• A rather belated match report from Captain Local…

    It was a fine day at Fairfield stop

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

    Much beer had been consumed on the bus from Ballarat stop

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

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

    Destroyed the total in very few overs stop

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

    Quokkas seemed glad for season end stop

    Valiant effort from all at end of long season stop

    looking forward to next year stop

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

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

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

    The Pinnacle ended up with four retirees and 173 runs.

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

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

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

    See you all next time,

    Robbo

  • I had to be in Myrtleford for work yesterday and over the long drive I replayed those final two balls in my head a thousand times and I still missed them.  I think I can put it down to not being able to achieve the firm grip I like on my little master while holding JRod’s. Anyway, to the details…

    In classic Quokkas from 14 players had turned to 11 by Sunday with myself picking up the captains badge curto left behind before heading to the beach. We bowled first to the Prince Patrick and struggled for wickets early on until I turned to Steve “Chef” Waugh and on cue the stumps were rattled. That was the only wicket and significant event of the first 12 overs with the exception of Pup pulling a hammy which effected his onfield enthusiasm the same way a sardine effects the humpback whale migration

    After the drinks there was fielding not seen since roger harper graced the field in a windies shirt. The choke was well and truly put on by everyone but Local who went for two MASSIVE sixes (only sixes of the game). Local did have his revenge when Tuesday took a catch that went so high Cypress Hill would have been impressed. In the normal run of events that would have been the fielding highlight, but in a normal game, the man who Robbo mentioned couldn’t catch ebola at a Sierra Leone teenage pash party, wouldn’t have calmly caught a skier just inside the fine leg boundary. Yes you are reading correctly Jarrod McKenzie took a catch. I took a catch a few balls later and once again the Dog had come on a taken a 2for in an over. To assist my match report he passed me this information on the batsman.

    “First victim (unluckiest man in cricket to be out c JRod b BD) has batted six times this season typically hitting 30 off 10 balls and only out twice. Second victim had played for the team for 2 years scoring over 300 runs and never been dismissed until he encountered the dog’s slower delivery.”

    We kept them to 168 which was in our range so not too much pressure which was evident by the way radar and Snipper strolled between the wickets in their opening partnership. Snip did get the innings going with a lazy 23 off one over and the Quokkas were away. Dog came and went and then JRod and Robbo proceeding to try and run each other out but still somehow kept the score board turning over. Dutchy got the run rate down before walking himself out (“the fielders were all shouting bowlers end!”) and then threw a tanty not seen from him in at least 2 years when Jrod offered him some running between wickets advice.

    It got down to 19 off 3 overs and Tuesday got it down to 7 off the last over, Local was dismissed on the 4th ball with 4 required. I walked to the crease, feeling ok about it as I did this in the game before Christmas. But as the Dog put it at the labour afterwards when he was “consoling” me – Sometimes you are the pigeon and sometimes the statue – and cricket once again humbled another player as I didn’t connect to either ball and we lost by 3 runs. It was tough, I lost plenty of sleep since working out who to blame and then I worked it out…I was distracted by Chef parading around infront of the Townhouses shirt off and chest out.

    Prince Patrick 168 (Dog 2fa, Snipper boundary run out)

    Quokkas 165 (Snipper 36, JRod 23, Radar 20, Ed 0*)

  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, January 11 2015 Ramsden Street Oval, Clifton Hill

    Start Time: 1pm

    The Big Picture

    With a new year brings new opportunities, which probably doesn’t bode so well for The Quokkas given their successful record of late. Of the 5 games played by the men in maroon so far this season, 4 have been impressive wins (either by large margins, or against good opponents).  The lads will certainly be hoping that the opportunity in this year of the goat isn’t one to revisit the losers tables at their opponents pubs.

    This match, against the Prince Patrick will be a good litmus test for where the Quokkas are at after the New Year break, with both teams fairly even in their previous encounters.

    Form Guide

    Quokkas: WWWLW

    Prince Patrick: n/a

    In the spotlight:

    Dutchy, freshly back from high altitude training in Canada, is in life-best form; averaging 36 with the bat at a strike rate of 203.  That may not be much chop in baseball terms, but the Dutchman is playing the rectangular bat game now.

    Also, having given up his suspect swing bowling & taken to bowling left-arm Chinamen, he is in the wickets for the first time in several seasons (2 @ 25, compared to his career average of 10 @ 40).

