• Match Facts:

    Alphington Park, Vere Street, Alphington

    January 14, 2018

     

    Start Time:

    1pm

     

    The Big Picture:

    A very happy new year to all. With a new year comes new hopes and, inevitably, failed resolutions. And so it is with The Quokkas, who managed to win 3 of their 5 games at the end of 2017 and so go into 2018 with a new – perhaps temporary – confidence.

     

    The Quokkas ended 2017 in hitherto unknown form; holding catches, scoring (lots of) runs and taking wickets. Much like working on the Death Star, it was pretty fun at the time but you definitely got the feeling it wouldn’t end well.

    Artists impression of The Quokkas intuition

    Artists impression of The Quokkas intuition

     

    The Royston are something of an unknown entity as the Quokkas have never played them before. That means little for The Quokkas as they get beaten by unknowns, as well as knowns, regularly.

     

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas have already started 2018 with an impromptu game against the VBCA to assist them with some practice ahead of the All Abilities Carnival. The game was a loss for the Quokkas, but that is hardly the point.

     

    A scan of The Quokkas results from this looks more like morse code than anything else:

    Quokkas: WWLLWL

     

    In the Spotlight:

    It’s been a long-time coming, but the co-founder of the Quokkas; Skip, will be making his debut for the Australian team this weekend.

    Yes, I could have found a better picture

    Yes, I could have found a better picture

     

    Originally flown over for back up for Ben Stokes, the Skipper has been released by the ECB as it seems the role of drunken larrikin has already been filled within the team. Also, he couldn’t punch his way out of a wet paper bag.

     

    Not sighted by the Aussie Quokka lads since his majestic Century at Galles Test Ground (that’s right), we are all looking forward to a big knock from Skip here.

     

    Team News:

    The ebbs and fortunes of team selection continue this week as we don’t have 14 available at the start of the week, which could be dicey as all the ‘reserve’ players have all ended up going into the starting 11 by game day so far this season.

     

    The XI at the time of writing is:

    1. Skip
    2. Jay
    3. Chef
    4. Ed
    5. Dutchy
    6. Big Dog
    7. Alex
    8. Monty
    9. VP
    10. Local
    11. Radar (c)
    12. Rev

     

    Pitch and Conditions:

    Alphington Park is a Quokka favorite. Seemingly permanently soft, flat and green outfields, a picturesque white pavilion and a car park almost a safe distance from the middle (thanks Dutchy for “adjusting” my Subaru).

     

    We are expecting an English Summers day on Sunday; a few clouds and a top of 23, so it should be a cracker.

     

    Stats and Trivia:

    • This will be Eds 50th YPCA match, the bearded one is quite the Quokka legend with 846 career YPCA runs (at 32.54) and 39 YPCA wickets (at 18.69) – congrats Eddie;
    • Jay in on track to be the most run out player this season, here’s wishing him slow heels for Sunday;
    • The Big Chef missed out on a bat in his last game so is still 11 runs off getting to 250 YPCA runs for The Quokkas, here’s hoping the big kiwi can get the job done quickly;
    • This seasons leading wicket-taker race is currently a non-sexy 4-way between Big Dog, Dutchy, Jay and the VP – will this match see the winner scream to the front like Usain Bolt, or watch the others fall over in front of him like Steven Bradbury?
    Yes, I could have found a better picture

    Not Steven Bradbury or Usain Bolt

     

     

     

     

  • Man alive I hate the commentary team on Channel 9.

    In terms of undermining what there is to love about cricket – even in this day and age – this is a group of (exclusively) men who never fail to relentlessly suck the joy out of all that I still think I hold dear.

    This is mostly because
    A) Michael Slater
    B) Michael Vaughan

    And

    C-Z) Warnie

    Seriously. Fuck Warnie.

    On a Sunday, at some distance past, the Quokkas ( o noble brethren ) played the Dan O’Connell Hotel ( the hated ).

    Leaving aside the fact of 11 Quokkas taking on roughly 267 Dans, this was an even contest played in some kind of spirit.

