line and wanton pace in these conditions.
    Determined to run a competitive and tight field, captain, bowler and catcher (Ed) were rewarded just 5 balls into the innings with the scalp of Nerrena’s captain –  Big ‘Irish’ Brian –  a duck off 4 tightly held balls.
    This was the start we were after. Sun is shining, catches being held, fielding is at times inspirational. T’is was happy Quokkas.
    Ed (caught Dutchy – behind) and Big Dog (catch at short cover by Nick) struck in quick succession..
    Then came the retirements, 4 in all.. (scores of 38 and 39) followed by a few guys that just wanted a walk in the sun before retiring – rotating the batting in a great gesture of sportsmanship from the Nerrena 11.
    Some excellent bowling from Nick, Local, Ed, Big Dog, and Rev and some tight fielding left the Quokkas with little reward at drinks.. 3/91
    Post drinks, Nerrena with batsman in the shed had begun to stride out before Big Dog (QCC’s in form strike bowler) and local (put’n on the pace) struck, followed by some pressure from Tuesday QCC slowed Nerrena to a mere trickle before the end of their innings.
    Nerrena – 5/166
    F.O.W – Possibly tells the story best;
    1/1, 2/33, 3/37, 4/150, 5/161
    Fielding/Bowling  – Special Mentions:
    Big Dog: Brought on as strike bowler with immediate success in both spells. In form bowler of the season so far, great flight!
    Rev: Managing to get under a sky ball, miss it entirely and knock himself out in the process. (Glad the neck is better now mate! )
    Nick AW: Inspired positivity, and fielding at short cover – Kept QCC spirits up all day (Especially between 2/37 and 4/150).
    With some serious health concerns over Rev’s fielding fall the opening batting position was left open.
    After some general avoiding of eye contact from most in the QCC Local stepped up and took the bull by the.. rib eye.
    Local combined with Radar to get QCC off to the start it needed!
    Local 17/7
    Radar 10/10
    Shano then tried to steady the ship for an over but was eventually caught – Bowlin 6/12
    After a perfect start (1/26) this was now familiar QCC territory (3/37).
    Tuesday and Jay (C) took a vow to hold the fort which resulted in some test match like batting from the pair as they put on 40 odd runs at a steady rate.
    On 25 Tuesday, generally bored of watching the ball on to the bat tried to unsuccessfully put a yorker into the bass straight (62km away). It was 4/90
    Jay missing Tuesday’s company played on off his thigh.. now 4/92.
    Dutchy, Alex, Ed, Cat and Big Dog tried in vain to bail the water but the ship was sinking..
    Good tight bowling/fielding from Nerenna did the Quokkas in on this occasion.
    Restricting QCC to a slower than required run rate Nerrena held QCC to end on 8/145.
    The Country folk rolled us again!
    Great day in the sun in a beautiful part of the world. 
    Cricket was the winner today (and Nerrena) 
    Local 17/7
    Radar 10/10
    Bowlin 6/12
    Tuesday 25 / 31
    Jay 16/22
    Dutchy 8/9
    Alex 5/7
    Cat 3/14
    Nick 3/6
    Ed 12/12*
    Big Dog 8/8*
     
    * Not Out
  • From Captain Ed…

    It was the week before Christmas, in the Yarra Pub League…..

    That was a far as I got before the little Chef on my shoulder reminded me it would never be near his poetry. So instead, as I’ve been at a VCAT panel, the match report will be in a series of statements.

    Case – Quokkas versus The Rose Hotel

    The Bowling:

    1 – Conditions, as always were perfect at Alphington, except for the 10 quokkas present, which meant for the first time ever I was excited to see the Rev turn up at last minute to help us out. This lasted 2minutes to when Jack, aka Nimble, (credit – J.Rayner) also answered the SOS and became Quokka #70.

    2 – Shane opened the bowling and then once he finished told me he couldn’t see, which explains why he bowled better than ever.

