• For a cricket club that plays the game for fun and inclusion, a game like the one against the ASRC had previously unknown importance. If ever there was a time to enjoy the game for its own sake, this was it. The importance of enjoyment brought back memories of Dolph Lundgren in ‘Universal Soldier’ with his line: “Are we having fun yet?”.

    And who could forget that?!

    And who could forget that?!

    Lining up at the Kevin Bartlett Recreational Ground, arguably the smallest ground on earth, was only ever going to add to the enjoyment of the day. It was agreed that a score of 200+ would be needed to guarantee the win.

    Oh, how we smiled at the thought of it.

    Working against our smiles, though, was the weather. With the thermostat pushing past 30 by midday and promising plenty more to come, along with the very un-Melbourne humidity levels, spirits moved from ‘high’ to ‘coping’ quickly. The weather had such an adverse impact that many of the ASRCs players decided it was safer to stay indoors. They were right. Still, with plenty of Quokkas and spectators available, two teams were constructed and the ASRC elected to have a bat.  Opening with Subi and Israr, the ASRC lads got off to a good start, particularly against Ed whose off-spinners went for 12 in his first over.

    Needing to put the brakes on a bit, Captain Rev lent on medium-but-accurate bowlers Paz and Chef and was repaid with interest almost immediately, with The Chef serving up a main meal of middle peg destruction. Sensing that there might actually be something to this accurate bowling approach, The Rev then brought on J Rod and Snipper, both of whom got in on the wickets too. Snipper even went on to take the old Richie Benaud figures one step further; 2 overs, 2 runs, 2 wickets and 2 catches! One of the catches was Super-Mario-esque, with Snipper appearing to jump while in the air.

    Artists impression of Snipper

    Artists impression of Snipper

    On the subject of catches, Tuesday was again everywhere, taking 3 for the day including a couple of screamers on the leg side boundary. He has now taken as many career catches as the Big Dog in 33 less games.

    Possibly dizzy from the heat or catches being held, The Rev decided it was time to go for a walk under the sprinklers in the neighbouring Soccer pitch and brought “Bowl’en” Shane on for a while, possibly because he thought the batsmen may hit a few to the middle of the pitch. The thought was almost correct, as “Bowl’en” went on to take 3 wickets off 2 overs, only the 3rd time a Quokka has taken 3 wickets in a game.

    Going into drinks with the score at 8-50 and with spirits lifted by the sprinklers, the Quokkas thought it best to let the ASRC bat 11 batsmen. Note to the patient reader: whenever the Quokkas get cocky, disaster strikes. On this day disaster took the form of the returning batsman Ishrah and super-sub (and birthday boy) The Big Dog.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    The man is an excitement machine.

    The Big Dog made a mockery of the leg-side field that was set for him, often hitting at and through the fielders placed there, particularly The Rev. His deft leaving of Emus lightning bolts outside off stump was a lesson for all young cricketers to follow. The innings was brought to an unexpected end by The Rev bowling off spin (as he had lent his shoes to one of the opposition) and getting one to pop up to Israh who edged it to Gully for ‘keeper Tuesday to run in and catch another screamer in front of Emu.

    The total had now moved to a more daunting 124, though not so daunting that The Rev arrogantly opted to open the batting with his brother. The strategy paid off to a degree, with the siblings both making brisk 5s & allowing their mum to go home and get out of the heat. J Rod arrived at first drop, and was soon joined by Shane, and even sooner by Radar with The Quokkas looking decidedly shaky at 3 for not may at all.  The ASRC were bowling brilliantly in the conditions, with Subi getting miles of inswing from his left armers, as well as solid support (and pace) from Hussain and Ikram. J Rod was the answer to clever bowling though, top edging over his head on at least 4 occasions to hit the boundary directly behind him, as well as punching singles and 2s along the lush outfield to hit his first retirement score (30).

    The retirement of J Rod precipitated another mini-collapse, with Emu and Tuesday registering 1s before being caught out trying to hit out. Emu’s dismissal was a particular highlight, with the large flightless bird being caught on the rope by the birthday boy (what a present!) by the bowling of the long-suffering Kathleen (Eds partner). My memory isn’t very good these days, but I’m pretty sure that’s the second time in 2 seasons that Emu has been dismissed by the fairer sex.

    ahhhh yes....

    ahhhh yes….

