• From Captain J Rod….

    We came, we saw, They Conquered!

    In our 3rd annual game against the VBCA, we headed south to RM Lord Park in Carnegie.

    With the sun shining, we arrived to the site of Chris the umpire setting up on the turf pitch which excited some of the Quokkas.

    With the VBCA team choosing to bat first, the Quokkas took the opportunity to refresh/learn the rules and practice their underarm bowling.

    As Captain for the day, JRod opened the bowling to opposing captain Dave who hit the first ball back through his legs to get the VBCA team off to a flying start. The openers put on a great unbeaten partnership before retiring to give the other batsmen a bit of a hit.

    With some good fielding by Cat, Rainsey and Nick and some bad “Dad” jokes from Rev, Rainsey and Umpires Chris. Along with a couple of shared wickets between Mia, Shotgun, Rainsey we briefly slowed the runs. Very briefly, the VBCA gave us a huge target of 170+ in 20 overs.

    Opening with Tuesday and Mia we got off to a good start. Until Tuesday ran Mia out going for a run that just wasn’t there. Mia gave Tuesday a one finger salute which received a huge cheer from the Quokkas sitting on the boundary.

    This had Cat in at number 3 who put on a quick fire 11 before she was walking back which was followed by a middle order collapse. No one else reach double figures until Dutchy joined the Red Hot Tuesday who was quickly approaching his half century.

    Dutchy was unstuck by a brilliant piece of fielding by Robbo (Not our Robbo, that would never happen.) who ran a stunned Dutchy out with a direct hit from near the boundary.

    With Tuesday now passed 50, in great touch. The VBCA had no answer to his scoring. With Tuesday at the crease, we still have a chance of Victory.

    But wait, here come Rev at number 10, who strides to the middle confidently, then quickly runs Tuesday out, and with that any chance of winning.

    Rainsey in at 11 at one end, he managed to make double figures for the first time and his highest score playing for the Quokkas.

    At the other end, with the Quokkas needing over 30 runs an over, Rev was blocking them out nicely. With 57 needed off the last over, Rev was still trying to hit the winning runs, sealed with an attempted ramp shot off the last ball.

    The Quokkas fell 51 runs short of Victory but a great day was had by all. We hope the VBCA got some good practice and we wish them all the best in their upcoming 40/40 and 20/20 competitions at the end of December and early January.

    Squads

  • The Quokkas headed off to the hilly and leafy surrounds of Doncaster this Sunday gone for a practice match against the Victorian Deaf team, ahead of the Deaf Cricket National championships in Adelaide this January.

     

    To define it as a practice match was quite fitting, the Quokkas were practicing playing cricket, while the VDC team practiced executing their skills against slowly-moving targets.

     

    With the good people at Fitzroy-Doncaster CC generously daonating a glorious turf wicket for the game, it was always going to be a challenge for the Quokkas to adjust to variable bounce and movement off the seam; things not really seen off the true bounce you get on Pub League synthetic pitches.

     

    Also going against the boys in Maroon (apart from their opponents being good at cricket) was that this game was played under established T20 rules (e.g. wides, no balls etc).

     

    Needless to say, E Xtras had a fine match.

     

    Working for the Quokkas, though, were their imports from the VDC; James and Tony, both of whom had outstanding matches.

     

    The other positive from James & Tony playing for the Quokkas, was that Dutchy and J Rod played for the VDC, not that it was all good news…

     

    With Fitzroy-Doncaster scheduling lunch for us at 1:30, the Quokkas elected to let the VDC bat first, so as to ensure we’d make it to the break.

     

    Tony opened the bowling for the Quokkas, and immediately forced all of the fieldsmen to take a few steps back due to the pace he created.

     

    With every other bowling option literally arriving at the ground in time for the start, Tuesday was also given the new ball & was given some punishment despite some very good deliveries.

     

    Snipper & Jay were then brought on, with Snipper bowling with heat and efficiency down the hill, while Jay bowled 4 excellent overs of bounce and swing up the hill for a reward of 2 wickets.

     

    Artists impression of Jay

    Artists impression of Jay

     

    Chef also had success bowling his darts up the hill, while The Rev delivered a “Rev Classic”; an over of head-high full-tosses, in-swinging yorkers, a wicket (thanks J Rod) and finally him breaking down completely with a bad back & going off.