    3 – Nick built himself a shanty town at backward point

    4 – The Rev took 2 catches and a wicket. Keen not to be outdone, Nimble also took a catch and a wicket and as was pointed out to the captain was doing something with the ball, “turning it” I believe is the phrase. Nimble let a catch bounce before him, to which Dutchy welcomed him to the Quokkas. This statement was retracted when he hit the stumps from 50m side on, on the return throw.

    5 – The captain was hit for some say the biggest 6 off a quokka, 84m onto the roof of the rooms. See attached image. It must be noted the bowler brought the field in prior to this ball thinking the guy couldn’t bat….

    Editors note: Image does not convey that the ball was 3 stories up at its peak

    Editors note: Image does not convey that the ball was 3 stories up at its peak

    6 – At Drinks the Rose we 101 (7.77runs/over), however only managed to get to 175 at the end of their innings. Captains tactic of eliminating the post drinks slump worked. Predrinks….Captains tactic of not utilizing a deep mid wicket didn’t work.

    7 – Quokkas held 7 catches!

    8 – Big Dog had the best bowling figures (3 overs 2/14) by an Irishman in the Pub League since Paddy O’Igotsmackedagain in the infamous 1986/87 summer where the league banned steel cans, eskies on the field, Darryl Summers and upped the price of beer to 50cents.

    The Batting

    1 – Nick A-W got out to the Rose’s Big Dog impersonator for 4 and then claimed the Rose had no bowlers. His opening partner Jay guided us to drinks with a solid 35 from 37 balls, providing the back bone for Snippers 30 retired, Dutchy’s 26 and 23 from 14balls from Radar, who continues to deny his age by loving score sin the twenties.

    2 – 45 required from Tuesday and myself from the last 5 overs which we decided to make harder with airswings, refusing to hit boundaries and more two’s than the day I spent confined to my room in Sri Lanka.

    3 – Not all was lost though as Tuesday, who already had his man of the match Harley parked at the ground was facing the last over with 17 required.

    4 – Last over 2 – 2 – 6 – 0 – 2…..6 to win of the last ball

    5 – Rose wins by 4 runs, Tuesday a gallant 28n.o, still got the bike and joins the didn’t win it off the last ball club with me and Dutchy.

    6 – Loss mitigated by plates of wedges, chips and salt’n’vinegar onion rings at the Rose

  • To play or not to play, a question being asked by Quokka minds on the morning of October 23rd?

    The weather conditions created doubts, posing a curious blend of excitement and apathy at the prospect of the new season and one’s desire to not leave the room. Together these forces merged into a Sunday morning mix of confident uncertainty. No uncertainty went into the design of the Ramsden St Oval and its efficient drainage meant we were good to go.

    As Visitors, the Quokkas took to the field braving an icy southerly wind and set about the task of taking ten wickets on one of earth’s coldest cricketing spring Sundays.

    And a good start it was!

    Opening with a maiden, Tuesday and Bowl’en were keeping tight lines and broke through in the third over for the first wicket of the season. Yet as the match settled through the early overs, a sharp start from the Quokkas was being undone by dropped catches and the growing confidence of the opposition batsmen, a sign of how momentum would shift from team to team throughout the day.

    Snipper with the early catch

    Snipper with the early catch

    Quokkas were keeping Terminus scoring down with tight bowling and solid fielding, and had a few dropped catches been held, would’ve been well on top at the first drinks break. Instead, The Terminus were only two down at drinks, the second being a seductive and mysterious Big DogDutchy combo getting the batsman caught behind. Following drinks, any concerns of earlier promise ebbing away were allayed as the Quokkas took four wickets in four overs. Beginning with a great Chef catch deep on the mid-off boundary from the captains bowling, Snipper, Rev and Ed came in and excelled with their bowling and catching, such action it was! Picturesque, poetic, profound, these middle to late overs redefined such terms. The Quokkas had had kept them down and yet the Terminus continued pushing and once again seemed to take the momentum until some Tuesday fielding magic created a runout and led the Quokkas on to get all ten wickets with no retirees and a few overs to spare, oh yes.