    Radar was then joined at the crease by Ed, who obviously likes sleeping on the couch as he hit Kathleens next 2 deliveries for 10 runs. The heat began to pinch again, with Radar losing his na-na and running himself out, bringing Dutchy to the crease.  Surviving an appeal for Leg-Before-St Kilda, Dutchy settled in comfortably and started working the ball around, creeping the score towards the target. A combination of the heat and the birthday boy then saw the end of Ed, who knicked an extra slow delivery to the ‘keeper, allowing Snipper to come in and hit the winning runs with the Dutchman.

    Not that the end result mattered, the game was all about having a go and having some fun. It was great to see the smiling faces of the lads from the ASRC and the Quokkas, showing how beneficial sport can be in welcoming people into the community.

    Thanks must go to Dave Cameron from the ASRC for helping organise the game, Yarra Council for letting us use the field, Prahran and Moorabbin Park Cricket Clubs for donating gear to the ASRC, Pup for umpiring and scoring all day & to everyone who helped out.

  • 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*)

  • 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, December 21 Pederson Oval, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North

    Start Time: 1pm

    The Big Picture

    The Quokkas last game for 2014 comes amongst a flurry of good tidings and cheer.  Not only are the Quokkas 3 wins from 4 games, but their 1 loss was against far superior opposition & even it wasn’t a blow out. Their last game, against the Marquis, saw them win a very highly skilled match against brilliant opposition.  This has led many to ask; “what have you done with our Quokkas?”.

    The “Beef” Curtin are one of the Maroon armys favourite teams to play, having co-hosted the Small Day Not Out last season & also our opposition to perhaps the greatest Quokka game of all.

    With Christmas just around the corner, this match is sure to contain plenty of festive cheer.

    Form Guide

    Quokkas: WWLW

    John Curtin: n/a

    In the spotlight:

    Since coming into the side this year, Tuesday & Chef started slowly but have put in ever-improving performances with each game.  While Tuesdays fantastic year in the field (6 catches, more than Curto) has had the crowds talking, its his efforts with the bat (scores of 1, 6 and 25) that are really starting to change games.

    Similarly, Chef is starting to build confidence from his bowling performances and is starting to hit runs, and in a hurry too.

    Team News:

    The lost dogs home has called and as a result we have the indefagitable Pup back amongst our numbers.  The left-armer had a break-out summer last summer, and I’m not just talking about pimples.  Finishing second in the B&F only on a countback, Pup (16 career wickets at 13 & 178 runs at 16) is a welcome addition to the team.

    IMG_8574

    He’s baaaaack…..

    Perhaps due to the Christmas rush, the pull outs are a little premature this week.  Rowdy and J Rod have confirmed their unavailability, to be replaced by similar players; Rev and (new boy) Barnesy.

    Quokkas XI (probable):

    1. Snipper (c)
    2. Radar
    3. Big Dog (w/k)
    4. Ed
    5. Local
    6. Rev
    7. Chef
    8. Tuesday
    9. Pup
    10. Cruiser
    11. Barnesy

    Pitch and Conditions:

    The Pederson Oval is the home and heart of Yarra Pub Cricket with its grandiose grandstand and lush, long boundaries. The forecast is for a balmy 28 degrees and with the Quokkas batting second, they should be sure to keep their energy about them in the field.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • This will be Eds 30th appearance for the Quokkas (not counting BDNO or VBCA games), making him only the second player to do so (behind the Big Dog);
    • Locals hot run of form with the bat has seen his batting average this season boom out to over 10 (10.8 to be precise) at a pulsating strike rate of 0.81.  A vast improvement of the average of ~3 that he carried into the season;
    • The Curtins bowlers could be excused for having a double-take at the Quokkas batting averages for this season.  Snipper (62), Radar (45), Emu (68), Ed (48) and Big Dog (50) are all looking like Test candidates on paper, before one considers the YPCA retirement rule;
    • The Quokkas have taken an un-Quokka-like 18 catches already this season, though some of this could be attributed to the lack of attendance by J Rod.  More amazing still is that, even though Curto has been in the form of his life behind the stumps, Tuesday has more catches than him (6 to 5)
  • And so another season of un-entertaining cricket for the Victorian (Labour in Vain) Quokkas was crowned with an entertaining evening of celebration in the manner only known as THE GOWNLOWS.

