• From Captain Local…

    When I was 17 years old I caught a coach service from Melbourne to Townsville. Somewhere in the never-ending blackness of the third night I had a dream that I was a ghost and that the bus I was on was somehow a tiny fragment of rock which was all that remained of Alderaan; and together we were spinning through the void in a kind of endlessly repeating scream of horror in the second after the Deathstar had blown the entire planet to smithereens.

    Sometimes I remember that dream when Rev bowls an over.

    Thankfully, on a dull day of restless wind and heat-mad flies at Fairfield Oval against the Curtain Hotel, Rev produced the finest spell I have yet seen him bowl, sending down two near-perfect overs of line and length thunderbolts that were – for me – the highlight of the Quokkas fielding effort.

    Yes, the highlight.

    The Curtain, or ‘Beefies’ as they are known (possibly humorously) enjoyed the goodwill of the Quokkas field and set us a target of 190 or something similarly absurd.

    Like Ernest Shackleton rowing – in desperation or madness or both – across the endless bitterness of the Southern Ocean, we began our chase with a determination to achieve against the odds.

    J-Rod opened reluctantly, and yet repaid the faith – or bullying – of his captain by smashing the ball to various points on and over the boundary, often with a casual insouciance that was as surprised as the rest of us to be used in a description of his batting.

    With this laissez-faire flair from the opener came a renewed sense of ambition in the hearts of the Quokkas. Perhaps. Or it may have just been the captain who felt it. Who knows, it may have simply been the lunchtime sausages.Whatever the case, the ambition was for a victory that seemed unlikely an hour earlier when the Quokkas had just dropped their 67th catch of the afternoon.

    However.

    The death of ambition is a quiet cut that lays bare your hollow bones. It comes inevitably on a slow, grey afternoon amid the heat and tiny flies.

    Chef batted with courage and power, and without thought, which is when he bats best. Dutchy scored some inevitable runs. Rev attempted a last-wicket something, and attempted it well.

    Alas. Like the doomed people with no weapons on the peaceful planet that has just come into range of the most powerful weapon the Galaxy has ever known, the Quokkas were never going to end up as anything more than space dust.

    “Fire when ready”

    Congratulations to the Curtain, they played well, and thanks to Big Dog for making the Captains speech in my late absence. I am now 4 from 4 and can only accept that the blame must squarely fall on the playing group’s refusal to adhere to my instructions regarding the Nu-Metal theme. Next time gentlemen, next time.

  • Match Facts:

    December 4, 2016

    Fairfield Cricket Ground

     

    Time:

    1pm

     

    The Big Picture:

    This is the tenthy-second time that the Quokkas have taken on the “Beefys”, or very close to that figure indeed. This preview has gone over historic matches between the two clubs in the past, so I wont revisit that.

     

    The main point is that this game oft-represents all that is good in pub cricket, and all that can be good in this world again.

     

    The Beefies, with or without the Ford Laser, are a great group of lads and the Quokkas always look forward to getting to know the Beef Curtins a bit better, particularly after they are nice and moist after a day in the field.

     

    Form Guide:

    After winning their first game of the season in a thriller, The Quokkas have lost the last two in relatively convincing fashion.

     

    The last loss was against a combined Nerrena squad that featured a young blonde all-rounder about whom Dutchy astutely observed; “he looks like a female Russian tennis player”. Unfortunately for the Quokkas, he grunted as well as he bowled, batted and fielded and was a big part of the difference between the teams.

    Nice shape

    Nice shape too

     

    As good as the Quokkas fielding performance at Nerrena was, the Quokkas still managed to put down a number of catches, something that helps you win…something. Apparently.

     

    In the Spotlight:

    James Gow is a welcome addition to the team after a 12 month absence spent finding inner peace in a dilapidated RnB club in downtown Kilmore. James brings much needed disciplined bowling to the Quokkas, with a career RPO average of 5.67 and a bowling average of 17. For those that are interested, this is much lower than his brothers average of 21.17.