    B. Rev C. Big Dog You'd feel pretty unlucky

    B. Rev C. Big Dog
    You’d feel pretty unlucky

    Lunch break and The Terminus all out for 142.

    The Quokkas were confident going into the chase and batted with a relaxed enthusiasm displaying the first round nature of the fixture.  Whilst many were showing promise, none of the top order were able to take control of the target. Jay played some sweet shots before getting caught behind for 16 and Local was seeming to slot into a groove before being run out for 12. The Terminus were holding their catches, affecting run-outs, the Quokkas were six wickets down and needing over ninety runs to win at drinks!

    Needing over ninety and with only four wickets in hand, a Quokkas victory was an unlikely prospect. Discussion referred to a good bowling and fielding performance we could learn from and a range of other cliches to put a positive spin on an inconsistent and disappointing performance. Such thoughts were not in the mind of the Big Dog who stood bravely in the cold sunshine knocking singles to mid wicket or behind point, frustrating the bowlers and inching towards the target. Some quick fire hitting from the Chef brought a distant target into vague view and then Snipper came in and seized upon the platform established by Big Dog. With Snipper hitting boundaries and Big Dog joining in on the act, the vague target became real and when Big Dog retired the quokkas needed a run a ball off the last three overs. it’s getting pretty dang breathless by this stage and we’re all over the place in our minds and so on. Not really but you know what i’m getting at. Geez i have to say that big dog was really good, a perfect example of taking your time and playing to your strengths and the situation, (i was out caught for one in a pretty dingus and shabby performance i must say) and folks are watching on the boundary and whatnot. there was feelings everywhere, emotion was visually manifest in the shape of the icy wind giving the Rev dropsy and causing my gout to whinny up my nodules none too funny. cat comes in and helps snipper step closer towards the target, it’s pretty edgy – the game is poised, it’s on the edge of a nanoknife! Cat and Snipper had some tight moments yet stuck fast and needing three off the last delivery to win Snipper hits a six over mid wicket for an outstanding victory, crowd goes wild, courteous professional styled touching and expressions of affection and overall agreement that yes i said yes and what a good day it was.

    The man of the hour

    The man of the hour

  • Social cricket is not something you do for financial rewards. In fact, if you took the average length of a game (approximately 6-8 hours) and applied a decent hourly rate, you’d see that it was actually costing you cash. Particularly on Sunday rates. The rewards you get from standing in the field under the blazing Sri Lankan sun are also something that don’t naturally reveal themselves, but lo, they are there.

    After a game of social cricket you are left with the memories of taken or dropped catches, runs made or conceded, the weather, the teas and those you played the game with and against.

    The challenge of competing, as a hastily-drawn-together group, over a prolonged period in tough circumstances against far superior opposition is something that (in the words of Jeremiah Springfield) “embiggens the smallest man”.

    embiggens

    Peak Quokka

    The second, and final, match of the Quokkas tour of Sri Lanka brought them to Galle international stadium, a beautiful ground whose cricketing status and history was somewhat grander than what the Quokkas deserved.

    It is fair to say the Quokkas arriving at Galle were more than a little overwhelmed. After all, the last visiting team to play there was the Australian Test Squad, with evidence of their footy tipping results on display to prove it.

    Incidentally, it seems Shaun Marsh isn’t in the squad for his tipping skills either.

    For the Australian Quokkas, walking through the reception and up into a Test changing room with ice baths, a viewing deck, eating area and massage table made a fair change from their normal ground arrival; which normally incorporates dropping your kit bag under the tree that provides best shade while also the lowest percentage chance of being hit by a 6.

    We weren’t in Kansas, or Alfred Crescent, anymore.

    A week had past since the Quokkas had taken on the Singhalese Sports Club Academy side in Colombo, a game in which the Quokkas were so well defeated that the RSPCA could have been called to investigate abuse to animals. The team was hopeful not to repeat the punishment.