    Taking up residence in the Grace Darling Hotel, the second-oldest pub in Melbourne, in the very room in which the Collingwood Football Club was formed, the Quokkas celebrated their own recent season with a count of the votes given, match reports read and awards presented for outstanding efforts.

    Highlights of the season were also observed, including the $5,000 raised for charity (Kickstart for Kids and the McGrath Foundation), the match against the Victorian Blind Cricket Association and of course the match against The Pinnacle Hotel (our win!).

    Joe “Lonely” Miller-Norman ended up taking out the Best & Fairest Award on a count back, after initially polling the same number of votes as Pup, though receiving more 3 votes for the games he played in.

    Bad luck to Pup, though he has years to exact revenge.

    Bad luck also to Ed, who now has to listen to Lonely bang on about this win, as well as the “Mighty Teal“.

    Other winners for the evening included:

    • Most Runs AND Most Wickets: Ed
    • Best Player at the Big Day Not Out: Robbo
    • Worst Player at the Big Day Not Out: Phantom (also picked up the award for the most runs against in an over; 28)
    • The Sledgehammer Award for Sensitivity: J Rod
    • The Zoe Goss Award for being dismissed by a female: Emu
    • The J Rod Death Bowling Award: Curto (for being hit for 14 runs off 3 balls to lose the game with an over left)
    • The Bruce Reid Award for Batting: The Rev

    Thanks everyone for a great season, here’s looking to season 2014/15.

  • First before any captains report, let me just go through how I was bowled by a woman.

    With that explained, I must say I was disappointed to see the Royal Oak field some ring-ins from Malvern Valley take batting positions 2,3 and 4. However, with Robbo and Pup ringing bells, we were able to keep a run rate low. That was until Ed came onto bowl. He bowled a really good toppie, but the five other balls, well, I didn’t worry about my car, the hits went over into houses.
    One ring in retired, JRod came onto bowl a wicket maiden, Derby bowled tight then Joe bowled smoke, taking pegs on two occasions.
    We kept them to 66 until we found out Klutzy the Keeper dropped the ball on the helmet. Make that 71.
    The chase started in earnest, Cupsy and Robbo slamming it about.
    “Best hundred dollars I spent” was Robbo, not referring to a trip to Bangkok but to the 2″9′ Gray-Nicolls Powerbow. As a general rule, in cricket, if it hits a tree half way up, it’s a six.
    With two retirees, Emu went in, and in true BDNO form, went out cheaply. Curto and Ed came together and just when the equation got tight, Curto saw off a ring in and a new bowler came into the attack.  He was described by Curto as “what you could wish for” and Rev described him as the “worst bowler I have ever seen with perfect tennis ball bounce” or to explain better; Ed hit him for a leg side six! Curto’s innings was 1..646 and the semi final awaited.

    The semi final occurred after 17 hours of waiting. We were a little rusty and were pelted about the park. Robbo, Joe and Shotgun all felt the pain. After five tough Tramway wicket less overs, we batted with Joe and Dutchy opening up to hopefully get near a 150 that we would need. Some big hits came off but too often boundary riders cut off fours.
    Joe skyballed and Dutchy went, not after some lusty cut shots! Then Local Derby came in and played some of the most abstract shots available…for sixes! Meanwhile, Cupsy had Jekyll and Hyded into Alastair Cook in the last Ashes, series swotting, cursing and missing everything. Relief came in all three poles being disturbed. I was at the non-strikers end and as he heard the death rattle he looked at me with the “there goes the never been out record”
    I was in again and made maybe a dozen (reverse sweeps are so 2012) but made the error of driving and calling before it beat the bowler. He dragged it back and Pup was run out.
    Salvation was to come from Robbo with his Bow of Power, blasting an unbeaten 24. I happily sat up the other end watching slog sweeps and pull shots. Rev came in briefly with his new bat too, and from the thick edge for 2, he knew his purchase was special as well.