     

    Local gets the Captains Jacket this week (it turns out the Big Dog has been holding on to it for reasons unknown), which is kind-of like giving Donald Trump control of the Worlds largest economy. Very similar in fact.

     

    Local is coming off a great game with the ball (3 overs, 1 for 17) and bat (17 off 7), his batting innings in Nerrena including some of the more outrageous shots ever seen in South Gippsland. It was similar to Captain Kirk exposing the white-skinned people to the Enterprise at the start of “Star Trek: Into Darkness”.

    The Nibirans, responding to the SAULSCOOP

    The Nibirans, responding to the SAULSCOOP

     

    Team News:

    With the greatest recording studio in Melbourne, 400 Acres, having its Christmas party this Sunday, the Quokkas are suddenly short of many of its famously stable 2016/17 squad.

     

    Thankfully, we know others who can actually play and are available.

     

    The XI, at the time of writing, is:

    1. Rev
    2. Bowl’en
    3. Chef
    4. Dutchy (w/k)
    5. J Rod
    6. Big Dog
    7. Tuesday
    8. Jay
    9. Local (c)
    10. James Gow
    11. Nickname AW

     

    Pitch and Conditions

    Formerly a regular ground for the Quokkas, Fairfield Oval has now become the forgotten school friend that you bump into irregularly and promise to catch up with, but never do.

     

    The ground has become a smooth, green carpet since the drainage has been fixed, unless the soccer team has been on it first – in which case it is a cabbage patch.

     

    Its expected to hit a top of 32 degrees on Sunday, which should be great fun to field in first. There is supposed to be a late shower in the day, which may help the team bowling second, which just happens to not be the Quokkas.

     

     

    Stats & Trivia:

    After updating the database at Quokkas HQ to include mixed games, some of the appearances data has changed, so apologies for any confusion here:

    • This match will be Chefs 20th appearance for the Quokkas, the broad-chested legend took out the bowling award in his first season and has 16 YPCA wickets at 15 to prove his (Kiwi) chops. Throw in his 220 runs at 24 and you get to understand the value he brings to the team, without even mentioning the Pinot Gris
    • On the subject of Bowling-award winners, Jay is has sent down 6 overs in the YPCA this season at a cost of 33 runs (5.5 RPO) without luck. He has taken 9 wickets for 151 runs in his career so perhaps he should let the Dog out and go a bit more vertical?
    • With Ed out, Dutchy has the opportunity to extend his lead for all-time runs over Ed, which currently stands at 1. Should he do so, it will probably be via going big, Dutchy scores 60% of his runs from boundaries (40% fours, 20% sixes) as opposed to Eds 48% (33% fours, 15% sixes)
    • Bowl’en was a little hard on himself on hitting 7 last weekend, but it was consistent. His career average in the YPCA is 6.44. The long-limbed, guitar-picken man is a real nurdler, challenging the Rev for runs scored off boundaries (21% v 23%). Neither has hit a six.

     

  • From Captain Local….

