From Captain Jay…O dim delicious heaven of dreams-The land of boyhood’s dewey glow-Again I hear your torrent streamsThrough purple gorge and valley flow,Whilst fresh the mountian breezes blow.Above the air smites sharp and clear-The silent lucid spring it chillsBut underneath, move warm amidstThe 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.. 3/91Post 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 – 5/166F.O.W – Possibly tells the story best;1/1, 2/33, 3/37, 4/150, 5/161Fielding/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 17/7Radar 10/10Shano then tried to steady the ship for an over but was eventually caught – Bowlin 6/12After 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 4/90Jay 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 17/7Radar 10/10Bowlin 6/12Tuesday 25 / 31Jay 16/22Dutchy 8/9Alex 5/7Cat 3/14Nick 3/6Ed 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
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….
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.
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
December 4, 2016
Fairfield Cricket Ground
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.
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.
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”.
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:
- Dutchy (w/k)
- J Rod
- Big Dog
- Local (c)
- James Gow
- 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.
Match Preview: Quokkas CC v Quokkas CC
Sunday, March 6
Alphington Park, Parkview Road
The Big Picture:
The Quokkas CC was started on a whim but has continued with a substantial dose of fortune.
It was in 2003 when the Rev, working at a Private Equity firm in London was wondering how he’d fill his day, saw an ad for an indoor cricket league on the newly popular “internets”.
Emailing an English friend, they quickly decided to enter a team, with neither players nor a name. A recently published article on attacks to the worlds least threatening marsupials, Quokkas, provided inspiration for the name while desperate calls and emails brought in the players.
The Quokkas spent 2 years in the indoor league without managing to trouble the “win” column too often, eventually taking out a league award for turning up.
Taking the hint, the Quokkas soon started organising outdoor games against Village sides and tour matches throughout Europe, always striving to find someone worse than them. The endless search goes on.
Moving back to Australia in 2009, the Rev started up the team again in the Yarra Pub Cricket Association, from which it has moved on to playing regular tour and charity games.
One of the first players to sign up to the Quokkas in Australia was the Big Dog, his name derived in the Arabic sense, being that it was in relation to the name of his eldest son; Pup.
This game was originally organised to mark the Big Dogs 50th game for the Quokkas, but a countback has revealed he has already played 55 games.
Oddly, though, this WILL be the 50th game for 2 other Quokkas stalwarts, Ed and Dutchy.
The game will be played between past and current Quokkas and see the return of such luminaries as Bad Boy and Lonely.
Perhaps most importantly, it guarantees that a Quokka team will win the game. Not that that has ever been the point.
The current Quokkas are coming off 2 wins in a row in the YPCA, which is unprecedented in recent times.
In the spotlight:
After starting the week with 28 available to fill up the 2 teams, the night before the game sees only 23 available, so anything could happen before 10am.
That being said, the night before also sees The Rev settling in to watch another episode of ‘If you are the one’, so there are definitely bigger problems in the world.
The available list, for each team, at the time of writing is:
- Big Dog
- Pup (c)
- Bad Boy
- J Rod
- Phantom (c)
- Nickname AW
Pitch and Conditions:
The match is to be played at the wondrous Alphington Park, with grass so lush that you just want to spill a catch on it so you can sprawl for a while. That’s my excuse.
Stats and Trivia:
- 66 players have turned out for the Quokkas since 2009, with each player playing an average of 9.4 games
- The average Quokka bats in 8.3 innings, with an average high score of 20.4
- The average Quokka has taken 5.5 wickets at the cost of 125 runs & has taken an average of 3.4 catches
- Of the 66 Quokkas to have played for the Quokkas in YPCA-rules games, Big Dog has played 45, with 39 innings, 405 runs (10 not out), with an average of 13.97 and a high score of 35
- The Big Dog has also taken 27 wickets for 660 runs at 24.44, or 9.71 runs per over, with 11 catches and 1 run-out
- For the party boys, Ed has 675 runs at 29.35 and Dutchy has 686 at 28.58
- Ed has 57 fours and 16 sixes, Dutchy 68 fours and 22 sixes
- Ed has bowled 94.1 overs for 34 wickets at 16.29 and 5.89 runs per over, Dutchy has bowled 80 overs for 13 wickets at 45.69 at 7.43 runs per over