     

    The remaining bowling overs were completed by Keegs (subbed on for the Rev) and Alex, whose bowling may or may not have been impacted by his big win during the week.

     

    Congrats mate

    Congrats mate

     

    At the end of their batting innings the VDCA had put on 162, which didn’t seem that bad after them being 0-47 after the first 4 overs.

     

    The lunch spread was delightfully received, with further delight being shown by the VDC guys when they realised the Quokkas were drinking beer between innings.

     

    The gospel of Pub Cricket isn’t going to spread itself you know.

     

    The Quokkas started their batting innings strongly, with Curto and James from the VDC leaving the good balls (which was most of them) & hitting the bad ones through the gaps.

     

    They then decided to hit some of the good ones through the gaps too, as scoring more runs than the opposition is a more-proven way of winning a game of cricket than playing “good ball, bad ball”.

     

    Getting a little too aggressive, Curto managed to find a way to run James out, bringing the Big Dog to the crease.

     

    Being a particularly poor cricketer, there are few moments that I can actually savour or look back on with untainted joy in my time with the game, but shooting The Big Dog out for LBW on 0 while umpiring this match is one of them.

     

    Curto followed the ‘Dog back to the pavilion / toilet block soon after, bringing Bowl’en (Shane) to the crease.

     

    It’s still to be proven that Shane is a pub cricketer, he does drink a lot of beer & is great for a yarn, but he insists on playing proper shots through the off-side.

     

    As a result, he found this (proper) bowling to his liking & swiftly moved to 11 before being dared into playing a leg-side shot (by Dutchy) & popped one back to the bowler.

     

    I believe you could hear Dutchy’s laugh in The Hague.

     

    Alex also showed the benefits of patience & proper shots, before being stumped off a Jaffa

    Not actually part of the game

    Not actually part of the game

     

     

    Keegan was unfortunate to go Caught Behind for a Duck, the wicket keeper didn’t hear the knick (obviously) until the umpire told him.

     

    You’re welcome Keegs.

     

    At 6 for 66, the Quokkas were either in a Metal Band or a world of trouble.

    It was the latter.

     

    Thankfully, a procession of Tuesday (18), Chef (24) and Tony (33) brought the game all the way to the last ball of the match with 1 needed to tie, 2 needed to win and Chef on strike.

     

    I won’t go into the details of whether the last ball was a wide and didn’t need to be hit, or whether it was caught behind, or whether Chef was also run-out, but the game ended with the Quokkas being 1 run short of a tie.

     

    It was a great game in all, played in a wonderful spirit, apart from Dutchy nearly laughing himself to death after getting Tuesday out & Tuesday taking a risky run with a call of “come on, its just J Rod fielding”.

    Seen here, Dutchy and Mike Whitney

    Seen here, Dutchy and Mike Whitney

     

    Thanks very much for the VDCA for the game, as well as Fitzroy Doncaster CC for being such great hosts.

     

    teamshot

     

     

     

     

     

  • pogonophobia  /p?g?n??f??b??/

    extreme dislike of beards

     

    The natural habitat of the Quokka is northside inner suburban Melbourne. As we have tired of our surrounds the quest has continued to find new locations to spread the quokka legend. This year’s tour game took us far from the hipsters and skinny jeans of Fitzroy to the Gippsland countryside. Stories abounded that our hosts Nerrena had the only other ex-hurler Irish cricketer playing in Victoria. Someone other than Big Dog with a single cross-batted shot and an unorthodox bowling action? That alone was worth investigating further.

    The preceding week was spent with the squad oscillating from 13 down to 10 and with a couple of late additions we had 12 to play. On winning the toss our hosts decided that the decent thing was to give us the choice in any case and so it was that the Quokkas were set to bowl first. Snipper and Eliza arrived rock-star late but our hosts were happy to hold off the start. There was significant net activity and youthful exuberance by our opponents whilst the Quokka pre-match routine consisted of cracking open a few cold cans. All the warning signs were there you might say.

    The innings in the field started well with Ed and Chef keeping it tight. The Nerrena captain poked and prodded to 13 as wickets fell around him. Big Dog had a bowl and that little Waterford versus Kilkenny duel ended honours even. The Quokkas rotated the bowlers and Chef, Alex, Jay and Local all picked up wickets along the way. Impressive catches for Local and Alex off steepling shots and an uncharacteristically generally attentive fielding display left us with a gettable 117 to chase on the wide expanses of the fertile Gippsland dairy paddocks.