    “The only things that are certain in life are death and taxes”, said someone who had obviously not picked up Dennis Rodman’s autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be and experienced the clear insight that this was indeed a book that should be judged by it’s cover and left unread.
    To this list of certain things can be added “catches win matches”.
    Fairlea West is a hard place for a gentle game. You go there without hope, because in a place like this hope gets sucked down to the dirty river along with the rest of the rubbish, and who’s got enough of it to spare? The freeway cuts a canyon behind the ground, the toilet block is locked (whether to keep you out or to keep something worse in) and running water is like human kindness in the rush to secure an overhead locker on the Tiger flight back from Bali – nowehre to be found.
    I heard a story once about this kid who used to wash dishes at a greasy spoon on Smith Street, back when you had to watch out that junkies didn’t steal the spoons, greasy or otherwise. He played in a punk/polka 5-piece called “Zombie Arse” and had some connections with a group of anarchists who ran a popular underground chess night out of a mouldy squat near Victoria Park. This dishwasher punk-rock anarchist kid took some bad acid one night and ran off up to Fairlea West, trying to shake The Fear. There on the narrow, mean strip of concrete that gets called the pitch, The Fear caught up with him. That kid is an old man now, living behind the torn and tattered flywire door of a one-bedroom flat in Thomastown, and his neighbours know to ignore his panicked cries in the night.
    The Quokkas batted first against the Curtain (The Beefies) and with solid contributions from most everyone – Tuesday and Dutchy the retirees – posted a competitive total of 7/174. After an excellent  lunch effort from Radar and Smallgoods on the bbq bike, we returned to the field and held the Beefies tightly until the drinks break. That is not a euphemism.
    However, it may be that The Fear still lurks among the yellowing grass up there at Fairlea, and all it takes is a couple of loose overs, some balls falling into empty space where a fielder should be and a catch or two going through hands for the tables to be turned as if they were specifically designed to do so, perhaps because they have been made for a catering or functions company that requires that capacity in a table.
    Several massive sixes and some traditional Quokka overthrows later and it was handshakes and congratulations all round for The Beefies.
    Nonetheless, it a testament to the Power of Cricket that this game was played in a spirit very much at odds with the brutalist surrounds. I mean, it could be that maybe the surrounds are actually not that brutal. Maybe this report is overstating the influence of the ground on Quokka fielding. Maybe there is in fact no evil malingering influence that lurks at the ground. Who knows – not me, I am not a Ghostbuster. I do know however that –  much like the type of idealised love that Paul Young and Zucchero long for in the sometimes overlooked hit Senza una Donna – when cricket is played as it was here then winning and losing simply become abstract concepts with which to illustrate, rather than define, the game.
  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, November 8

    Ground TBC

    Start Time:

    1pm

    The Big Picture:

    I’m going to just put this out there…the Quokkas love the Beefies.

    One of our longest-standing opponents and a great bunch of blokes to boot, there has been some cracking matches and moments between the two teams, not least the Beefies first-ever Pub league win!

    Other moments of merit from previous Beefy-Quokka encounters include Rowdy’s 87 off 23 balls (not mentioned in Eds book), Revs cover drive off one knee, Chefs 3/18 off 3 and the time Dutchy (while captaining) pleaded with the team for one more wicket – when the game was already won.

    Good times.

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas started the 2015/16 season with an honorable loss, going down to the Royal Derby by 10 runs.

    Given that the Derby’s opening 3 put on 116 runs after 13 overs with the rest putting on 57 in the remaining 12, and the Quokkas had a much more even performance (only 1 retiree & 7 wicket takers).

    It’s a good sign from the boys in Maroon & form that will be needed to battle the high-scoring & hard-drinking “BEEFIES”.

    Little is known about the BEEFIES start to the season, though it almost certainly involved a Ford Laser, a case of Fireball and the girls from the Playboy 2015 Calendar.

    What happens in the Laser, stays in the Laser

    What happens in the Laser, stays in the Laser

    In the spotlight:

    Local is coming off arguably his best performance as a Quokka, with 37 not out, 2 wickets and 2 catches (we won’t mention the drops). In the spirit of reactive field placements, we have made him Captain for this match.

    The quietly conquering Chef clocked up his 10th YPCA match for the Quokkas last weekend, and another wicket in the process. Our Kiwi-import has been smiling from ear-to-ear since the All Blacks won something on the weekend, one can only hope he continues his sleep-deprived & excellent form.

    Team News:

    For the second week in a row, the Quokkas look like they will have a full XI come game day, with the added bonus of a possible 12th man available on the day. Unheard of.

    The availables (at the time of writing) are:

    1. Big Dog
    2. Ed
    3. Dutchy
    4. Local (c)
    5. Tuesday
    6. J Rod
    7. Snipper
    8. Chef
    9. Bowl’en
    10. Jim
    11. Jay
    12. Pup?