    All this, plus runs and wickets

    All this, plus runs and wickets

    Team News:

    As is often the way first thing on a Monday morning, The Quokkas have 13 available for this game though that is certain to change come midday Sunday. As per the normal custom where there is an excess of players, 2 of the 13 will be ‘bowling only’ players, which will also give the Captain the opportunity to rest less effective bowlers; which is generally all of them.

    Quokkas XIII (possible):

    1. Snipper
    2. Big Dog
    3. Dutchy
    4. Curto (C and W/K)
    5. Chef
    6. Tuesday
    7. Radar
    8. Pup
    9. Shotgun
    10. J Rod
    11. Robbo
    12. Local
    13. Ed

    Pitch and Conditions:

    The Ramsden Street Oval is a biggy, and after a week featuring a mix of rain and sun, the grass could be shoulder height by Sunday.  Toughing out the runs will be the name of the game Sunday, something that Captain Curto will relish in.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • With a 4 off the only ball he faced in the last game, Ed brought up his 100 runs for the season before Christmas.  This was last (famously) done by the Big Dog whose form tapered away steadily from then.  Can Ed avoid the Santa (doesn’t deliver after Christmas) award?
    • Dutchy is 27 runs off 100 runs for the season so far & in startling form;
    • Local is on 97 runs for the season, only bettered by the Big Dog (98).  Runs against that is;
    • If the players listed do play, it will be the first time this season that the Quokkas haven’t fielded a debutant
  • 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, November 16

    White Flat Oval, Hickman and Moyle Street, Bakery Hill

    Start Time: 1pm

    The Big Picture

    With The Quokkas winning the first two games of the Summer, spirits are up and available numbers are high.  This game should change all of that back to normal programming.

    While Ballarat was once the richest city on earth, its fall back to earth hasn’t been without highlights, particularly as the producer of sporting excellence.

    jmac

    Normally being dropped by Melbourne and playing for GWS wouldn’t equate to sporting super-stardom, but this bloke is an exception

    As a result, The Quokkas go into this game expecting much the same result as that which they experienced on tour in Adelaide and Launceston.

    Similar to previous tour games, this match is a friendly, with no impact on league tables or rankings.  Any funds on the day will go towards local charities.

    The game is being played on turf, which will suit the long list of slower bowlers on the Quokkas list, it may well also suit the seamers from Seymours on Lydiard (SOL).

    Form Guide:

    Quokkas: WLLWW

    SOL: n/a

    In the Spotlight:

    Returning to his hometown, the destroyer behind the stumps (Curto) has been in sumptuous form.  Conservatively involved in 40% of all dismissals this season, the home-town boy has an opportunity to show how far he has come from the emotional kid with sausage roll arms that left the ‘Rat all those years ago.

    There are a few more familiar and new faces in the Squad this week, with the return of Mo for the first time since last season.  Everyones favourite bowler that wears his hat on top of his head is back this week for some push ups, accurate slower balls and boundary slogging (Mo has as many sixes as fours (5)).

    Mo

    I’m back and I’m excited

    Joining Curto and Mo will be Tulip, who hasn’t turned out for the Quokkas since their match against the Tramways way back in 2009/10.  “Tulio” swore off the game after suffering from heat stroke for the 3 days that followed it, though this may have more to do with him playing in black jeans, a black t shirt and black boots.

    Team News:

    Once again the Quokkas have an array of players available for this game, which should make the Sunday morning drop-outs less of a worry.

    Cat returns for another bat, though wont be bowling, which will open up space for a bowling only player.  Captain Local will make the hard call on Sunday morning.

    Quokkas XIII (probable):

    1. Dutchy
    2. Shane
    3. Cat (bat only)
    4. Chef
    5. Snipper
    6. Tuesday
    7. Big Dog
    8. Curto (w/k)
    9. Tulip
    10. Ed
    11. Local (c)
    12. Mo
    13. Rev

    Pitch and Conditions:

    Ballarat is experiencing a fairly regular spring, which means cool weather and a fair bit of rain.  There is every chance that the pitch will be a greentop & the fielders will be in long sleeves.

    Oh goody

    Oh goody

    Stats and Trivia:

    • Mo returns to the Quokkas for his 19th match, with as many fours as sixes (5), the only player to have this stat;
    • Ed will take full advantage of Emu’s absence & look to put daylight between them on the all-time wicket tally (Ed on 23, Emu on 21);
    • Dutchy (383 career runs) is aching to catch Ed (411) on the all-time runs list, so we could see some damage done to the Mallow Hotel

    Quotes:

    “You won’t find a fine leg up there. Maybe a short backward one.”

