• From Captain Local…

    When I was 17 years old I caught a coach service from Melbourne to Townsville. Somewhere in the never-ending blackness of the third night I had a dream that I was a ghost and that the bus I was on was somehow a tiny fragment of rock which was all that remained of Alderaan; and together we were spinning through the void in a kind of endlessly repeating scream of horror in the second after the Deathstar had blown the entire planet to smithereens.

    Sometimes I remember that dream when Rev bowls an over.

    Thankfully, on a dull day of restless wind and heat-mad flies at Fairfield Oval against the Curtain Hotel, Rev produced the finest spell I have yet seen him bowl, sending down two near-perfect overs of line and length thunderbolts that were – for me – the highlight of the Quokkas fielding effort.

    Yes, the highlight.

    The Curtain, or ‘Beefies’ as they are known (possibly humorously) enjoyed the goodwill of the Quokkas field and set us a target of 190 or something similarly absurd.

    Like Ernest Shackleton rowing – in desperation or madness or both – across the endless bitterness of the Southern Ocean, we began our chase with a determination to achieve against the odds.

    J-Rod opened reluctantly, and yet repaid the faith – or bullying – of his captain by smashing the ball to various points on and over the boundary, often with a casual insouciance that was as surprised as the rest of us to be used in a description of his batting.

    With this laissez-faire flair from the opener came a renewed sense of ambition in the hearts of the Quokkas. Perhaps. Or it may have just been the captain who felt it. Who knows, it may have simply been the lunchtime sausages.Whatever the case, the ambition was for a victory that seemed unlikely an hour earlier when the Quokkas had just dropped their 67th catch of the afternoon.

    However.

    The death of ambition is a quiet cut that lays bare your hollow bones. It comes inevitably on a slow, grey afternoon amid the heat and tiny flies.

    Chef batted with courage and power, and without thought, which is when he bats best. Dutchy scored some inevitable runs. Rev attempted a last-wicket something, and attempted it well.

    Alas. Like the doomed people with no weapons on the peaceful planet that has just come into range of the most powerful weapon the Galaxy has ever known, the Quokkas were never going to end up as anything more than space dust.

    “Fire when ready”

    Congratulations to the Curtain, they played well, and thanks to Big Dog for making the Captains speech in my late absence. I am now 4 from 4 and can only accept that the blame must squarely fall on the playing group’s refusal to adhere to my instructions regarding the Nu-Metal theme. Next time gentlemen, next time.

  • Coming off a close win two weeks before, returning to Fortress Quokka and a much nicer day than the arctic winds experienced the previous game, Quokkas tails were up like Tiger Woods on tour. Electing to bat by default, vibrant (I work for govt) opening pair of Ed and Big Dog got the innings underway. Slow and steady scoring built a solid platform before the Dog was unceremoniously bowled for 19. Ed picked up the pace before losing his next partner in JRod who had half convinced the Captain pre-game that the law of averages demanded he never bat top 3. Consider this captain convinced!

    A handy retirement for Ed at 31 could lead to votes for the Tasmanian Pirate Man.

    Enter Nickname who pounded away in Bill Clinton intern style with a quick fire 26 before being caught behind without a reach around. Meanwhile some Gow called Alex had strode to the crease and proceeded to craic on at lightning pace. Very un-Quokka-like display of crafted shot after shot. Backfooted cover drives reaching the boundary – the lot! 32 off 19 deliveries no less.

    Enter the human volcano Dutchy who quickly raced to 29 off 14 AND Quokkas tails positively hard by this point.  Captain’s apology to Local who really should have been batting instead of Dutchy but due to Local sunbaking out the back with his formidable white skin rendering him invisible to this Captain.

    Captain’s log – pre-game injury had forced the withdrawl of Cookem up Chef. By all reports, even though he didn’t step onto the field in anger, many many runs were scored with consistent backend play:/ Yowsers!

    Total of 181 allowed us all to enjoy the fine burgers during the break.