    Pretty great.

    Pretty great.

    The sun beat down with lazy sense of optimism at the innings break and all looked well in the world for the Quokkas. An early dismissal for our debutant Ian was followed by a solid partnership of 44 between Alex and Dutchy. Big Dog joined Dutchy to take the score to sitting pretty on 2/64 off 11 overs. But being the Quokkas calamity was never too far away and Big Dog, Snipper and Jay departed in the 12th over leaving us reeling.

    That triple wicket maiden was the turning point from which the Quokkas never recovered. Dutchy was out for 49 and Bowl’en, Cath and Ed couldn’t quite get us there despite some lusty blows in the last few overs. The Redcaps skipper showed his versatility with a spell of death bowling to clinch victory for his side. So in this particular Irish civil war it was keeping with the pattern of history as once again black and amber ruled supreme over white and blue. Tiocfaidh ár lá.

    Thanks to Brian for organising and for the whole club at Nerrena for hosting us on the day. It was a measure of the enjoyment from our side that when a return game in Melbourne was mooted one of the recently defeated Quokka batsman quickly added “stuff that, we’re coming down here again”. Big Dog retains the anti-Midas touch with a perfect record of 4 losses from 4 games as captain. Surely Winston Churchill had the Quokkas in mind when we said “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”.

  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, November 15

    The ground is on Nerrena Hall Rd a short distance west off the C454 at Nerrena.

    Start Time:

    1pm

    The Big Picture:

    It is with great excitement that the Tour match for the 2015/16 season has come upon us.

    While the tour match is normally the first game of the season and/or a good excuse for the team to get away together to see some of the sights of this fine country (e.g. the Barossa Valley, the Tay valley, Ballarat), this years looks to be much more low-key with the vast majority of the team heading up on the morning of the game itself.

    The highlight from Ballarat

    The highlight from Ballarat

    This may be due to increased parenting duties by the majority of the team, or the organizational abilities of the tour organizer (the Big Dog) or a combination of the two.

    Most likely the latter though.

    The game against the Nerrena 3rd XI is a welcome opportunity to travel to Gippsland to take in the famous hospitality of the region, the South Gippsland rail trail, the tourist railway and (possibly) the Mirboo North brewery.

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas are going into this game with a winless record for the 2015/16 season, going down to the Royal Derby by 10 runs then the Curtin Hotel by 8 wickets last week.

    Also going against the boys in maroon is that this game will be played using normal T20 rules, so there will be; LBWs, first-ball outs, Wides, Extras and other rules that go against the pub-cricketers norm.

    Its not-not cricket, I tells ya.

    Little is known about the form of the Nerrena 3rd XI, largely as a combination of laziness on my part, as well as their Facebook page being a closed group.

    In the Spotlight:

    The Big Dog goes into this game as Captain, being the organiser of the game. The Veteran is in mixed form so far this season, cracking some late-order runs (including a scintillating hockey-paddle six into the carpark) against the Royal Derby as well as taking a wicket in that game. His game against the Curtin wasn’t as successful, yielding 8 runs and his 2 overs going for 14.

    His cricketing nous and experience is likely to be tested to the fullest this Sunday with the LBW rule in play, as well as a fleet of bowlers used to playing with no ‘Wide’ rule. More important still will be his recruiting ability to get a full XI up in time.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    Dutchy has started the 2015/16 season in promising big-hitting form, with 60% of his runs coming from boundaries (48% fours, 12% sixes). With the opportunity to not be asked to bowl in this game, the man in the van could seriously gather some votes & keep them.

    Team News:

    Unlike the previous 2 matches, the Quokkas only have ten good men and true available for this game at the time of writing. Given that we had 12 available on the Monday before the last game, 2 pull out before the weekend, yet managed to find another 2 – we should be OK to put forward a full XI. That being said, its very likely the majority of the team still hasn’t realized the game is in Gippsland and may pull out due to conflicting Soccer / live Gig / hair washing interests.