From Captain Jay…It was with high hopes that the Q.C.C arrived at Alphington Park last Sunday for the final Yarra Pub League match of season 2015/16.This Captain’s quick pre game assessment of team morale was a solid 7/10. A definitive seasonal high. Q.C.C members were spotted stretching, walking fast, tossing balls, inspecting the pitch, in the nets and at the ground early.This was, of course a big day for the hungry Quokkas. Coming off the back of the 2nd win of the season against the Rainbow Hotel, Q.C.C was in the hunt for a double and the Terminus could be just the blokes to satiate the Quokkas appetite.A quick conversation with the Terminus revealed a squad with a total of just 19 hours sleep between the first 11 with an average of 11 stubbies consumed the night before.While morale was high, there were significant doubts that two in a row was possible. Last week Mike McDermott, a resident of Oxford in the UK won the lottery for the 2nd time in a year with the exact same numbers. According to the Daily Mail, the odds of the same six lottery numbers coming up at random again are 5,400,000,000,000 to one, or 2,330,636 squared. The Rev assured this captain that the Quokkas odds of winning the two in a row were in the same region of probability.It was with this weight and responsibility that two of the clubs elder statesman strode to the middle to face an impatient (keen to get back to bed) Terminus attack.Big Dog and Dutchy put on a solid opening stand with Dutchy retiring on 40 odd and Big Dog hitting out for 11. A fine opening partnership. Seeing off the new ball and setting up the middle order to pile on the runs.Snipper, back for his first match in a while went for 13 of 15 balls.Then came the middle order.. and what a middle order. Alex leading the way and pushing forward the run rate right up where she needed to be. Alex (ret 34), Curto (ret 30), Tuesday (30), Jay (25 n/o) and J Rod (8) piling on 127 runs in 70 odd balls. (all batters with S/Rate of over 1.6)The ever generous Nick AW and Local bowing out for 1 and 1 respectively.Ed, inspired by thrilling middle order batting and in at number 11, put on 19 runs off 9 balls (S/Rate 2.11)Quokkas finally had a total that leg side bowling and dropped catches could (maybe) defend.. 7/229Earlier in the day the cones were strategically placed real deep to protect our leg side. Which for the most part (save Ed and Revs final overs) worked to our advantage.Tuesday and J Rod opened up the bowling from the Heidelberg Rd end. Tuesday, overlooked as an opening bowler for most of the season relished the opportunity with the new ball. 2 overs 1/7.Tuesday’s solid line and length set a difficult precedent for the remaining 10 bowlers to follow.J Rod, under an injury cloud, worked away and kept the pressure on – 2 overs 0/6. The first 4 overs going for 1/13 runs (a run rate of 3.25). This was proper cricket.The Quokkas of old started creeping back in at around the 5 over mark. Dutchy cowering under a skied top edge at an expertly placed gully. Nick and Curto colliding under a catch at fine leg.Tuesday and Snipper dropping deep field catches. Almost unheard of..The fix was in?Dutchy, Nick AW, Ed and Rev bowling really tight (first) spells. Terminus, down a few wickets decided to finally install some batsman at the crease and they quickly lifted the run rate before drinks (12 over mark)3/60 at the break. Not bad. It was only uphill from here..It was time to turn the screws. Jay and Snipper put on a pace attack after the break. Jay being hit for 6 off the first ball back from drinks.Was this the beginning of the end?What had the Terminus been drinking?Had the Terminus’s hang over subsided?Jay and Snipper straightened up the attack with 4 overs of solid line and length, a few dots balls even. It was time to bring on the newly reformed (Aria Award Winner) Alex Gow. Recently turning to leg spin. Sighting the obvious advantage of having less of a chance of being charged for manslaughter than when he bowls short pitched/headhunting pace.Alex’s first leg spin wicket has been compared to Warnie’s first Test ball on English soil.Bowling the batsman round the legs, from outside leg to take out the top of off. The umpire was confused. A few dropped catches later, and a staggering total of 76 runs coming off just 5 overs courtesy of – Curto (1/18), Big Dog (0/21), Rev (1/39) and Ed (2/23).A nervous captain retired to the deep outfield (in the shade) counting down the overs. “You can only put the cones out so far” – his internal mantra.Terminus 9/177! Quokkas win 2nd match in a row.Special mentions:Dutchy – 2 short of a 50. Solid batting.Rev – 4 dropped catches / 1 taken (off his own bowling)J Rod – Dropping a catch off his own bowling and dropping his guts at the same time (causing fits of laughter from the batsman)Curto – Good match back, solid form with the bat and the gloves, good luck with the twins!Nick AW – Great bowling, great fielding, good bloke. Endearing comments at every change of end.
From Captain Ed…
The sun was shining and while we were missing a few of the Quokkas A-listers in Snipper, Dog and Chef, a find of L7’s Bricks are Heavy Album on Cassette in the shed Sunday morning had feeling it was going to be a good day.