    The Quokkas fielded first, and with impeccability. Skill, enthusiasm and a willingness to continue being positive in the face of the Dan racking up sixes as if they were available team members.

    In terms of cohesiveness, this was a performance in the field that I feel privileged to have witnessed and been a part of. Thank you Quokkas.

    Ed bowled people out, Jay and Snip got just desserts, catches held and Dutchy took two in two (and then didn’t get another bowl. Why should he, I say…).

    Also, Gaz got a few laughs out of Roleys debilitating back injury

    Also, Gaz got a few laughs out of Roleys debilitating back injury

    The Quokkas were left chasing a total that would have been respectable at the 1987 World Cup and we tried hard.

    The thing about hope is that it is invariably crushed beneath the inexorable advance of reality. And so it was with the Quokkas  chase.

    Credit must go to Snipper and Dutchy for their efforts, particularly Dutch. He scored an absurd amount of runs. Closer to 100 than 30.

    (Which is, coincidentally, the same number of fielders made available by their opponents.)

    The Dan won, in the end. And comfortably.

    But ask yourself – did they really WIN?

  • Battling a 140km+ howling gale QCC strode on to the Fairfield ground for this the first pub league match of summer ’17/18.

    Old foes the Terminus Hotel rocked up a few minutes before the scheduled start time, set up a barbie, grabbed a beer and reclined to watch the show.

    Meanwhile, the powerful Quokka attack is put through its “paces.” So many choices, so many great (or formerly thought to show promise of greatness) bowlers. After I assured almost everyone at the club that they might open the bowling, in the end, there was only really one clear option – the stocky Kiwi Swing Machine, Chef in tandem with the pinpoint accuracy of James “Frothy” Gow.

    Not the start we were after; The first 4 overs going for 6/15/10/12.

    To the bowlers’ credit, good balls were being dispatched left right and center from what was the Termo’s designated batter/s. Chef supported his opening counterpart by dropping two difficult catches in quick succession in “Frothy’s” second over, all adding up to a what could only be described as an a-typical QCC shit show.

    Radar and Monty into the attack, the retirement of the designated batters, and a general lift in the field saw QCC slow the bleeding before the break.

    A sustained attacked of quality medium pace from Rev, Snipper, and Jay (Me) held the home side to 1/90 off the opening 12 overs. Rev snaring the only wicket of the opening session through a confidence building catch from the little Kiwi legend – Chef.

    After the break Ed, Dutchy, Pup, Roley (on debut), Gaz all contributing to what has to be said was some very tight second session bowling.

    Some excellent wickets coming from Dutchy, Ed, and Roley at critical moments. The Quokkas applied some solid pressure (resulting in 2 run outs) and pulled up the Termo to an innings ending 7/170.

    Lunch was just fantastic.

    Snags and Chicken, few dogs around. Some reggae (some 10CC).

    QCC feeling quietly confident.

    Snipper and Ed were sent out to the crease to open the Quokka account. Snipper went to town, scoring 32 off 15 balls. Ed, playing a masterful opening slot with 33 off 25 balls. Monty and Gaz both doing a great Job at 3 and 4, before both being run out (Sorry Monty). Jay (me) smashing 36 off 20, and Rev coming in to hit 29 not out off 25 balls saw QCC take what felt like an inevitable victory at Fairfield, which to be fair, is a field.

    Great keeping all day from Dutchy and Radar!

    Impressive bowling and sweet times from the new teammates Roley, Gaz & Monty (formerly Burner).

    Perfect start to the pub season.

    Strong boys. Very Strong.

  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, October 29

    Fairfield Oval, Fairfield

     

    Time:

    1:30pm start

     

    The Big Picture:

    This is the first YPCA match for the Quokkas this season, after hosting (and winning) their season opener against the touring Launceston Pub League All Stars last week.

     

    The Quokkas opened their last season against The Terminus in a game that they won in freezing conditions, courtesy of Snipper hitting a 6 off the last ball of the game.

    Wild celebrations followed

    Wild celebrations followed

    The Terminus always play the game in the right spirit(s) and the Quokkas are very much looking forward to this ‘contest’.