    The Ten at the time of writing is:

    1. Big Dog (c)
    2. Ed
    3. Bowl’en
    4. Dutchy
    5. Chef
    6. Snipper
    7. Jay
    8. Alex
    9. Local
    10. J Rod

    Pitch and Conditions:

    Very little is known about the pitch at Nerrena, but being Gippsland you can pretty easily bet that the ground has seen a fair amount of rain since the last ice age.

    Artists impression of Gippsland in Summer

    Artists impression of Gippsland in Summer

    The Quokkas are hoping desperately that we aren’t playing on turf. Wet weather, turf and shoes without spikes make for an interesting game (as the Bushrangers recently learned).

    Its set to be a sunny 21 degrees in Melbourne on Sunday, so may hit the heights of 19 in Nerrena.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • Given that this isn’t a YPCA game, the stats won’t count come end of season time, though they will be recorded;
    • On the YPCA stats, J Rod has now bowled 58.5 overs, the most of all time…behind only Ed (85.1), Dutchy (71), Big Dog & Emu (63), Robbo and Rev (59);
    • For his efforts, J Rod has collected 16 wickets at 21.25, going at 5.81 RPO;
    • While the Quokkas mostly use the internet for geo-caching and other nefarious purposes, Tuesday has generously set us up with an Instagram account! Look us up at QUOKKAS_CC

     

  • From Captain Radar…

    Last weekend the Quokkas returned for the start of the new season against a team we haven’t played before in the Royal Derby.

    The Quokkas sent the opposition in and The Derby went on on take our all start opening attack for quite a few runs with some strong top order batting. After a couple of retirees the innings slowed significantly and the Quokkas were able to keep them to a surprisingly respectable total. The derby also went the way of India and refused to allow the DRS which did cause some controversy. Notable performances in the field:

    Local – 2 wickets and two catches (one caught and bowled)

    Rev – 1/1/grunts

    Ed – 3/14

    With the bat the Quokkas got off to a good start with Dutchy and Snipper opening. Snipper had a new bat.

    After an opening stand in the high 30’s, it was all down hill through the middle order for a while with a classic Quokkas collapse. Local stayed solid up one end though and backed up his good performance with the ball with an innings to keep us in the game. My tactics of putting proven Quokkas performers down the bottom of the order to get us out of trouble nearly paid off and chef, big dog and ed and had a swing and nearly got us over the line. But it was not to be with the Quokkas eventually going down 173-163

    Notable performances with the bat

    Local 37

    Chef 29
    Curto 26

    Thanks everyone for a great game and a welcome back to a new season.

  • A rather belated match report from Captain Local…

    It was a fine day at Fairfield stop

    The Quokkas seemed eager stop Seymours had brought a team of semi-professionals stop

    Much beer had been consumed on the bus from Ballarat stop

    Quokkas batted first stop Made 100ish with solid contributions from most stop

    Big Dog copped one on the eye but gamely batted on stop Seymours then batted stop

    Destroyed the total in very few overs stop

    Local dropped three catches, overtaking JRod’s season total in one game stop

    Quokkas seemed glad for season end stop

    Valiant effort from all at end of long season stop

    looking forward to next year stop

  • From Captain Dutchy…

     

    Beware the Ides of March (and Keyser Soze).
    The Rose, 1st of March @ Fairlea West

    Captaining is a unique experience. You are informed of your impending captaining-ness, safe in the knowledge that you shall be the only one. That and Emu+Curto weren’t playing so the bluff was on. Having decided some left field thinking was due for the Quokkas I promptly arrived at the ground at noon. Unheard of. As were my team mates. Upon phoning Rev and discovering the opposition were making requests for the BBQ bike as there were no such facilities at the ground, I smelt a rat whilst standing next to the perfectly functioning BBQ facilities. At Burnley Oval.

    In my endeavors to introduce Left -field thinking I had gone so far beyond the outfield as to be at the wrong ground. 20 minutes of channeling that Ford-financed-Ad-I-mean-Bullitt-movie involving Steve McQueen and the Green Mustang (not easy in an ex ambulance!) saw me safely at the correct ground.

    JRod had inspired (shocked) me the previous week by arriving organised so I decided to follow in those footsteps and wrote down a list for both bowling and batting.