    – Local, on the locals

  • From Captain Radar…
    First game for a new season for the Quokkas saw regulars and some new faces playing for the team. Given that I had been away for the previous season, Rev gave me the honour [/took the risk] of handing me the captaincy for the day. Really I think that was just because I introduced the team to Snipper, who is the teams star recruit. The game was against The Terminus Hotel at the Alfred Crescent Ground.

    Batting first as it was a home game, the opening pair of Robbo and Local hit a couple of nice looking shots before unluckily going cheaply. This brought Snipper and myself to the crease. Snipper looked great and had hit 18 of 8 balls before I negated any favours of introducing him to the team by running him out.

    This brought Curto out to steady the innings before he eventually was removed for 9. Emu then came to the crease and proceeded to bat the way we are accustomed to; scoring 32 of not very many. Running wasn’t on the agenda as Emu was nursing some back issues. Clearly channelling Michael Clarke for the day. At some point during this onslaught I made my first retiring score which I am still pretty pleased about.

    This bought a short interlude to the hitting with Chef and debutante Don slowing the place until Ed came out to hit a Blistering 37.

    That's right, this guy

    That’s right, this guy

    Big Dog and Rev held down a couple of ends to see us close to the 25th over before both were dismissed with myself and Emu having one more brief and not very prosperous crack at the last couple of overs. In truth that was just down to myself not Emu being on strike. The Quokkas ended up with 8 for 180.

    Bowling at Alfred crescent is always a tough task with short boundries in every direction usually meaning that everyone has their fare share of boundaries hit off them. This game played out in that way also, but with some fairly unusual statistics for the Quokkas.

    Emu opened the bowling and continued his great game by taking 2 wickets in his first 2 overs giving us a great start. Snipper also took an early one before a few overs of hitting from The Terminus’ strongest performers with the bat.

    Ed eventually came on to take a couple of wickets and get the Quokkas back on track. Special mention has to be made of Curto’s great performance behind the stumps, with two stumpings and a couple of catches.

    Big Dog chipped in with a wicket, and Chef bowled a very economic spell with a maiden and 1 for 7. Don also bowled great after a shaky start. Finishing with the same figures as Chef. All this left the Terminus all  out with a total of 125.

    So back to unusual statistics. The quokkas being known for their ability (or lack there of) to catch a cricket ball took 6 catches. Including some tough outfield catches as well as a great slips catch from Emu. 6 catches. That’s almost more catches taken in one week than I’ve dropped over my entire career.

    Captain Radar

    Captain Radar

    All in all a great day, and the terminus were a great bunch of guys. Its great to be back in Quokkas colours!

  • It has been a long time since The Quokkas have won two matches in a row, so it was fitting in a way that they were made to wait out a long game against The Palace Hotel to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

    Journeying over the bridge to the dreaded South of the River, the Quokkas arrived at JL Murphy reserve and looked at the wicket in puzzlement; when did pub league games start being played on turf?

    With warm-ups in full swing, The Quokkas did a head count and found they managed to have 14 players available for the game, though no opposition, so a 7-a-side begun being discussed in earnest.

    The Players from The Palace did appear eventually, though it seemed they had already had their post-match celebrations such was their merriment and revelry.

    Captain of the Day, The Rev, let The Palace bat first under the impression that the match may be over quickly given the state of some of their players.  How wrong he was.

    How could this man be wrong?

    How could this man be wrong?

    Where he was right though, was opening the stanza with a quartet of slow-bowlers in one-over bursts (despite protestations from Emu).

    Opening up with The Big Dog and Ed, wickets were taken early while Dutchy kept the run rate down with his left-handed Chinamen; something else surely never seen in Pub Cricket & a welcome change from his traditional dog-leg swingers.

    Relenting to the cries from behind the wicket, The Rev brought on Snipper who bowled with accuracy and pace, though without wickets. The same went for the other seamers; Robbo, Local and Matt.

    It was left to the big Emu to break the wicket-drought, hitting the stumps with an in-swinging Yorker.  The voice from first slip is in delicious form already this season.

    A run out & a great catch from new boy Matt off the bowling of Ed, who must be getting confused by all the wickets he is getting from catches being held, saw The Palace at 5/60 at drinks.  A good score, particularly when considering the wicket was playing like a Barry White ballad: slow and low.

    barry

    Ohhhhh yeah

    The post-drinks session was a real test for The Quokkas, Cade from The Palace was punishing the bowlers through the offside whenever given a chance.  The effects of the beer seemed to actually empower The Palace’s batsmen and the score ticked over to a daunting 140 by the end of the 25 (very long) overs.