     

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas are coming into this game having won their last match, so are (statistically) likely not to win it…or any other games this season.

     

    That being said, the incumbent men in maroon seem to do much better off the pitch (recruiting new players) than on it, with new Quokkas Stewart, Gaz and Robbie (aka. Burner) all impressing on debut.

     

    Jay, Captain for this game, has a swag of bowling options available to him and some of them are even decent.

     

    The Terminus are hosting this game, so Jay will have the ability early to emulate a 19th century textile factory owner, and test out his seamers.

    Jay, overseeing the team

    Jay, overseeing the team

     

    In the Spotlight:

    After losing the highest wicket taker mantle to the Big Dog last week, Ed has the chance to reclaim it while the Dog is uncharacteristically absent; geocaching on the Nullarbor.

     

    Ed has cost the Quokkas the devils number (666) in runs conceded but has taken 36 wickets at 18.5 and only costing 6.27 runs per over. The Captain may do well to open with his economical breaks. Some would argue they are economical as they don’t break.

     

    On the subject of economical bowling, Radar shook the very ground he walked on last week, taking 1/1 off 2 overs and retired hitting his 30 off as many balls. One suspects a new child and no sleep could be helping him along here.

     

    Team News:

    Its all cheers and guffaws at QCCHQ this week, as the team pats itself on the back after getting the annual win, so plenty have already signed up for the next game.

     

    This may well change by Sunday morning, but the XI (at the time of writing) is:

    1. Jay (c)
    2. James Gow
    3. Snipper
    4. Radar
    5. Chef
    6. Gaz
    7. Roley
    8. Burner
    9. Rev
    10. Dutchy (w/k)
    11. Ed

     

    Pitch and Conditions:

    Fairfield Oval is sentimental favourite of the Quokkas, with several highlights of seasons gone by occurring there, including the time that Ed ran out of the toilets to wave his little master around.

     

    The ground is in pretty good condition since the new drainage facilities were installed by the council, though the junior soccer program that ran there over the summer has ensured it meets Quokka ground standards. For those wanting to know more about Quokka ground standards, simply Google “cabbage patch”. Or Ask Jeeves, whatever.

    So many options

    So many options

     

    We are expecting a sunny day with a top of 29 on Sunday, so quite different to last years match & something that may impact our ageing lists ability to make it through the afternoon awake.

     

    Stats and Trivia

    • Snipper made his debut against the Terminus and has a batting average to match his appearance order (52)
    • The Big Chef is only 11 runs off 250 career runs for the Quokkas and averages 23.9 per game, so should get there in the first over he faces

     

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

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

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

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

    Quokkas 4/178 win with 11 balls to spare.

    Bring on the Terminus

  • From Captain Ed…

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

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

    Case – Quokkas versus The Rose Hotel

    The Bowling:

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

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

    3 – Nick built himself a shanty town at backward point

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

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

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

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

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

    7 – Quokkas held 7 catches!

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

    The Batting

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, December 18th

    Alphington Park, Alphington

     

    Time:

    1pm

     

    The Big Picture:

    This is the last game for the Quokkas in 2016, which has been a massive year for the club, with games in Nerrena, Colombo and Galle (also known as Crickets “Big Three”).

     

    I’ve always been confused by the expression “results haven’t gone their way” as the result is not a determinant, its an outcome. If you change the determinant (e.g. the outcome of the game) then the result will automatically change. Its got no impact at all.

     

    Anyway, the results haven’t gone the way of The Quokkas so well in the last half of 2016, with one win and three losses. They would certainly like to go into Christmas with one more win under their belts (another expression I’m not a fan of).

     

    Interestingly, the last time The Quokkas played The Rose at this very ground the game produced one or two contentious moments, some of which have been recorded in print.

     

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas have had little trouble in scoring runs this season, with 454 runs being scored at a strike rate of 1.12, which is normally a competitive total in the YPCA. The main issue has been around taking wickets, we have only taken 18 + 4 run outs / stumpings, meaning each wicket costs 28.72 runs.