    We only had ten but the Rose lads kindly agreed to supply a fielder. Perhaps they sent him to the Burnley oval as he never eventuated. Ironically we fielded much better than normal as we avoided ‘getting in each others’ way’ with one short. The Oval was looking strangely green, as opposed to its usual dead grass tones and not its usual cow-paddock come runway type speed.

    Cuz, another Nichols family member more talented than Rev, opened the attack and managed to miss the bat at a pace and movement not seen since Lennie Pascoe terrorised batsmen in the 80’s.

    Pup, and Snipper bowled the 2nd (8 runs) and third overs (12 runs) as part of the rotating (possibly confusing) one over each policy.
    Snipper seems to have developed the ability to bowl really good line and length and STILL get carted. There is no justice in Pub cricket. But more about that later…
    Bowl’en (I think Rev misplace that apostrophe just to wind me up!), Rev and Cuz all were at the wrong end of some lusty hitting by their captain (Tooms) but luckily my ‘left’field’ captaincy knew this would result in retirees. Both openers for that matter. Time for my secret weapon. JRod.
    I knew he could regain medium pace glory, as long as i gave him most of the match to recover before his second over. He proceeded to bowl two Maidens. Potentially a Quokkas first?!
    It seemed like the right time to hide my bowling whilst the batters were somewhat comatose. 25 runs, a wicket (we shan’t mention that someone dropped another chance nor shall we mention it was Bowl’en…) and a tea break later I could let the real bowlers back onto the track.
    So at the break The All new Rose were about 114 and the numbers were looking ominous. With the Rose’s first three batsmen making a combined 115 runs (all retired including 50!!! from Tooms). The Quokkas have historically entered a ‘recession we had to have’ like post drinks torpor. Or to be blunt we tend to get spanked in the second half.

    And then a miracle descended upon the ground, placed curiously next to a female prison. To be clear no prisoners descended upon the ground but an escape was the order of the day.

    Mick, Don ‘small goods’, and Rev were really tight (insert your own double entendre ) and then he arrived. The Big Dog.

    ‘Sending down’ isn’t really applicable as Dog tends to send the ball vertically upwards. He even hit the pitch consistently (it must be noted the pitch was 60% its usual width due to the City of Yarra’s ‘maintenance regime’ or lack thereof…). Never a dull moment as the Irishman, dreaming of Irish cricket glory (not the English captain’s. who is also Irish, but those actually playing for Ireland…) totally bamboozled the batsmen.

    One lad asked Pup who was behind the stumps “What does this guy do wit the ball?” to which Pup replied “Usually puts it over the midwicket fence”.

    Audible sniggering was heard from the crease, proceeded by repeated swishing of willow as the Rose batsmen managed a meagre 20-odd off Dog’s deserved three (YES, 3!) overs. Possibly another first for the Dog. And why? 2 wickets is why. We all gathered at his messiah-like presence as he held his arms aloft with a total look of “I told you so!” as fell at his feet. Don ‘smallgoods’ sent down a couple of handy overs and the Rose were starting to slow… Bowl

    Having only ten players turned out to be a strange blessing as it meant five of our bowlers had to bowl a third over. This resulted in Rev, Cuz, Snipper, Pup and the aforementioned Dog to make up the extra five overs. And what overs. Dog’s 2 wickets, a plethora of dot balls and only a handful of precious boundaries ensued and none of those pesky retirees revisiting the stage saw The Rose end up with 181.

    The batting scorecard looked not unlike one of those horizontal bar charts comparing a disparate array of elements. Such as Quokka email response-rate (some might place me on that top line…) or the variability of Local’s run-up length (it gets shorter with each delivery…).
    In other words, a big triangle.

    Back at the start of this tome I mentioned BBQ issues. The Rose didn’t bring one. There was genuine fear in some players’ hearts but luckily some lateral thinking saw a grand spread of sandwiches (which doesn’t really do them justice) placed before us. 181. Could we do that?

    Cinderella moments come upon us rarely but the romantic notion of sending Big Dog and Pup out to open seemed fitting. That and a good balance of belligerence and scoring ability.

    The Dog continued a spanking game by scoring 22 off 21 and Pup 18 off 12. A solid start and the captain was pleased.