    Local (suddenly visible) opened up from the end we always bowl from and started with a tidy 2 run over. Tuesday followed suit with another tidy over and  ‘Nice – here we go’ thought the Captain, ‘my first win at the helm coming up’. Old Bar boys Blair and George had other ideas, blasting 34 off 12 and 32 off 13 respectively. Dilshan, Cuss and Andy picked up from where they left off and we were staring at 108 at drinks!

    Beer is the natural fluid choice of the Quokka and after refreshments, the Dog had his first wicket on second delivery. A Riccardo-esque celebratory beer in shoe display left no Quokka wondering how questionable hygienic choices may have led to his dengue fever contraction over the Winter months. Further wickets to Alex, Dutchy and Ed combined with some great Siddlish JRod bowling (5 runs conceded from 2 overs) gave the Quokkas a chance, but in the end Old Bar boys ran away with the spoon with 2.5 overs to spare.

    All in all though a fun day against a good bunch of guys and we look forward to our next game against them. Next up – we get our deliverance on in Nerrenna. Yee Ha!

    Finally  – A Fast Fact

    Our Don 99.94% batting average

    Their Don 99.94% grope ‘o’ pussy average

  • 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

  • A legendary person is someone whose story becomes bigger than they are.” So begins the website of the EJ Whitten foundation. Today was the story of Big Dog; legend of the looping leg break, foundational pillar of the Aussie Quokkas and all round good bloke.

    Recent revelations showed the EJ Whitten AFL legends game only paid 6 cents of each dollar donated to charity, the rest being strangely unaccounted for. About time the Quokkas had a legends game then…

    Lonely and Bowlen opened the Legends batting. Sadly for the All Stars Ed opened the bowling. 6 balls later Lonely was halfway to retirement.

    Snipper initially stemmed the bleeding but another 9 balls and Lonely was off for a rest.

    Bowlen stuck around for a little longer before falling to Mo for 12, and Gregor smashed a quick 17 before Nick AW took his bails off. The came the Dog, immediately off the mark with a single and………… 2 overs later got another. Student Pup was in need of a lie down after the long walk to the middle was more effort than has made in months. He quickly got his wish after embarrassingly failing to get off the mark, more embarrassingly he was caught by Ed.

    Like a disabled child at Disneyland, Howie fulfilled his wish of stepping out for the Quokka’s. Partnered by the Dog, the entertainment was less Space Mountain and more spinning teacups but the scoreboard trundled along.

    Ed, resplendent in his new-found catching ability, replaced Tuesday with the gloves. Howie was an immediate victim after a solid 20 and Big Dog paddled to 18 before being gleefully taken from behind by Ed for 18.

    As John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John found out at last year’s ARIA’s, Jay and Local didn’t stand a chance against the mighty Gow who swept all before him and took both in the same over.

    Capping the Legends innings was the beauty and beast partnership of Cat & Dutchy, with the beast scoring quickly before being caught in the ‘other’ covers by Phantom. Celebrations were short-lived however as Lonely returned and while Cat intelligently kept the singles ticking over, Lonely terrorised an unfortunate JRod Death Over which got tonked all over Alphington and left the All Stars with 167 to chase.

    After a prawn and fancy salad lunch (my how we’ve changed!) opening partnership of Ed and Alex did well to see off the opening swing of Local and Lonely (could someone get his kid on the pitch to distract him please!).

    Up stepped Jay (who had clearly been saving his energy for bowling), and had Alex caught by Greg on 14. Snipper made a quick-fire 10 but like so many before him fell to Big Dogs bird scarers, then Jay returned to take Nick AW for 1.

    The All Stars were looking shaky but Mo managed to settle some nerves before being undone by the reinvigorated Pup for 14.

    Howie’s disability eventually got the better of him, his hamstring forcing an early bath. Ed, hamstrung only by his ability, managed 20 before caught by Dutchy off Pup.

    It wouldn’t be a Quokkas game without a friendly run out. JRod duly obliged by playing limpet as Rev was almost close enough to kiss him having run all but one of the required 22 yards between the stumps.