    The Big Dog disappeared with Chef at innings break to find a working barbecue (many thanks to The Palace for availing their kitchen to us!) , requiring a quick restructure of the batting line up & depriving Cat of the chance to run out her partner. Again.

    A quick note on the lunches: really excellent work.  Prawns, BBQd dim sims, snags and a great salad.  Also, all the profits from the…donations (not beer sales) went to the Father Bob Foundation.

    Right…back to it:

    Cat and Matt walked out to bat looking every bit like proper cricketers, which actually brought about their downfall.  Playing proper shots against erratic bowling on a turner was not the place for Rolls-Royce cover drives, but Ford Fiesta nurdles around the corner.

    With the openers contributing a combined total of 1, The Big Dog was found and sent in at first drop with Radar soon to follow.  The ‘Dog put on a demonstration of Fiesta batting, nudging the ball everywhere apart from forward of the wicket, testing The Palace’s increasingly unsteady fielders.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    Radar was unluckily beaten by a straight delivery, bringing The Rev to the wicket who heeded the Big Dogs lesson & helped lay a foundation, taking The Quokkas to 3/56 at drinks.

    Thankfully The Rev didn’t stick around for any more foundation development after drinks, bringing a sequence of Dutchy, Curto and Ed to the crease, all of whom made runs in quick time & brought the required run rate back to a level more in tune with todays interest rates.

    The retirement of the Big Dog and the loss of Emu (not playing for his average) and Local for few runs suddenly put the chase in question, though the steady and powerful play of Snipper and Robbo (23 off 10) saw The Quokkas home.

    Many thanks must go to everyone at The Palace, particularly Mark Pratt, for putting the team together, helping with the barbecue, providing more beer when we ran out etc.

    Thanks also to the team at EcoEnergy Ventures, for providing a trophy for the game & the ground hire.

    Happy Days

    Happy Days

  • On Sunday the Quokkas took on The Hated Dan O’Connell Hotel on the lush Fairlea West Oval, Yarra Bend Park.

    First and foremost it must be said that Sunday was a victory for cricket, in the sense that the game of cricket is infinitely richer for not bearing any resemblance to whatever it was that was played by the Quokkas on Sunday afternoon.