    Snipper arrived at the crease continuing the merriment with 31 retired off 22 cherry-ripes. Small Goods meanwhile noodled out a handy 8. Thus it was my turn and reeling from some liberal feedback from fellow Quokkas the previous game, where I dared score at a meagre run a ball, I felt the need to get the worm pointing north and to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Feeling somewhat redeemed with a 31 off 20, despite an entire over (Tooms again!) of dot balls (the lad can bowl; when he hits the pitch; a rather disconcerting thing to face…).

    ‘Cuz’ meanwhile was diligently ticking along and only conceded two dot balls, ending in a J-Curve finish to his dig with a sequential 4-6-6-1. At the other end JRod was putting on a master class of running singles. No matter how far the ball was hit. The concept of a ‘two’ seemed about as likely as a Demon’s premiership and i may have given some ‘feedback’ whilst chasing Maxy’s lusty hitting on the sidelines.
    Nick, Bowl’en and Radar came and went in a flurry. Cuz’s last gasp had dragged the equation back within reach and with only ten players the Quokkas were back into the retirees. Re-enter Snipper, who added another 12, among which Radar was run-out in the urge to score. I walked back out and faced Tooms again! I managed to ‘Noodle away a run to leg side’ * and got the Snipper back at the business end.

    With 12 off 12 deliveries required it was a tense affair. The vast majority of 2014/15 Quokka matches seem to have been decided in the last over. Great for TV ratings. All we needed was TV coverage. Eliza and her ‘allegedly’ home baked goods would have to suffice…

    With a four and a six dispatched by the Broadie (not-so) wide-boy we now only required one run with seven balls to go.

    I whispered to Snipper that I was equal with Ed on the season’s runs and was keen to vanquish the engineering Hipster in the runs tally.

    Snipper, being a team player promptly dispatched the next delivery for six!

    And not just for six but, with sedition in his eyes, hit the aforementioned six INTO MY VAN!!!

    Such a nice lad with such a nice smile and disposition; Henceforth to be referred to as ‘Keyser Soze’.

    Oh, and we thus-ly won the match. What a great escape in great weather, a great spread and The Rose lads a truly lovely bunch of lads.

    Much merriment ensued, we returned to the Labor in Vain and all was good with the cricketing gods.

    Yours ‘never lost as captain’ Dutchy.

    * Pup, manning the scorebook, generously scored my legside shot as a run off the bat, putting me one run ahead of Ed in the season’s tally, but I must confess it was a leg bye, which makes next week’s return leg against the Ballarat Seymour Lads a showdown of the willow for Gownlows Glory.

  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, March 1 – Fairlea West Oval, Yarra Bend

    Start Time: 1pm

    The Big Picture:

    While 2015 has been one of the busiest summers of cricket, it hasn’t been the kindest of years to The Quokkas; with only 2 wins from 6 games. Those 2 wins haven’t been against pub league rivals either, 1 was a very tight contest against the VBCA and the other a 1-wicket win against the ASRC. With a re-match against Seymours on Lydiard scheduled in for March 15, this game against the Rose will be the penultimate game for the season & (probably) the last chance for a win; not that winning is what the Quokkas are about.

    Seen here; what it's about

    Seen here; what it’s about

    As it stands, the approach for playing for playings sake has never been better represented than with this game as no less than 14 players have confirmed that they are unavailable. 2 new players have had to be called in, as well as new players Jim and Small Goods, and Cunners – who hasn’t been seen since the 2010/11 season.

    In regards to the opposition, the Quokkas haven’t played The Rose since the infamous match in 2012/13. That squad has subsequently moved to a new pub, The Birmingham, so The Quokkas aren’t really sure of what to expect. They are, apparently, mates of Radars, so they must be good blokes.

    Not always happy, but good

    Not always happy, but good

    In all, it’s a bit of a melange and a sign of a team that has played possibly too much cricket.

    Form Guide:

    Quokkas: LWLWLLW

    The Rose: n/a

    In the spotlight:

    Dutchy entered the 2014/15 season slightly behind Ed for career runs scored & a private competition between the two of them for the first to 500 was won by Ed a few weeks ago against the ASRC. Since then, though, the Dutchman has passed 500 and only needs 31 to draw level with Ed. Can the big-hitter go the distance and win the batting award from behind?