    With a daunting run chase ahead of them, Tuesday (8) and Phantom (9) went down swinging but failed to partner JRod for any length of time. When Nick AW returned as #11 Jay made doubly sure by bowling him again to finish off proceedings with JRod ending up not out on 35 having sensibly stayed out in the middle to avoid the still-fuming Rev.

    All up the Legends won by 40, with some lovely bowling from Jay (3-8) and Pup (who took 2 wickets but despite being sent 6 photos of the scorecard not one of them shows how many runs he went for!)

    All in all a great day, good to catch up with old faces and a reminder of why we all play cricket, and why many of us no longer do!

  • The first Quokkas mixed game was held on the weekend, with female friends and supporters of the team selected to make up two teams.

    Cat was appointed Captain of Team B, the victors on the day, and Ren was Captain of Team A (aka. The Fuokkas).

    It was a beautiful sunny autumn day in Melbourne, with the buzz of the Grand Prix in the background and a couple of fly-overs to celebrate diversity in Cricket. I sat down with the two Captains afterwards to get their thoughts on the day…

    captains

     

    Rev: Let’s get some context around this game, tell me a little about what brought you to Cricket?

    Cat: Growing up in a Sri Lankan household, everything that our family did: answering the phone, cooking… even going to the toilet, was done between overs. At the end of a day of watching 90 overs of cricket, we then watched the same summary of the day’s play on every channel’s news report and then proceeded to tape the highlights show in the evening. This was normal for us. Dad wrote me sick notes to let me wag school when there was a good cricket match on because he considered it educational. In retrospect this made a lot of sense. Because you learn more about life from cricket than you could at school.

    In one time of crisis I rang Dad and told him how my life was going down the toilet. He simply said with his wise voice (you’ll have to imagine the Sri Lankan accent): “Cath, what this situation needs from you is a Steve Waugh innings”. That made perfect sense to me. Crisis over.

    So anyway, I came to play cricket because of an intrinsic passion for the game, rather than actual ability. As such I had to learn how to stay in, and spent the best part of my youth learning to block. Making runs was of secondary importance, so I became a specialist opening bat for Melbourne Uni, which I did for about 10 years.

    How did you feel about this, a mixed game?

    Ren: I was excited. The game would satisfy the appetites of Quokkas supporters who had waited for months to get their ‘strut on’ AND show the current QCC players that they are more than just cricket spectators!

    Among my team were those who had never played a full game of cricket in their life, a few who had dabbled in it and of course many of the current QCC team players, who I am told also dabble in it.

    And how were the pre-game nerves?

    Ren: I did have a go at providing some support to those who had no idea what they were there to do by attempting to give the greener girls a basic lesson on cricket in a very rushed 3 minute rant.

    This included a brief explanation why players run between the creases and the concept around which batter should call the run…though, it soon became apparent soon afterwards that I was terrible at that bit too when I nearly had the Russian run-out for forgetting to call the run!

    I thought I did an ok job explaining the basics of cricket until someone asked me if both batters are meant to run at the same time. I could swear the world around me went silent … followed by the sound of stridulating crickets in the distance.

    YES! Everyone runs. Except J-Rod …

     

    Team A batted first, how did you judge your teams performance?

    Ren: Shweta and Russian opened, looked nervous and we had an early loss for 1.

    I joined the mighty Russian for a couple of overs and was caught out having contributed only 3 runs to the tally.

    The Russian managed to stay in for a while and it’s worth noting that every time the end of the over was called she thought it was the end of the game.

    Nick came on and hit an aggressive 20, the retirement score for the day, though did manage to get out once he got to 20.

    After the early collapse, Fe anchored The Fuokkas innings by scoring a steady 12 runs off 36 balls.  She never looked like going out, and didn’t!

    Seen here, an anchor

    Seen here, an anchor

     

    Eliza looked the goods and was unlucky to go out for a duck. Shane, on the other hand, slapped one to Tuesday on the mid-wicket fence for a golden. I think this makes him the only Quokka to have gone out for a Golden Duck outside the BDNO.

    Editors Note: I’m pretty sure this is true. Dutchy does have the honour of a Golden AND a Diamond Duck in the BDNO.