    Pitch and Conditions:

    As of 6 days before the match, I still haven’t been told where the game is. Any insights would be really, really great. The good people at the Bureau of Meteorology tell me its going to be at least 27 degrees, so a pleasant afternoon wherever we are.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • Chef played his 10th YPCA game on the weekend & took his 12th wicket in the process. His average of 10 runs per wicket at 5.22 RPO is simply startling
    • This weekends match will be Snippers 10th, the man in new trousers currently has a batting average of 60.33
    • Along with taking a sensational catch last weekend, Dutchy also scored his 600th run for the club (the record). The man in orange has a batting average of 26.09, with 10 not outs, 55 fours and 21 sixes. Don’t ask about his “bowling” (aka. Throwing) average
  • Even for a newcomer to the Pub league it would be clear to see that the Quokkas and the John Curtain have enjoyed a rich and friendly cricketing history. This felt like a match full of the kind of characters that made you enjoy playing junior cricket so much… just older and a little more un-sober… which is all very nice and everything until, like the sizeable Alfred Crescent crowd, you bared witness to the exhilarating cliffhanger which resulted. It was sensational cricket theatre, unlike Shane Warne the Musical, surely to be etched into the memories of players and punters alike for at least, well, until tomorrow.

    Prior to play the Quokkas took to the field in searing heat in a way almost completely un-reminiscent of ducks to a pond for a bit of a “warm up” – but a reappearance from the nimble Pup and a debut from the soft-handed Tinny, who ended the day with 3 outfield catches, ensured the Quokkas continued their epic run of reasonably proficient fielding.

    With play underway the Curtain’s top order curiously took to the Rev’s opening overs (1/9 off 2 overs) like Indian ducks to a pond full of Mitchell Johnston. Solid bowling displays followed from Chef, Cruiser and a very economical Pup before the Curtain’s middle order unleashed some brutal hitting (even by Alfred Crescent standards).

    Wickets from Big Dog and Snipper helped to temporarily stem the flow of runs, but as the heat began to take its toll – forcing the reconfiguration of the outfield to the shaded positions only – the Curtain’s lower order again let loose. Tuesday was taken for three consecutive maximums for an over of 18, and captain Snipper – not to be outdone – was then belted for 19. Thankfully the innings wrapped up with some tidy death bowling from Chef 3/18 and Ed 1/25.

    Chasing 190 for victory the Quokkas batsmen got stuck in with Local, Pup and Chef hitting retirement scores. Big hitting also came from Tuesday and Tinny with quick scoring cameos from Cruiser and Big Dog… but there was drama to come!

    With Radar and the Rev enjoying a leisurely pootle at the crease it came down to the last over with the Quokkas needing 12 to win. The crowd was beginning to get vocal and someone ingeniously decided to tell the batsmen what the score was. That news to Radar was like an intravenous barrel of spinach to a cricketing Popeye. Teeth gritted, veins popping, the first ball of the over was heaved over the offside boundary for six. The second carted through mid-wicket for four and suddenly victory was looming…  but the third ball was mishit and skied upwards. The catch was taken as the batsmen began to cross – but in a moment of brilliance the non-striking Rev began to back-peddle, handing the pressure to the newcomer Ed who, amidst wild scenes from the sidelines, dealt the winning boundary with poetic flare.

    Congratulations to the Quokkas on a nail-biting win to cap off a strong run into 2015 and have a safe and happy Christmas.

    Very Merry Xmas

    Very Merry Xmas

  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, December 21 Pederson Oval, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North

    Start Time: 1pm

    The Big Picture

    The Quokkas last game for 2014 comes amongst a flurry of good tidings and cheer.  Not only are the Quokkas 3 wins from 4 games, but their 1 loss was against far superior opposition & even it wasn’t a blow out. Their last game, against the Marquis, saw them win a very highly skilled match against brilliant opposition.  This has led many to ask; “what have you done with our Quokkas?”.