    Thankfully out tour guide Ravi had gotten in touch with the Galle Cricket Club and ensured that we would be lining up against an invitational XI and not the next Lasith Malinga.

    After using his stakeholder management skills to talk his way into the Scoreboard during the ODI match between Australia and Sri Lanka earlier in the week, Jay followed up by talking his hotel masseuse into massaging the team before the game, something that came in handy following the intense and enjoyable fielding practice at the beach the day before.

    Hard at it

    Hard at it

    It’s not all looking good while drinking beers at the beach for the Quokkas.

    So here we were, at a Test ground, in a Test change room, getting warmed up. What could possibly go wrong?

    As it turns out, quite a bit.

    Walking down the steps to the pitch, Captain of the day The Rev asked to meet his counterpart whereupon he was presented with a local man named Someone, whereupon the two Captains discussed the format for the day and exchanged pleasantries:

    “You’re Someone?”

    “Yes”

    “Someone?”

    “Yes”

    …pause…

    “So I guess afterwards you’ll be Someone that I used to know?”

    ….end of conversation.

    Wanting to make the most of the opportunity to play at Galle, The Rev asked Someone if the Quokkas could field first & Someone agreed. In fact it was their Captain, Someone.

    Back upstairs in the rooms, The Rev mustered the troops together and did a quick count of heads before heading out:

    1. Scaff: recently arrived from Singapore, on the massage table – check
    2. Cat: sporting a broken toe from the first game – check
    3. Ed: ridiculously excited – check
    4. Jay: disappearing somewhere for pain killers – check
    5. Skip: repeatedly asking what time we are starting & where the beers are – check
    6. Big Dog: looking quite pale from perhaps a curry too many & concerned about keeping his whites just so – check
    7. Alex: looking longingly at the massage table – check
    8. Ren: see Ed – check
    9. The Yak: ridiculously focussed – check
    10. Mahesh (our ringer, it wouldn’t be a Quokkas game without one): wondering what he’d volunteered for – check
    11. Rev: you don’t need to count yourself – check

    Once assembled, the team made their way down the steps and onto the field, huddled for a few insipid words from The Rev and took their positions.

    Jay, new ball in hand, took his mark and got ready to come in from the Fort End. Someone asked for middle and the umpire said “Play”. The opening over was solid and revelead that the Galle pitch actually offered something different to the Colts Cricket Club ground in Colombo; bounce.

    Jay quickly found a good line around off, not letting the batsmen get many scoring shots apart from the cut, something that would become a regular feature of the day (though not off Jay).

    The Yak was asked to share the new ball duties & came on from the Pavilion end, something he executed brilliantly from the start, slowing it down while maintaining a good line and length. Very un-Quokka-like in all; confusing the batsmen and Captain alike.

    After watching Someones batting partner in the yellow cap scratch around a bit, The Rev got ambitious and brought the field in. Almost straight away Yellow Cap clipped one off The Yak uppishly, Alex dove forward from short square leg, and the Quokkas had a wicket!

    Beach cricket may not be for the foolhardy, but it does get you used to taking catches diving forwards.

    With Jay rightfully starting to tire under the Sri Lankan sun, The Rev brought himself on, whereupon the momentum of the game changed right away. Struggling to find his radar, The Revs first two deliveries went wide and loose. One of them is still missing in the greater Galle area. Please direct all information regarding it to the local authorities.

    Artists impression of Revs bowling

    Artists impression of Revs bowling

    Changing to bowl around the stumps, The Rev was able to correct his line, but it didn’t stop Someone from taking big lunges forward, free from the perils of LBW, to slap the ball over long on.

    Wanting to keep The Yak fresh for later & invoking the lessons of Australian Cricket Captains in Sri Lanka from yore, The Rev brought Alex on for a bit of leg spin. Alex’s first 5 deliveries landed close to the pitch, frustrating the new batsman and bowler alike, before the 6th landed gently half-way down the 22-yard strip whereupon the batsman pulled it mightily – straight to Ed on the Square Leg fence.