    The Fuokkas were blind to Tuesday’s crafty field placement, ‘gently’ guiding Mia to the sweet spot at mid wicket, where she held 4 catches (a Quokka record) & earned her the honour of having a fielding spot named after her; EVERY WAGs dream.

    Snipper came in and made 7 off 3 (1, 6, out), then watched the GP for the rest of the day, even while fielding.

    "What's the Score?" "Cars"

    “What’s the Score?”
    “Cars”

     

    Jazzron came on and scored a picket fence, before boring himself out for 18.

    Dutchy was 18ish at the end and The Rev batted without shoes, pads, gloves or an idea.

    Cat: There was no lack of ability from any of the ladies who gave cricket a go for the first time on Sunday. I think the stand-out player in Team B was Mia. As the old adage goes, catches win matches, and she didn’t put down a thing.

    That midwicket position, which was once Allan Border’s, will now be forever the “Mia position” to me. Mia told me she was a former dancer, to explain her coordination.

    I didn’t want to be rude, but that explains nothing. I think she’s just a natural cricketer.

    The Natural

    The Natural

    Special mention also to Caitlin who took a brilliant catch off a flighted edge at point. Caitlin is such a team player and uniquely un-intimidated by the new challenges – she was the only female to agree to bowl a third over and I think managed the bowling best out of all of us.

    Caitlin doing her thing

    Caitlin doing her thing

    But onto bowling, for those ladies completely new to the game in the Quokkas mixed match, (and, indeed for those who’ve played before), there is nothing natural about the bowling action. Trying to fling a ball with a straight arm down a pitch like a human windmill is counter-intuitive at the very least.

    However, ladies, we apparently have only ourselves to blame, since women invented overarm bowling. In the 19th century women were unable to bowl underarm because of their hooped skirts, so they started the overarm action we use today….That’s what I was told and please don’t Google it because I don’t want to find out that’s not true.

    Team A managed to make 84 after a very slow start, how did the next innings go?

    Cat: A couple of overs in, we had a problem in the form of one Ledene Ellis, another specialist opening batter for Melbourne Uni, and greatly accustomed to batting all day for Melbourne Uni whilst her teammates lay around getting a sun tan.

    The problem was that the runs were coming too fast, not helped by Tuesday who it’s fair to say, and wasn’t holding back.

    So the openers were retired, Jay had a decent crack and then the ever reliable Caitlyn padded up – eventually, once she worked out which way the pads went on. “How the hell do you run in these things?” – fair question Caitlyn.

    One person who can’t answer that is Rosemary, who plainly refused. I’ve seen people retire in various states of medical emergency over the years, but retiring at 4 not out simply because she “couldn’t be bothered” running, was a unique first.

    Ren: After lunch Tuesday and Ledene opened & it was obvious Team B was in a better position. Team A rotated the bowlers, to little success.

    Simon replaced The Russian in the field in the second innings. He bowled with a round-arm action that The Rev put down to the wide brim on his hat. His solid bowling dazed Small Goods who subsequently got run out by the Rev.

    This actually happened

    This actually happened

    Snipper bowled smoke and got Jay out, caught behind by Jazzron who looked like a real wicket keeper. Even he was stunned.

    Cat looked good until caught by Nick, who fielded like a Panther…  a Panther who could field; taking 3 classic catches.

    Eliza and Shweta both bowled and fielded really well, Shweta has the bruises to prove it!

    Happiness is a bruised kneecap

    Happiness is a bruised kneecap

     

    Dutchy fielded pretty well at Deep Square leg, a move more influenced by the availability of shade than strategy.

    Mia had 9 lives (and bruises) & ended up hitting the winning runs.

    Now that it’s all over, what would you say as Captain?

    Ren: Well done to Cat and Team B for a great win and the fun had getting there.

    A special thanks to all those that helped take photos throughout the day and to Big Dog and Cat for organising a delicious lunch.

    A special thanks to the QCC committee for their dedication to the game. If it weren’t for their passion for the sport, matches like the one that was held yesterday probably wouldn’t happen.