    The “Beef” Curtin are one of the Maroon armys favourite teams to play, having co-hosted the Small Day Not Out last season & also our opposition to perhaps the greatest Quokka game of all.

    With Christmas just around the corner, this match is sure to contain plenty of festive cheer.

    Form Guide

    Quokkas: WWLW

    John Curtin: n/a

    In the spotlight:

    Since coming into the side this year, Tuesday & Chef started slowly but have put in ever-improving performances with each game.  While Tuesdays fantastic year in the field (6 catches, more than Curto) has had the crowds talking, its his efforts with the bat (scores of 1, 6 and 25) that are really starting to change games.

    Similarly, Chef is starting to build confidence from his bowling performances and is starting to hit runs, and in a hurry too.

    Team News:

    The lost dogs home has called and as a result we have the indefagitable Pup back amongst our numbers.  The left-armer had a break-out summer last summer, and I’m not just talking about pimples.  Finishing second in the B&F only on a countback, Pup (16 career wickets at 13 & 178 runs at 16) is a welcome addition to the team.

    IMG_8574

    He’s baaaaack…..

    Perhaps due to the Christmas rush, the pull outs are a little premature this week.  Rowdy and J Rod have confirmed their unavailability, to be replaced by similar players; Rev and (new boy) Barnesy.

    Quokkas XI (probable):

    1. Snipper (c)
    2. Radar
    3. Big Dog (w/k)
    4. Ed
    5. Local
    6. Rev
    7. Chef
    8. Tuesday
    9. Pup
    10. Cruiser
    11. Barnesy

    Pitch and Conditions:

    The Pederson Oval is the home and heart of Yarra Pub Cricket with its grandiose grandstand and lush, long boundaries. The forecast is for a balmy 28 degrees and with the Quokkas batting second, they should be sure to keep their energy about them in the field.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • This will be Eds 30th appearance for the Quokkas (not counting BDNO or VBCA games), making him only the second player to do so (behind the Big Dog);
    • Locals hot run of form with the bat has seen his batting average this season boom out to over 10 (10.8 to be precise) at a pulsating strike rate of 0.81.  A vast improvement of the average of ~3 that he carried into the season;
    • The Curtins bowlers could be excused for having a double-take at the Quokkas batting averages for this season.  Snipper (62), Radar (45), Emu (68), Ed (48) and Big Dog (50) are all looking like Test candidates on paper, before one considers the YPCA retirement rule;
    • The Quokkas have taken an un-Quokka-like 18 catches already this season, though some of this could be attributed to the lack of attendance by J Rod.  More amazing still is that, even though Curto has been in the form of his life behind the stumps, Tuesday has more catches than him (6 to 5)
  • It was hot and our form coming in to the game wasn’t. So instead of running you through the entire game here’s the highlights
    1 – The red hot form of Cruizer, top score and 2/11 with the wickets being caught at slip and the keeper
    2 – The return of 2011 Robbo both with the ball AND with this comment “that guy with the dreadlocks looked quite sexy when he was lying on the ground (umpiring at square leg)” – no doubt he invited him back for a spa
    3 – Debutante Frosty fielding. Great catch and run-out, unfortunately of 1st balls
    4 – The Mu impersonating Curto by top edging the ball into his face, wedding soon perhaps?
    5 – Shotgun taking a catch, surprising everyone including himself
    6 – The Rev’s bowling – 1/6. Caught Shotgun, bowled Rev – most unlucky dismissal of all time
    7 – My captaincy – twice I moved a fielder and few balls later a catch went straight to them
    8- The food at half time, tacos!
    All this though pales into insignificance with the highlight of the game, possible season in one play….a simple catch was put up at short midwicket off the Rev. The Rev and Canty both go for it, Canty drops it. The striker has run, the non-striker hasn’t, both batsman standing together, Canty 5m away from the stumps…….throw goes over Emu’s head (keeping at the time) who then turns around and throws the gloves on the ground in disgust. Dutchy and Big Dog on the ground in tears in the offside. Welcome to the Quokkas Canty.
    John Curtin – 173 (Cruizer 2/11, Rev 1/6, Emu 1/16, Frosty 1/14)
    Quokkas – 128 (Cruizer 22, Ed 21, Dutchy 15, Dog 13, Emu 0 & 18*)
    A 49 run loss, but there was plenty of free beer and good tunes going at the Curtin
    See you Sunday against the Pinnicle
  • At one win each for the Quokkas and the John Curtin earlier this season this game shaped up to be a thrilling conclusion to an unprecedented tri-series. Actually the real story was that the Rainbow were due to play the Curtin but some inter-club(pub) fallout meant that the Rainbow faded (see what I did there) and left the Curtin with the picturesque Burney Oval booked but no-one to go to the dance with.