    As for the final 5 overs, let’s look at how the Tramways team saw it. They slapped us around in the first 5 overs and bowled tight to the Napier. They deserved a grand final. Surely, the Quokkas won’t let these guys make 69 of 5 overs? Emu and Pup went all out attacking with a ring field and slips and went for 7 and 8.
    Surely 54 off 3 overs won’t happen?
    Fresh from baby duties, the Phantom came on to bowl. Cupsy successfully showed why he is not a vice-captain by convincing me that Phantom could be the X Factor. Barefoot, he bowled 6 short pitched mediums that were pogoed. One nearly went over the house on Alfred Crescent. It hit the second floor guttering.  661646 equals 29. At one point the batsman walked off, only to be told he was on 19* so he returned to bat, hitting another 6, then walking off.

    Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 11.05.01 AM

    Screenshot of Alfred crescent oval, Alfred Crescent and newly damaged houses adjoining the oval – thanks again Quokkas!

     

     

    Returning to JRod, the death over king, Napier ploughed their way to finally tying with Tramways with one ball remaining. JRod bowled a decent enough OFF Stump ball, kissing the edge, Curto howled to his left and snatched it! Only for the ball to jar loose on landing because he has Mr.Burns arms. Napier were ecstatic, Tramways were gutted, musing an opinion about the Quokkas that many others had formed before.
    The real winner was the President of the league because the ar$eclown had no contingency in case of a tie.

    Overall, the finals summed up our season; batting is a feast or famine, bowling swings from very good to very poor and when switched on, fielding is awesome, but switched off, it is Tufnell-esque.

    Thanks to Rev and Ed for getting the show on the road and to all the guys for being upbeat even though with short games I couldn’t bat everyone as much as usual.

    As Cupsy said, nothing was better than watching the three ring ins for the Royal Oak with oversized bags trudge away first round losers wondering how the Quokkas rolled them.

  • 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.

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    Pup and Emu modelling the goggles

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    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.

  • Fairlea West oval is a new ground to the likes of Pub Cricket and it was a nice deck near a mental asylum. Having awoken at 9:00 to the text from Rev saying I had to find two players, I was feeling the pressure of captaincy, Kim Hughes style.

    With Phantom getting his British mate, Alex (Beano) in and Pup shrugging off injury, added to Local making his debut; we had an XI. Ed and Dutchy started off well, with Dutchy powering an unbeaten 30. I would later make it a 26.  Ed pushed then pounded, hitting some great shots…which when straight to fielders, but by Drinks had an unbeaten 31. Local came and went, his rustiness proving tough to shake. Phantom was hardly sighted, J-Rod was elevated up the order. He watched Emu get bowled by a quality inswinger. I began to feel the pressure of captaincy, Alastair Cook style.
    Alex (Beano) combined with J-rod and pounded a Flintoff-esque 27. Big Dog came and went searching for the big hit. J-rod was out on a handy 17 which included a well struck heaving six, leaving Pup facing the death over. Being on strike for 5 balls Pup made 17 lifting our total to 153. I was a smallish ground and we were about 15 runs short. It was interesting to note that 4 players in their team were newbies unaware of the no-LBW rule and as I umpired and continually waved LBW appeals away (Dutchy, Ed, Local were main offenders, and Big Dog of course) these blokes must have thought I was an @rsehole. That was pressure, Kevin Pietersen style.
    Big Dog opened our cause after another quality Dutchie Bike BBQ. The dog created 2 great chances, unfortunately the captain had not put a fielder where they landed! Robbo bowled very well without result. Local came on to bowl quality off peg line and Alex Beano also bowled well. With wickets hard to come by eventually sharp fielding yielding a run out, then Ed tossed down a vicious zooter like delivery, which gave new wicket keeper Emu his first stumping of the day. Battered arm and shaved head Pup came on to bowl some old school swing.
    Pitched up and shaping, he would end with figures of 1/8 off 3 overs. with some 12 runs to defend off 18 balls, I turned to Shotgun and J-Rod. Shotgun had bowled superbly capturing 3/15 with a wicket maiden in there. Approaching the last over it was still a run a ball stuff, and I was feeling the pressure of captaincy. Luckily, a sky ball popped up to long on, and as captain all I could do was run 40 metres at full tilt, make perfect position, fingers up and take a perfect coaching manual catch. Of course, I could have always left it to Robbo, who would have to have taken three steps for the same result.
    Down to last, an unfortunate overthrow gifted them a boundary and the Funf boys grated through with 6 balls to spare. I am happy that we took last years BDNO champions all the way. Of course, we were missing Rev, so we will beat them in the finals.