    There are so many great people in this club and I personally am cuffed for the opportunity to be part of it.

    A great day all round!! Ready for more?

    teamshot

    Tags:

  • From Captain Jay…

    It was with high hopes that the Q.C.C arrived at Alphington Park last Sunday for the final Yarra Pub League match of season 2015/16.
     
    This Captain’s quick pre game assessment of team morale was a solid 7/10. A definitive seasonal high.  Q.C.C members were spotted stretching, walking fast, tossing balls, inspecting the pitch, in the nets and at the ground early.
    This was, of course a big day for the hungry Quokkas. Coming off the back of the 2nd win of the season against the Rainbow Hotel, Q.C.C was in the hunt for a double and the Terminus could be just the blokes to satiate the Quokkas appetite. 
    A quick conversation with the Terminus revealed a squad with a total of just 19 hours sleep between the first 11 with an average of 11 stubbies consumed the night before.
    While morale was high, there were significant doubts that two in a row was possible. Last week Mike McDermott, a resident of Oxford in the UK won the lottery for the 2nd time in a year with the exact same numbers. According to the Daily Mail, the odds of the same six lottery numbers coming up at random again are 5,400,000,000,000 to one, or 2,330,636 squared. The Rev assured this captain that the Quokkas odds of winning the two in a row were in the same region of probability.
    It was with this weight and responsibility that two of the clubs elder statesman strode to the middle to face an impatient (keen to get back to bed) Terminus attack.
    Big Dog and Dutchy put on a solid opening stand with Dutchy retiring on 40 odd and Big Dog hitting out for 11. A fine opening partnership. Seeing off the new ball and setting up the middle order to pile on the runs.
    Snipper, back for his first match in a while went for 13 of 15 balls.
    Then came the middle order.. and what a middle order. Alex leading the way and pushing forward the run rate right up where she needed to be. Alex (ret 34), Curto (ret 30), Tuesday (30), Jay (25 n/o) and J Rod (8) piling on 127 runs in 70 odd balls. (all batters with S/Rate of over 1.6)
    The ever generous Nick AW and Local bowing out for 1 and 1 respectively.
    Ed, inspired by thrilling middle order batting and in at number 11, put on 19 runs off 9 balls (S/Rate 2.11)
    Quokkas finally had a total that leg side bowling and dropped catches could (maybe) defend..  7/229
    Earlier in the day the cones were strategically placed real deep to protect our leg side. Which for the most part (save Ed and Revs final overs) worked to our advantage.
    Tuesday and J Rod opened up the bowling from the Heidelberg Rd end. Tuesday, overlooked as an opening bowler for most of the season relished the opportunity with the new ball. 2 overs 1/7.
    Tuesday’s solid line and length set a difficult precedent for the remaining 10 bowlers to follow. 
     
    J Rod, under an injury cloud, worked away and kept the pressure on –  2 overs 0/6. The first 4 overs going for 1/13 runs (a run rate of 3.25). This was proper cricket.
    The Quokkas of old started creeping back in at around the 5 over mark. Dutchy cowering under a skied top edge at an expertly placed gully. Nick and Curto colliding under a catch at fine leg.
    Tuesday and Snipper dropping deep field catches. Almost unheard of..
     
    The fix was in? 
     
    Dutchy, Nick AW,  Ed and Rev bowling really tight (first) spells. Terminus, down a few wickets decided to finally install some batsman at the crease and they quickly lifted the run rate before drinks (12 over mark) 
     
    3/60 at the break. Not bad. It was only uphill from here..
     
    It was time to turn the screws. Jay and Snipper put on a pace attack after the break. Jay being hit for 6 off the first ball back from drinks.
     
    Was this the beginning of the end?
    What had the Terminus been drinking?
    Had the Terminus’s hang over subsided? 
     