     

    What to do in such a situation? Call in your favourite pub cricket team and the only bunch who have so little planned for their weekend that they could rustle up a full 11 just by a few quick emails on a Thursday. Gladys also took the opportunity to blood a few Barbarians and more of the youthful talent of Upper Beaconsfield Cricket Club meaning we had four debutants in Wazza, Brendan, Rory and Matt. This worked out well for the Big Dog as with another Irish person on the team he had some rivalry for player with least natural cricketing talent.

     

    Dutchy was captain for the day so some crazy pitching rotations and the designated hitter were always likely to be the order of the day. Emu turned up sporting a grade one heartstring tear (or something like that) and saving himself for the upcoming Barbarians game. The upside was he filled in the neatest scorebook of the season in the style of an 8 year old girl’s handwriting.

     

    Jimmy and his mates at the Curtin made a staged appearance with a couple making the trip back from a buck’s night down the Peninsula. They certainly looked the worse for wear early on and took the unusual step of sobering up (as opposed to getting drunker) as the game progressed. We invited them to bat first in the customary manner though signs were already good with pre-prepared sandwiches in evidence.

     

    Oh, the cricket, I hear you ask? I can’t really remember much to be honest. Brendan (1-4) and J Rod (2-12) were the standouts while Luke ‘I’m a specialist bowler now’ Curto bowled three tidy overs conceding just ten runs. This could read from any game this season it seems but we took early wickets, we let them back into it and they ended with more than they should have (158ish).

     

    The weather gods obliged as so often this year and the innings break was more akin to a family picnic with our friends from the Curtin. Dutchy managed to fire up the big hitters in the team by opening with the picket fence specialists Curto and Big Dog. In hindsight a masterstroke of captaincy as for once we paced the run chase perfectly.

     

    Curto was first to fall for 10, replaced by his brother, who looked in a hurry and quickly retired undefeated. Young gun Matt made a steady 5 and at drinks we had wickets in hand but were driving Emu apoplectic with the pedestrian scoring rate. The ‘Dog retired next with 33 off 54 balls though it soon became apparent that this has anchored the innings. The Curtin seemed a little disappointed that the Boycott-esque knock had to end as this was clearly keeping them in the game and saving them having to bowl at Rowdy or Gladys.

     

    Wazza added 20 off 10 and Rowdy 26 off 14 before a late order collapse as the game came to the pointy end. Dutchy(1), J Rod(7) and Brendan(2) all departed leaving Radar (6no) and the returning Gladys to close the game out in the last over. Gladys finished with 48no off 14 balls (including 3 x 6s and 5 x 4s) giving the Curtin more nightmares about our batting prowess.

     

    The trip across town to the Labour was voted down in favour of helping the Curtin empty their esky in situ. There were glorious tales of boundaries scored, wickets taken and maiden overs (faced by Big Dog) and how much we looked forward to doing it all again next season.

  • From Captain Radar….

    At first when I was informed of my captaincy debut in our social rematch against The John Curtain (who we always enjoy a good fair game against) I thought I was off the hook in terms of pressure to win. Little did I realise that this game was set up for one reason: To win back Rev’s hat.