The Rainbow batted first and the Jay/Dutchy opening partnership yielded 2 wickets, Jay doing all the yielding. James (Alex’s brother) bowled first change on debut and learnt that bowling line and length leads to nothing but dropped catches at slip. Rev was the other first change bowler and started his spell with a few wides……
Rev completed his 16 ball over and I had to drag him as a second over would have resulted in dehydration of the fielders waiting for the drinks break. Rainbow only 66 at drinks. I mentioned to Local on the walk back out that they key was getting through the period where we tend to drift and concede a few runs….that key was still under the mat. The rainbow got to 171 with the highlights of the second set of overs being Alex bowling leggies and landing them, Radars two stumpings and the captain being questioned about his third over by two veteran quokkas after an unlucky 2nd over went for a few.
The half time feast was amazing, 4 types of meat, fish and salads to challenge the Dogs culinary skills.
The batting order was drawn from a hat and after dismissing Dutchies protest that 11 was actually roman numerals for 2, Local and Radar got us off to a flyer, 40 off four overs before Radar was caught hookin’ which he walked off sookin’ and kind of disappointed lookin’. Local retired for a dashing 32, Rainsey 15 (all to backward square), Jay 30 odd, Shane 30 less, Me, a Captains knock 0f 35, Tuesday hit the winning runs and we were home with an over to spare.
Went back to the Rainbow anyway for a few beers, questions on the necessity of the length of Jay’s run up, discussions on what Alex sleeps in when his favorite shorts are elsewhere and queried the selection process for the captain of mixed team 2.
And that’s about all. There was something else, but its slips my mind….Oh yeah, that’s it… ENTER THE REVEREND!!!!!! 26 not out, 32 balls, 5 off drives, highest pub league score, guiding us home for Victory. Yes it happened and we were there.
Sunday, February 14
Ramsden Street Oval, Clifton Hill
The Big Picture:
This will be the Quokkas first Pub League game for 2016, discounting the Big Day Not Out, and one that they hope will start better than 2015 ended (1 win from 4 Pub League games).
This is the first time the Quokkas have played this incarnation of the Rainbow Hotel, the last time was c.2010 before the last incarnation went on to being Sentido fUnf (then the Fitzroy Beer Garden, then The Marquis of Lorne).
Here’s hoping the new mob are as uncompetitive at cricket as the old mob were good at moving pubs / bars / wine bars.
The Quokkas have only won the one game this season, against the Old Bar, which was highly reliant on the big hitting of Chef (44 off 14) and J Rod (41 off 24).
Of course neither is available for this game, which leaves more of a crater than a hole in the run-scoring department.
That being said, the Quokkas did bowl and field in their last showing (at the BDNO), bowling out the Standard in 10 overs. Shame they couldn’t chase the runs.
In the Spotlight:
Tuesday is in sparkling form this season, averaging 86 with the bat in the Pub League, as well as scoring a handy 59 against the Vic Deaf team before I ran him out. You’re welcome.
Jay and Local can expect a good go with the new ball on Sunday, combining for 7 wickets for 144 runs. This might not sound world beating, but you have to remember that many of their deliveries are just too good for the batsmen to hit.
Snipper was an early withdrawal from this game due to a bad case of ‘somethingbettertodo’.
Thankfully Alex’s brother John has slipped straight in, bringing some handy seam bowling as well as a touch of the Steve Henty’s. That is, better looking than his brother and more loved by his parents.
The XI at the time of writing and in no particular order is:
- Ed (c)
- John Gow
- Nick AW
Pitch and Conditions:
This is the Quokkas first venture back to Ramsden Street Oval since the first game of this season, a narrow loss to BDNO winners The Royal Oak.
A ground with potentially long boundaries, depending on where you lay the witches hats, as well as the calming sounds of cars rushing along the Eastern Freeway.
The new practice nets at the ground, described by some as the best in the Southern Hemisphere, provide tricky complications in regards to making excuses not to warm up. Well, for those inexperienced at making excuses anyway.
The ground is also the site of where one of my deliveries was once hit into a light tower, which was a little like that scene in ‘The Natural’, but without Robert Redford or baseball.
Stats and Trivia:
- You should know by now that I’m making up 67% of these and sometimes 81%, or 23%
- Dutchy has now hit 22 career YPCA 6’s, the equal most of all time (with Rowdy), this game offers his opportunity to take the lead
- This will be Radars 25th YPCA game for the Quokkas, the inked-up all-rounder (bats, bowls, keeps) has scored 284 runs at 14.95 (top score of 37) and 11 wickets at 24.64
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.
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.
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.
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
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”.
Thanks very much for the VDCA for the game, as well as Fitzroy Doncaster CC for being such great hosts.
Big Dog, Dutchy, Ed, Local, Nerrena CC, Post Match Report, Tour Report, Victorian Quokkas No Comments
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.
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”.
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