    This game also represents the 40th time the Big Dog has strode out for The Quokkas in a YPCA-rules match (doesn’t include VBCA or BDNO games). A great reflection of his commitment to social cricket & a triumph of availability over ability. Well done, the ‘Dog.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    Team News:

    As mentioned, the Quokkas have had to search high and wide to get their XI together, which they have done. It is (at this stage):

    1. Big Dog
    2. Dutchy
    3. Snipper
    4. Ball’en
    5. Rev
    6. Cunners
    7. Nick AW
    8. Jim
    9. J Rod
    10. Pup
    11. Small Goods

    Pitch and Conditions:

    The game is being played at Fairlea West, which is one of the most haunted grounds on earth. Despite it being a mild summer with a lot of rain, the ground at Fairlea West is as hard as cement.

    Artists impression of fielders in the outfield

    Artists impression of fielders in the outfield

    It is expected to be a warm day, so The Quokkas will be chasing in the sun.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • This will be the Big Dogs 40th game for the Quokkas, a well-earned record;
    • J Rod is in incredible form with the bat (23, 30* and 25 in his last 3 knocks) & is now only 12 runs off 200 career runs. This will make him the 10th Quokka to hit the milestone (after Ed, Emu, Dutchy, Rowdy, Big Dog, Curto, Radar, Phantom and Pup);
    • Up until the last game, Snipper had only been out once this season, and that was when Radar ran him out in the first match. As a result, his average sits at a lofty 57.
  • For a cricket club that plays the game for fun and inclusion, a game like the one against the ASRC had previously unknown importance. If ever there was a time to enjoy the game for its own sake, this was it. The importance of enjoyment brought back memories of Dolph Lundgren in ‘Universal Soldier’ with his line: “Are we having fun yet?”.

    And who could forget that?!

    And who could forget that?!

    Lining up at the Kevin Bartlett Recreational Ground, arguably the smallest ground on earth, was only ever going to add to the enjoyment of the day. It was agreed that a score of 200+ would be needed to guarantee the win.

    Oh, how we smiled at the thought of it.

    Working against our smiles, though, was the weather. With the thermostat pushing past 30 by midday and promising plenty more to come, along with the very un-Melbourne humidity levels, spirits moved from ‘high’ to ‘coping’ quickly. The weather had such an adverse impact that many of the ASRCs players decided it was safer to stay indoors. They were right. Still, with plenty of Quokkas and spectators available, two teams were constructed and the ASRC elected to have a bat.  Opening with Subi and Israr, the ASRC lads got off to a good start, particularly against Ed whose off-spinners went for 12 in his first over.

    Needing to put the brakes on a bit, Captain Rev lent on medium-but-accurate bowlers Paz and Chef and was repaid with interest almost immediately, with The Chef serving up a main meal of middle peg destruction. Sensing that there might actually be something to this accurate bowling approach, The Rev then brought on J Rod and Snipper, both of whom got in on the wickets too. Snipper even went on to take the old Richie Benaud figures one step further; 2 overs, 2 runs, 2 wickets and 2 catches! One of the catches was Super-Mario-esque, with Snipper appearing to jump while in the air.

    Artists impression of Snipper

    Artists impression of Snipper

    On the subject of catches, Tuesday was again everywhere, taking 3 for the day including a couple of screamers on the leg side boundary. He has now taken as many career catches as the Big Dog in 33 less games.

    Possibly dizzy from the heat or catches being held, The Rev decided it was time to go for a walk under the sprinklers in the neighbouring Soccer pitch and brought “Bowl’en” Shane on for a while, possibly because he thought the batsmen may hit a few to the middle of the pitch. The thought was almost correct, as “Bowl’en” went on to take 3 wickets off 2 overs, only the 3rd time a Quokka has taken 3 wickets in a game.

    Going into drinks with the score at 8-50 and with spirits lifted by the sprinklers, the Quokkas thought it best to let the ASRC bat 11 batsmen. Note to the patient reader: whenever the Quokkas get cocky, disaster strikes. On this day disaster took the form of the returning batsman Ishrah and super-sub (and birthday boy) The Big Dog.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    The Big Dog made a mockery of the leg-side field that was set for him, often hitting at and through the fielders placed there, particularly The Rev. His deft leaving of Emus lightning bolts outside off stump was a lesson for all young cricketers to follow. The innings was brought to an unexpected end by The Rev bowling off spin (as he had lent his shoes to one of the opposition) and getting one to pop up to Israh who edged it to Gully for ‘keeper Tuesday to run in and catch another screamer in front of Emu.