    In the lead up to the game I was given a couple of ‘thoughts’ on what the batting order might look like. So like any good leader there was always someone else pulling the strings. I did enjoy some of Rev’s notes as to the qualities of individual batsmen in the Quokkas line up though… Dutchy – Jayasuriya style (I thought Jayasuria often got past 18?), Pup and myself – Calm clean strikers (Both of whom started a collapse on this day playing wild shots outside off trying to break the shackles after a great platform was set), Rowdy (Best bat in the team… I’ll come to that in a moment) and Rev himself – Hit or miss (Aren’t they the only two options in pub cricket? I mean only Phantom is game enough to either pad away or leave in this league).

    Right, so the game. Rev said Rowdy was the best bat in the team, but I think rowdy was out to prove he was the best bat in the history of pub cricket. After Gladys and Dutchy made a very solid start with Dutchy going for 18, Rowdy came in and proceeded to hit his first 4 balls for 6,6,6 and 4. This was pretty much how his innings continued eventually retiring for 42 off 11. All the while Gladys was taking his time to make 35 off 16. The middle order, including myself really played our role perfectly today making sure we didn’t hang around too long with relatively modest innings before the lower order got to come in and take control of the innings again.

    Alex started off slow but once a top edge found his bat then his eye all bets were off, on his way to 37 off 26. But a black eye would leave him wondering how his strike rate would be looking in other parts of his life for the following week. Emu also made a typical 39 off twenty after being dropped down the order to manage his workload as a bowling all rounder.

    Bad boy and Rev occupied the crease for a while and one of the most important moments of the season came during Rev’s innings – He hit a cover drive for four! But then it was time for the fire works to begin again. Eventually after Bad Boy‘s dismissal it was time for Rowdy to to return and if you though his start last time was impressive how about going step further with 6,6,6,6. This on the way to 45 off 12. Combining his two stints at the crease Rowdy made 87 off 23 (has to be one of the highest scores in pub cricket yet??). With the Quokkas totalling 6 for 264.

    The heat started to get a bit serious when we went out to bowl and I was wondering whether with that total we could have just given them a t-ball set and gone to the pub, but alas in pub cricket spirit we gave bowling a shot. My memory is hazy of this innings as for a good chunk of it I was suffering quietly in the shade while I dealt with too many late nights in a row in preparation for the game but ill give it a crack.

    We started well keeping runs to a minimum whilst taking a few wickets. Alex struck with his second over and Curto with his first before being strategically dragged from the attack. I took one wicket and celebrated very early once I realised it was Rowdy fielding in slips and not myself.

    After drinks I think the heat got to us and the pressure loosened a little. The intensity we had begun with was hard to maintain for the whole innings and it saw a couple of The Curtain’s batsmen retire. Even still, we managed to keep enough pressure on for them to never really threaten for the win. The Curtain ended up going for 200-odd.

    So in the end the day was Rowdy’s supported by some great performances which on any other day would have been absolute stand outs. The Curtain were as gracious as ever and took a couple of absolute screamers in amongst all the big hitting. A happy Christmas game was had by all (Quokkas) and most importantly… Rev got his hat back!

  • Labour in Vain Quokkas Vs The John Curtin 21st October 2012

     