    Led for the first time by Local, the day got off to an ignominious start when it was discovered that no one had organised paper plates and sauces for the bbq. Choosing  to ignore that we live in a world which is connected by more devices, networks and communication tools than at any other time in history, both Local and Big Dog decided to go it alone and get the plates etc. themselves without further consultation. The Quokkas are now well stocked for sauces and paper plates.
    The Quokkas opened the batting with Dutchy and Joe, both of whom negotiated some tricky swing and movement form the Dan’s fast men to quickly begin laying the foundations of a good innings. Knowing that the Quokkas had failed to defend 150ish on this same ground several weeks earlier, both batsmen appeared determined to score quickly and heavily. And despite the fact that appearances can sometimes be deceptive, they both succeeded. Dutchy was first to reach retirement, making 35 well-struck runs, followed soon after by the un-Quokkaly talented Joe.
    They were replaced at the crease by first Cupsy and then – in a move that had surprised no one more than the man himself – Shotgun. It seemed Local was prepared to make bold and/or uninformed captaincy decisions at any moment.
    Cupsy opened his account with a boundary and never looked back, and the Quokkas went to the drinks break at 0/90ish. Bold predictions were being made amid much back-slapping. Pup raised the possibility of 200+, and at this stage who could deny a young man a dream? The Quokkas were flying, with batsmen in the shed and the runs coming – for the most part – easily.
    Shotgun began his innings a little more unsteadily than Cupsy had, with some dots on the scorecard that didn’t do justice to the kind of airy swings that they represented. However, he too started to find a rhythm, and by the time Cupsy had played his part and retired off a crisp 32 there was a feeling in the air that we might all be about to see something very special indeed.
    Not from JRod though, unfortunately coming and going without troubling the scorers on this occasion and bringing Pup to the crease for his usual solid contribution.
    The main event was unfolding at the other end however, as Shotgun began to act like his namesake, scattering the ball to all corners of the ground, including two hits that cleared the rope. By the time Pup had been replaced by Big Dog, Shotgun was approaching 30 and a well-earned retirement. It was a big innings that had the crowd on their feet.
    After Shotgun’s departure the innings progressed amiably towards its close, aside from one moment when Big Dog was nearly cleaned up by a beamer that seemed to follow his head as he took rapid (and thankfully successful) evasive  action. He, Local, Morts, Rainsy and Ed managed to drag the innings to 179 after 25 overs, a respectable target that had everyone feeling quietly confident as they enjoyed a beer and Dutchy’s excellent BBQ.
    The ground at Fairlea West can be described in many ways, most of which will rely on some variance of the words ‘dry’ and ‘hard’ to best create an accurate impression, and one of its key features is that any ball which is struck with force – or indeed without it – can run quickly to the boundary unless stopped by a well-placed fielder.
    This critical element was however lacking in the Quokkas bowling efforts up to the drinks break, as balls flew merrily into every available gap, stopped only on one occasion by a spectacular sliding effort from Joe which also ensured that there will forever be a small part of this not-so-foreign field that is forever Quokka (and that Joe may be limping all week).
    The confidence that had begun the fielding innings was starting to flag, but then Ed gave an inspirational speech at drinks which can be summed up as “we’re fucked”. With these stirring words spurring the Quokkas on, they turned the screws and started to dry up the boundaries, piling on the pressure until breaking through for their first wicket of the day, a nifty piece of glovework from Pup off Rainsy, in only the 18th over. The faintest hint of hope still glimmered and when Local improbably held a catch off Dutchy in the 20th the Quokkas had their tails up again.
    Unfortunately, the Quokkas also could not see the score at that point, and whatever momentum had been gained was quickly undone when – two runs later – the scorers called out to their batsmen to start shaking hands with the losing team.
    It wasn’t meant to be. Or – less fatalistically and more realistically – the Quokkas let a good chance to snare a win go through some loose bowling and fielding. Credit must go to the Dan also for some fantastic hitting, especially at the top of the order.
    However, the early finish in the 20th over meant an early trip to the Dan O’Connell for beers, which was well-attended by both teams, and the game was played in great spirit despite the result.
    Well done to all the Quokka batsmen who reached retirement, and thanks to everyone for turning out to play, it was a good afternoon out on the park.
  • Season 2013/14 has been a good one for the Quokkas, if not the most rewarding.  Our match against the Victorian Blind Cricket Association (VBCA) on Sunday went a long way to remedying that previously ungraspable feeling of reward, though not from the perspective of getting a win.

    Arriving at the picturesque & compact grounds, the Quokkas were introduced to the different ball (complete with bell on the inside) & took the opportunity for a few trial overs, before being introduced to the other team and the rules.

    For the uninformed, the basic outline was as follows:

    • A 30 overs-per-innings game;
    • LBW would be included;
    • Batsmen retire on reaching 30;
    • Each run scored by a VBCA player counted for 2;
    • VBCA players had to be caught out twice to be dismissed in this way; and
    • The ball had to be bowled underarm & bounce in the bowlers half of the pitch.

    There were some other rules but the famous Quokka level of concentration kicked in by this time.

    A coin was tossed & The Rev, captain for the day, called truly if not convincingly.  The coin was a “special edition” mint & he was really unsure which side actually was “Tails” as both sides had heads on them.

    There is a sternly worded letter being penned to the mint, don’t you worry.

    Regardless, The Rev chose to bat & put an order together as unconvincing as his calling.  Having had some experience with the format, Cupsy was chosen to open with Shotgun, who was due some time in the middle.

    Shotgun was obviously unaware of what had transpired (ref: Quokka concentration levels) & had settled in nicely on the sideline when Rev asked him why he wasn’t heading out to the middle.

    The Quokkas resident media darling, Ed, had been told that he was batting at 11 and should therefore make himself useful and help out in the commentary box.  Yes, the game was broadcast to real people over the radio.  Another Quokka first.

    The opening pair got off to a steady start, averaging 4 an over before Shotgun managed to conjure his own dismissal from the most unlikely of sources against a blind team; caught & bowled.

    Cupsy decided to really get into the spirit of the game & donned a pair of sight restricting goggles, which paid dividends shortly afterwards as he was bowled through the gate.

    Phantom and Pup began to work on their tans and defensive strokes before heckles from the Quokka faithful woke Pup from his slumber & he started to hit out.

    It was during this frenzy that Pup hit a 4 (one of only 5 for the innings), managing to evade the VBCA’s ridiculously good boundary sweeper; “Rocket” Wilson, who must have saved 100 runs for the day while showing the Quokkas how fielding could be done.