    The total had now moved to a more daunting 124, though not so daunting that The Rev arrogantly opted to open the batting with his brother. The strategy paid off to a degree, with the siblings both making brisk 5s & allowing their mum to go home and get out of the heat. J Rod arrived at first drop, and was soon joined by Shane, and even sooner by Radar with The Quokkas looking decidedly shaky at 3 for not may at all.  The ASRC were bowling brilliantly in the conditions, with Subi getting miles of inswing from his left armers, as well as solid support (and pace) from Hussain and Ikram. J Rod was the answer to clever bowling though, top edging over his head on at least 4 occasions to hit the boundary directly behind him, as well as punching singles and 2s along the lush outfield to hit his first retirement score (30).

    The retirement of J Rod precipitated another mini-collapse, with Emu and Tuesday registering 1s before being caught out trying to hit out. Emu’s dismissal was a particular highlight, with the large flightless bird being caught on the rope by the birthday boy (what a present!) by the bowling of the long-suffering Kathleen (Eds partner). My memory isn’t very good these days, but I’m pretty sure that’s the second time in 2 seasons that Emu has been dismissed by the fairer sex.

    ahhhh yes....

    ahhhh yes….

    Radar was then joined at the crease by Ed, who obviously likes sleeping on the couch as he hit Kathleens next 2 deliveries for 10 runs. The heat began to pinch again, with Radar losing his na-na and running himself out, bringing Dutchy to the crease.  Surviving an appeal for Leg-Before-St Kilda, Dutchy settled in comfortably and started working the ball around, creeping the score towards the target. A combination of the heat and the birthday boy then saw the end of Ed, who knicked an extra slow delivery to the ‘keeper, allowing Snipper to come in and hit the winning runs with the Dutchman.

    Not that the end result mattered, the game was all about having a go and having some fun. It was great to see the smiling faces of the lads from the ASRC and the Quokkas, showing how beneficial sport can be in welcoming people into the community.

    Thanks must go to Dave Cameron from the ASRC for helping organise the game, Yarra Council for letting us use the field, Prahran and Moorabbin Park Cricket Clubs for donating gear to the ASRC, Pup for umpiring and scoring all day & to everyone who helped out.

  • The Quokkas were greeted by blustery conditions and a narrow pitch at the Fairlea West oval on Sunday.

    Despite Ed’s assurances that going on averages we had 5 guaranteed wickets, we struggled to make an impact early on. The bowlers toiled hard for little reward but kept it tight, and we went to drinks at 0/77.

    Radar broke the drought first over back and from then on the wickets fell consistently, but the runs flowed as well. The wickets were spread evenly with The Chef, Dutchy, Emu and Jim on debut all chipping in. The catches were not so even, Local and Jim were ball magnets with two each and Radar took a sharp chance behind the stumps.  It was good to see Emu focus his “disappointment” at the Pinnacle having two men at square leg while he attempted a catch into a fiery final over of the innings that claimed a wicket and only cost 2 runs. The square leg umpire was also often padded up and holding a bat, but then for some reason didn’t come in next when a wicket fell.

    The Pinnacle ended up with four retirees and 173 runs.

    After early hiccups the run chase was brought back on track by Chef and Local. By the time they walked hand in hand from the field after retiring in the same over, the platform was set. Shane and Jim were batting well, but the bowling was tight and the field was spread so the required run rate got up to 10/over for the last 5. Shane was run out and Canty stumped chasing quick runs. Jim picked up the scoring and ended up with 33 from 22.  The tail went cheaply looking for boundaries and it was left to Big dog and Dutchy to bring us home. The Doggy sensibly got his arse up the other end so Dutch was the man. 10 to win off 3, nice time to hit the first 6 of the innings!

    Then it was deja vu all over again. Just like last week, bat and ball did not meet for the final two deliveries and we came up 4 short.
    dejavu

    Great effort all round boys.  Jim’s only mistake was setting the bar too high. Was great to see Chris Canty and Bowlin’ Shane back out there for the Quokkas too.

    See you all next time,

    Robbo

« Previous Entries   Next Entries »

Recent Comments

  • 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.
  • If the ball is hit behind square, it is the non-strikers cal...