    In the tradition of global sporting powers, such as Liverpool, the Quokkas warmed up for the oncoming season with a brand-expanding overseas tour &, much like the Reds, underperformed, on the field anyway.
    So to the somewhat unfamiliar, wind-swept fields of Clifton Hill & the winless, after four long years of competition, John Curtin.
    Brutal scheduling seemed to be our strongest opponent, two games in a week looking to sorely test us, but the boys were up & about, with Curto hungover as buggery & El Capitan continuing the bizarro injuries of last season but pulling a quad doing nothing more vigorous than running a bar then the morning of the match straining my groin by the severe action of waking up. It’s the ungodly 11am starts I tells ya.
    Following tradition, the home side batted first allowing the Quokkas to build on a mounting reputation as a “team of bowlers”. This is attributed to the Royal Oak however it may be referencing our batting ability more than our bowling.
    Wiley captain that I am, I chose to open the bowling with our best (only?) batsman & a young fella who’s more confident plying his trade behind the stumps, & of course it worked a treat with Emu (1-8) & Pup (0-3) keeping it tight over their first 2 overs each, with a breakthrough for good measure. This was a surprisingly consistent theme running through the entire innings as each bowling pair kept picking up the odd wicket with overall controlled bowling with the requisite bit of rubbish thrown in to lull the opposition into rash shots. Off a highly reduced run-up, I managed my now standard 1-15, with a clean bowled & a couple of enticing leg side pies thrown in for good measure. The standouts were Radar bamboozling the batsmen with an over of spin then an over of zippy mediums, claiming a wicket in each, & the stroke of captaincy genius of bringing Gimme Ed back into the attack to cries from Rev of “you’re bloody shitting me,” Ed coolly responding with 2 wickets. A shrewd “spinner”, his main wrecking ball tends to be the “one that goes on straight”. And Damo, thanks for coming down mate…I liked your shirt. Let’s not focus on the ring-in Charlie too much, needless to say his vigour in the field & pace & accuracy bowling inspired/put us to shame & was greatly appreciated. With Kermit the Frog conducting, Radar & I kept up our Muppet show in the field, him in the air, I on the ground, generally sprawled scrambling for the ball.
    After only one strategic retirement, & Curto passing the gloves to Charlie for a couple of cheeky overs & a wicket to boot, we had the Curtin back in the Pav for 131, confidence brimming.
    Mr 97.5 took up where he left off last year, but thankfully that was the day before when he was bowled for a golden duck. The big positive for the day was an opening partnership of balance, solidity & contrasting styles with Emu smashing everything he could, including a ball two feet outside off stump, with the wind to the leg side boundary & Cupsy playing anchoring role playing proper cricket shots & everything. I was describing him as the Boycott, no outlandish shots, defence of a rock, when he then went the tonk & holed out to mid on for 17. An opening stand of 1-49, 1-74 at drinks & looking good. I continued mozzing everything I could by remarking to Beth in a confident tone that “if we don’t win this from here then we aren’t much of a cricket side.” A reasonably accurate assessment in the end.
    A somnambulating decent into the middle order quagmire sucked the life right out of the innings, with us making only 24 runs from overs 9 to 16. As the prospect of a scandalous loss suddenly dawned on us, shirt-collars tightened, fists clenched & unclenched & mouths dried up along with the flow of runs. Pup was middling everything but often straight to fielders & the vociferous Curto’s “twos, we need more bloody twos” went unheeded until he himself added some much needed urgency. As solid starts were turned into delivery-sapping single-digit disappointments, the tactics turned. Rev’s inspired “get out quick, get Emu back in” managed to run everyone out around him before his plan finally fell into place. With my quad muscle near torn off the bone from some chases in the field, when the time came for a Captain’s knock of real guts, determination & verve, I was ready & hobbled to the crease from my sheltered position of number 10. Unfortunately, I’m not a batsman’s a***hole & after a couple of truly tortuous twos, I’d knicked one & Emu was back in needing a miraculous 13 off 4 balls. It was too much for the big man & we succombed ten runs short, handing the Curtin their first victory in their 4 years in the comp. To see them celebrate as wildly as any team in the comp ever has, & with them being champion blokes to boot, softened the blow a bit, but geez that one was tough to swallow.
    History-makers, that’s what we are & I’d never had any doubts about the fact.
    John Curtain – 131 (Radar 2-15, Ed 2-17, Emu 1-7)
    Quokkas – 121 (Emu 37, Cupsy 17, Jarrod 10, Curto 10)
    Now can I resign in a flood of Kim Hughes-like tears?
    Morty

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