    Jay and Snipper straightened up the attack with 4 overs of solid line and length, a few dots balls even. It was time to bring on the newly reformed (Aria Award Winner) Alex Gow. Recently turning to leg spin. Sighting the obvious advantage of having less of a chance of being charged for manslaughter than when he bowls short pitched/headhunting pace. 
    Alex’s first leg spin wicket has been compared to Warnie’s first Test ball on English soil.
    Bowling the batsman round the legs, from outside leg to take out the top of off. The umpire was confused. A few dropped catches later, and a staggering total of 76 runs coming off just 5 overs courtesy of – Curto (1/18), Big Dog (0/21), Rev (1/39) and Ed (2/23).
    A nervous captain retired to the deep outfield (in the shade) counting down the overs. “You can only put the cones out so far” – his internal mantra.
    Terminus 9/177!  Quokkas win 2nd match in a row. 
     
    Special mentions: 
    Dutchy – 2 short of a 50. Solid batting.
    Rev – 4 dropped catches / 1 taken (off his own bowling)
    J Rod – Dropping a catch off his own bowling and dropping his guts at the same time (causing fits of laughter from the batsman)
    Curto – Good match back, solid form with the bat and the gloves, good luck with the twins!
    Nick AW – Great bowling, great fielding, good bloke. Endearing comments at every change of end.
  • The most Quokka of moments

    No caption needed

    From Captain Ed…

    The sun was shining and while we were missing  a few of the Quokkas A-listers in Snipper, Dog and Chef, a find of L7’s Bricks are Heavy Album on Cassette in the shed Sunday morning had feeling it was going to be a good day.

    The Rainbow batted first and the Jay/Dutchy opening partnership yielded 2 wickets, Jay doing all the yielding. James (Alex’s brother) bowled first change on debut and learnt that bowling line and length leads to nothing but dropped catches at slip. Rev was the other first change bowler and started his spell with a few wides……

    Day Two

    Rev completed his 16 ball over and I had to drag him as a second over would have resulted in dehydration of the fielders waiting for the drinks break. Rainbow only 66 at drinks. I mentioned to Local on the walk back out that they key was getting through the period where we tend to drift and concede a few runs….that key was still under the mat. The rainbow got to 171 with the highlights of the second set of overs being Alex bowling leggies and landing them,  Radars two stumpings and the captain being questioned about his third over by two veteran quokkas after an unlucky 2nd over went for a few.

    The half time feast was amazing, 4 types of meat, fish and salads to challenge the Dogs culinary skills.

    The batting order was drawn from a hat and after dismissing Dutchies protest that 11 was actually roman numerals for 2, Local and Radar got us off to a flyer, 40 off four overs before Radar was caught hookin’ which he walked off sookin’ and kind of disappointed lookin’. Local retired for a dashing 32, Rainsey 15 (all to backward square), Jay 30 odd, Shane 30 less, Me, a Captains knock 0f 35, Tuesday hit the winning runs and we were home with an over to spare.

    Went back to the Rainbow anyway for a few beers, questions on the necessity of the length of Jay’s run up, discussions on what Alex sleeps in when his favorite shorts are elsewhere and queried the selection process for the captain of mixed team 2.

    And that’s about all. There was something else, but its slips my mind….Oh yeah, that’s it… ENTER THE REVEREND!!!!!!  26 not out, 32 balls, 5 off drives, highest pub league score, guiding us home for Victory.  Yes it happened and we were there.

  • From Captain Bowl’en…

    The day promised much for this weeks Quokkas – Alfred Crescent oval, beautiful weather, cold beer and an opposition we comfortably dealt with last year.

    As we crossed the oval to grab household supplies to be donated to ASRC that Big Dog and Cat had generously donated, couldn’t help noticing some of the ASRC bowlers warming up – hmm quite pacey. This Cap’n immediately congratulated himself silently on his masterful stroke to demote himself to no. 11 on the day. Would prove to be his only strategic command for the match.

    Anyway, for reasons still unknown Quokkas in to bowl first.

    Sharp, sharp, sharp
    – was the pain in my stomach from the previous nights kebab. And our fielding was remarkably sharp too. How un-Quok.