    Thinking this was a Warne-(insert medium pacers name here)-type partnership, The Rev kept himself and Alex on for another 2 overs each, which yielded somewhere in the vicinity of 50 runs.

    Mahesh approached The Rev at one point, asking him to bowl over the wicket on an off-stump line. The Rev responded with an incredulous look and replied; “Mate, I have no idea what I’m doing here”.  Once again, Mahesh was left to wonder about his life choices.

    The only other real chance in the partnership was a caught & bowled opportunity put down by the Captain.

    At this point you could really sense the air rushing out of the Quokkas balloon, with several opportunities on the boundary being either watched or ushered through by the fielders for 4 more runs against. A special mention must go out to the Big Dog, who was keeping wicket masterfully against some real dross while also keeping his lunch down / in. Credit too to Cat, positioned at slip with a broken toe, who was often forced to chase late cuts to the boundary, which she did with vigour and without hesitation.

    At the 15th over drinks came on the field for a welcome reprieve. While it was overcast, it was still over 30 degrees celsius (we prefer to avoid Imperial entanglements) and humid.

    Wanting to bring the momentum back their way, The Rev brought on Mahesh for some line and length from the Pavillion end and Ed from the Fort end. Both bowled tight lines & few runs were scored. Like Easter, it was time for the resurrection, so the Captain brought the Scaff on for a trundle.

    Artists impression of Scaff

    Artists impression of Scaff

    The result was a mixed bag of some balls hitting good areas of the cut-strip and others not hitting it at all.

    Ed continued unchanged for 5 overs from the Fort end, a marathon effort for a pub cricketer, giving away few runs and even clean-bowling one batsman with one that actually turned. That wicket of Eds was the first chance seen for more than 10 overs and provided more of a relief than the next drinks break. As it happens, the next drinks break arrived shortly after the 25th over, with the score on approximately 200. With ten overs to go, the Quokkas were a good chance to keep the opposition under the 350 they had conceded the week before! The hunt was on….

    Not wanting to let Ed get above his station, The Rev replaced him with the Skip, having saved Skips ‘deceptively straight’ ones for the death overs. It should be noted that the Skip had spent a great deal of the match to this point in the outfield, chasing the ball to the boundary, developing a skin colour much closer to that of bacon than an Yorkshireman.

    An artists impression of Skip

    An artists impression of Skip

    The Skip took some time to adjust to not bowling too straight, finally finding an off-stump line, while developing a more reddish-hue with each over. The Rev was tempted to take him off but could see the collective frustration of fielding on the boundary for 25 overs boiling over & thought it best to just let him have a trundle.

    Having taken 2 wickets in the previous match, The Big Dog swapped the gloves with Alex and came on from the Pavilion End to baffle the batsmen with deliveries they had never seen before or are likely to see again. While expensive, a wicket did fall, giving The Big Dog 3 wickets for the tour; the most of any Quokka.

    Sensing a weakness against lack-of-pace, Ren was then brought on to replace the Dog and another wicket quickly fell after the batsman waltzed halfway up the pitch, only for Alex to whip the bails off in quick time.

    With only a matter of overs to go, the opening bowlers were brought back on (despite a mystery cry of “bring back the Rev” being heard around the ground) Jay and Yak kept a tight line and length & Jay snared a well-deserved wicket, hitting the batsman dead in front to have a rare LBW. With that, the innings was over and the Quokkas were only chasing 301 for the win from the 35 overs to come. Someone might say it was gettable.

    The innings break was an enjoyable affair, taking in the boiled chicken in the dining area of the rooms while family members made best attempts at entertaining young children in a Test dressing room & the Skip incessantly asked after cakes.

    Ed and the Big Dog opened the batting and would soon combine to produce the best opening partnership of the tour so far; 2 runs (1 wide and 1 off the bat).