     

    The main issue here is catching. The Quokkas put down at least 7 chances in the last game, including 1 drop per over for the first 4 overs after drinks. Some may suggest less in the way of drinks, but they can get stuffed.

    Artists impression of the Quokkas in the field

    Artists impression of the Quokkas in the field

     

    In the Spotlight:

    Snipper returns for his second game of the year, which could be another reason why The Quokkas have struggled so much; he scored 33 runs (including the winning 6), took 3/8 and held a screamer in his only appearance this season. Not that there is any pressure on him or anything…

     

    The other man from 400 Acres, Radar, returns to us this week, offering a mix of pace bowling, big hitting and even wicket-keeping if required.

     

    Team News:

    The nearly-hero from the last time we played The Rose at Alphington, Ed, returns to this squad this week and slots quite loosely into the fragrant Captains Jacket. Ed should be pleased with the players listed as available, being:

    1. Big Dog
    2. Dutchy (w/k)
    3. Tuesday
    4. Bowl’en
    5. Chef
    6. Local
    7. Snipper
    8. Radar
    9. Jay
    10. Nickname AW
    11. Ed

     

    Pitch and Conditions:

    The Alphington Park ground is one of the most picturesque in the YPCA, resting by the banks of the Yarra with a lovely white Grandstand and playground nearby. Its really quite lovely.

     

    The BOM is predicting a top of 20 with some cloud cover, so it could well be torrential rain or desert-like heat, based on how accurate their other predictions have been this year.

     

    Stats & Trivia:

    • Its been a good season with the Bat for the Quokkas so far this season, Dutchy and Alex lead for runs scored per over with averages of 10.2 and 10.1 respectively, the team average is 5.9
    • Dutchy also has the highest amount of runs scored by boundaries (78%), unless you count Radar (100%), Chef is on 71% while Local is on his heals with 70%
    • The Quokkas have hit 50 fours and 9 sixes in total in the YPCA this season
    • Things haven’t been so great with the ball, with the team giving away 7.2 RPO, though they do average a wicket every 4 overs
    • Snipper has the best RPO (conceded) average of 2.7, the next best are Matty (3.0) and J Rod (3.3). Unfortunately the last 2 mentioned are not playing.
    • Tuesday hit his 251st career run in the last match, he is currently 12th on the all-time runs scored list with an average of 22.82

     

     

     

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

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

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

    And a good start it was!

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

    Snipper with the early catch

    Snipper with the early catch

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

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

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

    Lunch break and The Terminus all out for 142.

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

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

    The man of the hour

    The man of the hour

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

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

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

    embiggens

    Peak Quokka

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Hard at it

    Hard at it

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

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

    As it turns out, quite a bit.

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

    “You’re Someone?”

    “Yes”

    “Someone?”

    “Yes”

    …pause…

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

    ….end of conversation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Artists impression of Revs bowling

    Artists impression of Revs bowling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Artists impression of Scaff

    Artists impression of Scaff

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

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

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

    An artists impression of Skip

    An artists impression of Skip

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

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

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

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

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

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

    #realopeners

    #realopeners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    – The Rev

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

    Quokkas 170 (Skip 100*, Ed 19)

    team photo

  • Match Preview: Quokkas CC v Quokkas CC

     

    Match Facts:

    Sunday, March 6

     

    Alphington Park, Parkview Road

    Alphington

     

    Time:

    1pm

     

    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.

     

    Form Guide:

    The current Quokkas are coming off 2 wins in a row in the YPCA, which is unprecedented in recent times.

     

    In the spotlight:

    Basically everyone

     

    Team News:

    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:

    Quokka Legends:

    1. Big Dog
    2. Pup (c)
    3. Howie
    4. Lonely
    5. Dutchy
    6. Local
    7. Jay
    8. Bad Boy
    9. Tinny
    10. Chef
    11. Bowl’en

     

    Quokka All-Stars:

    1. Cat
    2. J Rod
    3. Ed
    4. Rev
    5. Snipper
    6. Alex
    7. Gregor
    8. Tuesday
    9. Phantom (c)
    10. Cuz
    11. Nickname AW
    12. Mo*

     

    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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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