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
Match Facts: November 20, 2016, Nerrena Cricket Club
The Big Picture: This is The Quokkas second visit to Nerrena for a social match against the locals. Normally this would qualify as a tour game, but considering we just played 2 games in Sri Lanka, its more of a social visit.
Still, we are looking forward to it eagerly.
Not being a pub league game, we are playing by the standard T20 rules, which will bring the nastiness of LBWs and other ways of getting out. So unfair.
Form Guide: The Quokkas started the season with a famous win, with Snipper hitting a 6 off the last ball to win it. They backed it up by piling on 181 runs against the Old Bar in 25 overs, only to watch their opponents chase the total with 3 overs and 3 wickets to spare. Not exactly the sort of thing that will terrorize the Nerrena batsmen as they sleep this week.
In the Spotlight:
Nickname AWs last innings of 26 took him to 46 total career runs, more than doubling his run tally in his previous 8 digs and showing us what he is capable of with the bat. He also averages a wicket every 4 overs, and not having taken a wicket with his last 2, is due.
Dutchy famously scored a 49 in this fixture last year and will certainly be looking for the chance to go literally 1 better.
Team News: The Quokkas playing stocks are plentiful this season. If only they had the ability to match their availability. Jay has been handed the Captains Jacket for this game, but only metaphorically, I have no idea where the actual Jacket is. If anyone with any information on the whereabouts of the Jack could get in touch, that’d be great.
At the time of writing, there are 14 players available for this game:
- Jay (c)
- Nickname AW
- Dutchy (w/k)
- Dog (w/k)
We are going to rotate through the fielders to make sure everyone gets a bowl, but not everyone will get a bat. Those that have only batted once this season will get a priority.
Pitch and Conditions: In this same match preview last year I joked about how wet and awful Gippsland is, then we were presented with sunshine, undulating hills and green countryside. It’s a beautiful spot.
Stats & Trivia
- Nickname AW is the leading 4 hitter for the Quokkas so far this season, with five boundaries
- The Big Dog has the highest batting average this season (54) and has faced the highest number of balls (73), the next highest is Ed (38)
- The mode average for balls faced this season is 17; 4 players (Rev, Dutchy, Jay and Local) have all faced that many
- The last game v the Old Bar was certainly one for milestones, J Rod played his 30th YPCA game for the Quokkas, the Big Dog had his 60th total Quokka appearance (club record), Local had his 25th Quokka appearance
- The last game also saw Ed get his first Century for the Quokkas, having now bowled 100.2 overs
- Tuesdays last catch took him to 24 dismissals (catch or run outs / stumping) for The Quokkas, he is quickly closing in on Curtos record (29). His catches per match average (1.44) has daylight between him and the rest
- Alex was a little worried about his lack of involvement in winning teams of late, but should be happy about his latest wicket; it took him out of the 11 wicket club (Mo, Radar, Robbo, Local & Snipper), which was getting a little crowded. He is the only member of the 12 wicket club.
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”.