     

    Play of the day: Pups 5 balls  (0,4,5,4,4)
    Emufarm
  • The King is dead; Long live the King

    And so, onto Adelaide for our second interstate tour. It was a new season and hopes were unrealistically high. Would we be able to put on a show with just one net session behind us and lacking our star batsmen Rowdy, Gladys & Emu? The answer…a resounding no.

    We fielded first and after a reasonable bowling performance (in spite of some sluggish fielding) we were set a gettable total to chase. Some fairly ordinary shot selection and kamikaze running between the wickets meant we never got close. The upside? Two new stars with the bat coming in at 10 and 11. J-Rod shocked the world with his first career 6 and Pup came of age with dancing footwork and a flashing blade.

    Our hosts manned the BBQ and kept the esky full whilst we headed out to field in the hot South Australian sun. A decision that was largely defined by Dutchy getting stuck in Horsham and waiting for alternative transport. With the team kit safely in the stranded van Big Dog and Piper had a morning shopping trip to Rebel Sports to pick up some new stumps. Ed and Phantom literally mucked in and displayed their resourcefulness by shovelling mulch in to secure the stumps and we were underway.

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    Phantom, Ed, Rev, Morts and Shotgun in front of the Adelaide Botanical Gardens before the match. This was the most idyllic image for the next 24 hours.

    Two early wickets had us sitting pretty until the wildcard Dan Healy came in at number 4. Ed had been working on some new sledges although bagging the former pro footy player for getting delisted after 38 AFL games does seem a little rich from the man who last graced the footy field at centre half forward for the Manchester Mosquitos.

    The fence was cleared several times to bring up a a retirement on 42 and captain Big Dog showed there is no place for nepotism at the Quokkas as Pup was called on to bowl with the former Saint in full flight. We limited runs at times but lost our way in the mid afternoon heat and the score continued to rack up. Robbo and J-Rod had a busy day fetching the ball from beyond the legside boundary though only Cupsy had his homecoming ruined by having one end up in the Torrens off his bowling.

    On the batting front Robbo continued his form of last season and was out twice (including his free hit) in the first over. Curto gave us an early display of his Stuart Broad impression by refusing to go until Rev put the finger up even though Curto seemed to be the only one who thought he hadn’t hit it.

    Ed and Dutchy threatened briefly before Big Dog came in and ran Dutchy out trying to hide at the non-striker’s end. Shotgun returned the favour calling the Dog through for a single that was never there. Biggest surprise of the day was the two most volatile members of the team staying calm despite their calamitous run out dismissals.

    The collapse continued though the Phantom was unlucky to go to a blinding slip catch from opposition captain Howie. Down to the last pair and not even close to the total, the tail end had the freedom to chance their arm. J-Rod made the best of the short boundary and will spend the rest of the season reminding us about it.

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    The Phantom, seen here barefoot, cracking cover drives after lunch at Chateau Tanunda.
    Unfortunately, this occurred on the day BEFORE the match.

    Into his fourth season with the club this was the innings where the young Pup came of age. Like his namesake plundering test attacks he went from being unable to pierce the infield with his junior bat not so long ago to standing tall and cracking boundaries. For teammates, the similarity to Rowdy didn’t end there with Ed asking Pup to be sure to let him know if he ever wanted to offer an opinion on anything. A new batting star for the new season.  Hopefully he can keep the batting order afloat until Max is ready to don the pads.

    We rounded off the day with a super meal at the Jasmin Indian restaurant and added to their signed bat collection from touring cricket teams with a presentation of our own version. Easily the highlight of the tour was the replacement of the 1984-85 West Indies touring team bat in the display case by the 2013 touring Quokkas.

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    Quokka tour bat on display, not sure what the “Australian Ashes Winning Team” bat to its left is.

    A big thanks to Howie and our hosts for organising and well done to everyone for contributing to the charity fundraising effort which resulted in over $2,600 being raised for the very worthy www.kickstartforkids.com.au

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Recent Comments

  • Strong.
  • 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.