• 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

  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, January 18 – Fairlea West Oval, Fairfield

    Start Time: 1pm

    The Big Picture:

    Despite being hidden in the recesses of Yarra Bend Park, this match may well prove to be a gauge of how the rest of The Quokkas 2014/15 season will pan out. After going into 2015 with a 4-1 record, The Quokkas dropped their first game of 2015 (against The Prince Patrick) despite being in a winnable position for most of it.

    The Pinnacle are always a good opposition and provided the men in the saggy maroons their only Pub League win of the 2013/14 season.  That being said, much of that victory was down to the Pinnacles disposition to drink their way through games, rather than just play cricket.

    With a litany of unavailable players, this game is anything but a sure win for The Quokkas.

    Form Guide:

    Quokkas: LWLWWW

    The Pinnacle: n/a

    In the Spotlight:

    Emu has been out of the side for a few games now after starting the season in spectacular fashion before moving onto his REAL cricket side, where he has been taking 8-fers.

    The Big Dog has flown under the radar this season, but may well be in all-round career best form.  Averaging 19 with the ball, having taken 6 wickets at 1.8 overs per wicket, he has become a semi-regular opening bowler and very-regular wicket taker. His 67 runs at 22 have also been welcome, particularly at the previously unimaginable strike-rate of 0.92.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    Team News:

    As per usual, the week started with more than enough players available for this game, though the availability dropped to -2 by Wednesday. Thankfully we have been able to rope in previous “Ringer” Chris Canty and Radars mate Jim, who will be the 57th player to line up for The Quokkas.

    Aside from these two, there is a smattering of regulars (Ed, Big Dog, Local, Dutchy, Radar, Chef and Robbo) available, the Big Emu is returning after the end of the school holidays & we see the return of “Ball’en” Shane who has not been sighted since pushing balls hit off The Rev over the boundary for 4 in Ballarat.

    Quokkas XI (probable):

    1. Chef
    2. Ed
    3. Ball’en
    4. “Jim”
    5. Chris Canty
    6. Radar
    7. Big Dog
    8. Dutchy
    9. Emu
    10. Robbo (c)
    11. Local

    Pitch and Conditions:

    Fairlea West is normally a Pub League cricketers nightmare, with a dry-as-a-bone outfield that seems to rip skin off ones leg just by walking near it, let alone diving on it. With some steady rainfall over the last fortnight though, conditions should be softer for the fieldsmen.

    This is the oval that was notable for 2 main events last season; one being Dutchy’s return throw which ended up in Uluru, and the other being Shotguns 31* – giving him 35 career runs (the only other runs being a 4 edged through slips).

    SONY DSC

    That’s right, this man hit a 31*. God bless Pub Cricket.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • Tuesday has as many career catches as Ed (7) in 26 less games (31 to 5);
    • Robbo has now scored 150 career runs from 17 innings, including 2 not out, giving a tidy average of 10 with 16 fours and 2 sixes;
    • The batting award for this season is sure to go down to the wire, with Ed (100 runs), Snipper (99) & Duchy (92) all making the charge, while Radar (83) and Local (79) are only a good innings away;
    • The bowling award is also looking as tight as the proverbial, with Chef and Ed tied (8 wickets), the Big Dog making a late charge (6) and a couple of serious contenders not far behind (Emu and Local, both 5)
  • First of all I must apologise for the tardiness of my report, however I must confess that I was of the opinion that the Captain for the day normally was responsible for the report (although I do further confess that the skipper did ask me to write the report that afternoon after the match).

     

    Anyway if you can cast your minds back to the Melbourne Cup weekend and in particular, Sunday the 4 November, Melbourne was blessed with some delightful spring weather and the Quokkas were required to take on The Pinnacle (or the Black Caps as they referred to themselves) at the historic, but very sandy (more bunkers than the Old Course at The National) Brunswick Street Oval (aka the home of PL Cricket).

     

    As is the custom of PL Cricket, the Quokkas who were hosting the event were first to bat in ideal conditions.  The Father and Son combination of Big Dog and Pup got the Quokka’s off to a delightful start with both of them going along nicely in the first few overs.  Unfortunately for Pup, who was going along at better than a run a ball (senior partner), he skied one and was caught at mid off.  With the Quokkas 2011/2012 B&F winner and PL Cricketing Leviathan, Emu not available due to International duties off the field, a replacement number 3 was needed.  Unfortunately just like the current Australian number 3 the scorers weren’t troubled too much and much to my son’s (and competitive brothers) disappointment following our long drive from Sorrento to Fitzroy that morning, I was back in the pavilion (at least Sam would be able to give me technique lessons on our way back to Sorrento that night).  Luckily though I made way for Jimmy “Grenades” Northe in his debut for the Mighty Quokka, who in partnership with the Big Dog rattled our scoring along (Big Dog 31 (32) and Grenades 28 (21)).  Once this pair fell however some tight bowling from the Black Caps saw us lose some cheap wickets with Radar 10 (11), Alex 1 (2) and Big Matt Tanner 5 (6) not able to form any partnerships.  That was until Cuppsie 21 (13) and Curto 30 (36) steadied the ship and Rowdy coming in late to whack 12 (8), Sam Curtain (another Grigg decedent saddling up for the Labour in Vain – The Horse has a lot to answer for) fell for his first career duck before Curto (our only retiring batsman) came back at the end to miss a straight one.

     

    The Pinnacle, it must be said bowled (they had no less than 6 guys purporting to be “Spinners”) with a general lack of pace, but excruciatingly straight meaning our batsmen had to hit the ball in most instances rather than rely on our normal approach of “healthy edges”.  That combined with their good fielding and catching (I must say Alex was a bit stiff) meant our innings was never really free flowing.

     

    Nevertheless the runs were on the board, even if it was a slightly under par 160 (even on the sandy surrounds of Royal Brunswick St).  The assignment would require the lethal Quokka bowling attack to fire and all of the guile of our skipper to get us over the line.  Despite his well compiled (picket fence) and at times opposition frustrating innings for the Quokkas (yes words were exchanged again in the heat of battle), the day did not start off well for our skipper, who had forgotten the bread for the BBQ and needed to order in pizza at his own expense to feed the hungry cricketers.  As such feeling the stress of the catering and the mental exhaustion of his innings steadying role with the bat, the first thing the skipper did was hand the keeping gloves to young Sam and recruit “Shoeless” English Rob (aka The Phantom) who had come down to watch to take to the field.  Curto could then park himself under a shady tree with a warm beer and cold piece of margarita and bark instructions and advice from under a shady tree outside of the playing arena cauldron.  This move provided automatic dividends with The Phantom opening the bowling and shaping one away in his second over, which found the edge and Sam did the rest low down and two his right.  The Phantom’s great bowling display set the tone for the Quokkas bowlers, apart from Curto (super sub at drinks) and myself bowling short tripe and keeping the Black Caps in it, sending down beautiful line and length bowling (who would’ve thought that would work!!).  As such the Pinnacle were never really in the hunt and continually loss wickets throughout their innings, Radar finishing them off in the penultimate over.  All in all it was a powerful bowling and fielding display routing the Pinnacle for 135 (5 of their batsmen being clean bowled – we will need to defer to Rev as to whether that was a Quokka Record).

     

    Pick of the bowlers were Radar 2/11 off 2.3 overs, Rowdy 2/12 off 3 overs, Cuppsie 2/14 off 3 overs and Pup a tight 0/5 off 2 overs.

   

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