    #realopeners

    #realopeners

    To be fair, the Dog was bowled by one that pitched on a length and turned in, something that a lack of practice & abundance of games for the Quokkas won’t prepare you for. Ed was lucky to survive an early LBW shout but soon settled and started scoring with shots all over the ground, nudging them about and occasionally hitting out. He was joined at the crease by the Skip in the 2nd over, not-so-fresh from bowling 5 overs unchained at the death but decidedly intent on making an impact on the game. After emulating Ed in poking the ball around a little, the Skip unleashed and hit a straight 6 down the ground, arguably the shot of the day.

    Ed eventually departed for 19 composed runs, bringing Ren to the crease. While the Colombo opposition were visibly and audibly upset at having women in the opposition team, our Galle opponents were much more relaxed. That being said, they did bring the field right in for her.

    Unsurprisingly, Ren kept out a number of overs, helped turn the strike over with Skip and even glanced a 4 to the leg side boundary before being caught behind off a jaffa.

    Rens wicket brought the powerful middle order into the game; the Yak, Jay and Alex. All of them made fine contributions and supported the Skip, who had become more of a red fountain of sweat than a man; twisted and evil.

    Yak plundered a number of boundaries and was getting his big-hitting out of second gear when he inadvertently ‘bunted’ a slower one back to the bowler, bringing Jay to the crease. Jay wasted no time at all in getting in on the cut-shot action, hitting his first ball to the boundary. His intentions were there from the start, but unfortunately they got the better of him, with a straight one eventually pegging him LBW.

    In the background, the Skip was still in, still sweating and had passed 50 runs with plenty of intent left in the tank.

    Alex came in at 7 with The Revs bat, Eds pads and Jays intentions. Hitting 4s from the start and looking to hole out to score some runs & ensure others got a go. A very Quokka-like approach and something to be admired. The Scaff then came to the crease with an approach formed at a school where boys were taught to play cricket with a high elbow and punch rocks on the ground with solid fists. Scaff helped the Skip stay on strike, while the Skip helped himself by raising his run-rate, hitting out and over the field with greater regularity. The Scaff was eventually undone by some tight bowling, bringing Cat to the crease with less than 4 overs to go and the Skip dwelling on the threshold of the 90s.

    Cat, the most skilled bat in the team, did a tidy job at keeping out the good ones and turning over the strike for the Skip on the bad ones. In classic style, she didn’t take a single off the last ball of an over, just to give Skip every chance. With the last over underway and the Skip on strike, the squad was all up on the balcony, hoping for a social cricket miracle.

    Harry, Skips eldest, had already informed us all that his Dad was the best bat in the team, though wasn’t so confident of his ability to hit a century. One hope that’s changed now. With the nurdle in full effect, the Skip got to his century and raised his bat to the air in the Galle International stadium, with seemingly un-ending applause from his team-mates.

    After that he stayed at the non-strikers end, letting Cat finish out the innings, ensuring the Quokkas batted out the allotted overs while also posting a respectable 170 off some high quality bowling.

    Mahesh stayed padded up on the balcony, still questioning his life choices.

    The Quokkas were quick to take the field and celebrate the Skip and his achievement. Skip had scored a century at Galle International stadium, and nothing could ever change that. For a club that started as a whimsical idea between the Rev and the Skip, they had just played a match in Galle with a combined team of Quokkas from the English and Australian sides. This match provided a number of memories that will stay with all involved for a long time and I’d like to thank them all for being part of it.

    – The Rev

    Galle Invitational XI 300, wickets: Jay, Alex, Yak, Ren, Big Dog

    Quokkas 170 (Skip 100*, Ed 19)

    team photo

« Previous Entries   

Recent Comments

  • Strong.
  • Proper swing bowling that was. Pitch it up.
  • Fabulous article which made us smile in the Spanish sunshine...
  • You forgot to mention Harry getting to bowl an over aswell. ...
  • Please see point 5.