    Youthful exuberance eventually got the better of Pup, who was out LBW (another Quokka first) 2 short of the retirement score.

    The Phantom followed Pup back to the sheds 2 balls later after making 23 off 50 balls in 53 minutes.  Never before has the gain of 23 runs cost so many friendships.

    The collapse continued after The Phantoms much celebrated dismissal with Local also falling LBW soon afterwards to the dangerous Montesanti who claimed 2 wickets & was economical with 9 runs coming off his 3 overs.

    This brought J Rod and the Big Dog to the crease who had been worked themselves up into a lather after enduring The Phantoms innings.  The run rate soon leapt, with 38 runs smashed in the next 5 overs before J Rod joined the increasing membership of the “out LBW” club with 19 runs off as many balls.

    The Big Dog was in his element, as expected.  After playing the Hurling slog for over 30 matches for The Quokkas (while taking particular advantage of the no-LBW rule in the pub league), “The Dog” was pouncing on anything that didn’t bounce, flicking to leg & fine leg repeatedly.

    Dutchy, whose name annoyingly autocorrects to “Duchy” on my computer, smashed a quick 14 before retiring himself out to let his captain get a bad.  There are worse ways to earn B&F votes.

    Big Dog soon hit his retirement score & brought Emu to the crease after he had spent the majority of the afternoon to this point in the air conditioned comfort of the broadcasting room, arguably doing his best work at a cricket ground to date (no mean feat).

    The Rev also defied his career to date & had the highest strike rate of the team while also running 2’s, before retiring to let Ed have a bat in the last over.

    The innings total of 153 was impressive, particularly when considering the early stone-walling tactics & collapse.

    After enjoying a lovely spread that was generously put on by the VBCA and particularly enjoying the sledging dished out by the VBCAs players towards Emu (“have you ever played cricket before?” etc), The Quokkas went out to field & promptly fell asleep on their feet.

    It was as notable as it was damming that the most active & alert fieldsman on the day was J Rod.

    Local and Pup took the new ball, which wasn’t really new, while the Quokkas tried to remember where they should be standing in the field (again, ref: Quokka concentration).

    While the Quokkas were relatively comforted by their score of 153, the opening partnership had made it to 62 without loss by the 2nd ball of the 11th over when “Rocket” reached his retirement score and drinks were called.

    It is true that many of the fielders were wearing goggles that impacted their sight to different degrees, and Emu did leave the field to take his place back with the commentary team, but their collective efforts were so flat footed that even a Podiatrist couldn’t have helped.

    IMG_8574

    Pup and Emu modelling the goggles

    IMG_8572

    The Rev went to the in-form bowler of the moment, Shotgun, who responded well to having been previously hit for the only 6 of the day to claim another first; a Quokka wicket taken LBW.

    This triggered a collapse of sorts, with Cupsy and J Rod managing to roll a few into the stumps & Pup pulling off an amazing run out; deflecting his throw off his father and into the stumps.

    The VBCAs captain Peter Loh was nearing his retirement score after some lusty blows through leg (it’s reassuring to see left handers playing the same way in all leagues) but he was undone by a combination of the Quokka fieldsmen eventually waking up.

    Some amazing catches were taken by Cupsy, Phantom and Shotgun – though the rules of the match stated that VBCA players had to be caught out twice to be dismissed in this manner, so the batsmen had  a reprieve.  Still, this put putting pressure on the batsman, leading Loh to charge The Phantom, enabling The Rev to execute a consistently unconvincing run out.

    IMG_8579

    Quokka pressure. It could create diamonds in mere billions of years.

    The required run rate was now getting away from the VBCA & the Quokkas were now well and truly awake, with run outs executed soon afterwards by Shotgun and Dutchy, and Local rapping the innings up by bowling the heavy-hitting Ben Peacock through the gate.

    While the game was like many of the other Quokka matches of the season in its closeness, it differed obviously in that the men in Maroon came out victors.  More differently still though, was the absolute feeling of reward gained from experiencing another form of this great game & sharing that with some equally great people.

    Here’s to the rematch.

   Next Entries »

Recent Comments

  • Proper swing bowling that was. Pitch it up.
  • Fabulous article which made us smile in the Spanish sunshine...
  • You forgot to mention Harry getting to bowl an over aswell. ...
  • Please see point 5.
  • If the ball is hit behind square, it is the non-strikers cal...