    Jay sharp too – his first over went for a maiden.
    Ed also economical with an opening over of 5. Rev went for 4

    Captain continued his remarkably strategic skippering:
    Alex: Bowl’en do you want me here?
    Bowl’en: umm yeah thats good

    Chef: I might move in a bit Bowl’en, he cant hit this far
    Bowl’en (stirred from daydream of eating hotdogs): umm yeah lets do that (hmm maybe Chef could make a good hotdog)

    Next ball Chef takes the catch. Inspiring captaincy!

    The Chef celebrates

    The Chef celebrates

    Where did it all go wrong I asked myself at end of innings when told they had amassed 261. Could have had something to do with all those sixes Wajid smashed into the park past child and canine alike on his way to 68. Or Arif with his 55. Or Iqi with 41. I won’t go on..

    Weird because we bowled quite well. Tuesdays C&B definitely the highlight wicket – a ripper snagged on his ankles. Perhaps a few Quokkas envious that he can bend down that far?
    Big Dog announced he had bowled no wides. Now that is awesome.

    Anyway, Quoks in for the chase with the Ed/Chef combo.

    Good start with Ed quickly retiring. If only he would retire his open necked quokkas shirt. Ed back later to make 47 – duly supported by the Captain with a hard fought knock of 2 not out

    Curto unlucky to get out on 30

    Tuesday a great all round effort with 24.

    Tuesday and Rainesy celebrate.  Rainesy's ladies sunglasses were special.

    Tuesday and Rainesy celebrate. Rainesy’s ladies sunglasses were special.

    Other batting highlights were Louey the dog providing special blend of cute, kathleens mighty bbqing and Rania’s photography skill. Thanks very much ladies.

    Great day as always though and for a very good cause. Kudos to Rev and Big Dog for setting up. Thanks to everyone for donations on the day.

    Big Day Not Out next – onwards and upwards!
    Bowl’en

  • From Captain J Rod….

    We came, we saw, They Conquered!

    In our 3rd annual game against the VBCA, we headed south to RM Lord Park in Carnegie.

    With the sun shining, we arrived to the site of Chris the umpire setting up on the turf pitch which excited some of the Quokkas.

    With the VBCA team choosing to bat first, the Quokkas took the opportunity to refresh/learn the rules and practice their underarm bowling.

    As Captain for the day, JRod opened the bowling to opposing captain Dave who hit the first ball back through his legs to get the VBCA team off to a flying start. The openers put on a great unbeaten partnership before retiring to give the other batsmen a bit of a hit.

    With some good fielding by Cat, Rainsey and Nick and some bad “Dad” jokes from Rev, Rainsey and Umpires Chris. Along with a couple of shared wickets between Mia, Shotgun, Rainsey we briefly slowed the runs. Very briefly, the VBCA gave us a huge target of 170+ in 20 overs.

    Opening with Tuesday and Mia we got off to a good start. Until Tuesday ran Mia out going for a run that just wasn’t there. Mia gave Tuesday a one finger salute which received a huge cheer from the Quokkas sitting on the boundary.

    This had Cat in at number 3 who put on a quick fire 11 before she was walking back which was followed by a middle order collapse. No one else reach double figures until Dutchy joined the Red Hot Tuesday who was quickly approaching his half century.

    Dutchy was unstuck by a brilliant piece of fielding by Robbo (Not our Robbo, that would never happen.) who ran a stunned Dutchy out with a direct hit from near the boundary.

    With Tuesday now passed 50, in great touch. The VBCA had no answer to his scoring. With Tuesday at the crease, we still have a chance of Victory.

    But wait, here come Rev at number 10, who strides to the middle confidently, then quickly runs Tuesday out, and with that any chance of winning.

    Rainsey in at 11 at one end, he managed to make double figures for the first time and his highest score playing for the Quokkas.

    At the other end, with the Quokkas needing over 30 runs an over, Rev was blocking them out nicely. With 57 needed off the last over, Rev was still trying to hit the winning runs, sealed with an attempted ramp shot off the last ball.

    The Quokkas fell 51 runs short of Victory but a great day was had by all. We hope the VBCA got some good practice and we wish them all the best in their upcoming 40/40 and 20/20 competitions at the end of December and early January.

    Squads

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