• Match Facts:

    Sunday, November 8

    Ground TBC

    Start Time:

    1pm

    The Big Picture:

    I’m going to just put this out there…the Quokkas love the Beefies.

    One of our longest-standing opponents and a great bunch of blokes to boot, there has been some cracking matches and moments between the two teams, not least the Beefies first-ever Pub league win!

    Other moments of merit from previous Beefy-Quokka encounters include Rowdy’s 87 off 23 balls (not mentioned in Eds book), Revs cover drive off one knee, Chefs 3/18 off 3 and the time Dutchy (while captaining) pleaded with the team for one more wicket – when the game was already won.

    Good times.

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas started the 2015/16 season with an honorable loss, going down to the Royal Derby by 10 runs.

    Given that the Derby’s opening 3 put on 116 runs after 13 overs with the rest putting on 57 in the remaining 12, and the Quokkas had a much more even performance (only 1 retiree & 7 wicket takers).

    It’s a good sign from the boys in Maroon & form that will be needed to battle the high-scoring & hard-drinking “BEEFIES”.

    Little is known about the BEEFIES start to the season, though it almost certainly involved a Ford Laser, a case of Fireball and the girls from the Playboy 2015 Calendar.

    What happens in the Laser, stays in the Laser

    What happens in the Laser, stays in the Laser

    In the spotlight:

    Local is coming off arguably his best performance as a Quokka, with 37 not out, 2 wickets and 2 catches (we won’t mention the drops). In the spirit of reactive field placements, we have made him Captain for this match.

    The quietly conquering Chef clocked up his 10th YPCA match for the Quokkas last weekend, and another wicket in the process. Our Kiwi-import has been smiling from ear-to-ear since the All Blacks won something on the weekend, one can only hope he continues his sleep-deprived & excellent form.

    Team News:

    For the second week in a row, the Quokkas look like they will have a full XI come game day, with the added bonus of a possible 12th man available on the day. Unheard of.

    The availables (at the time of writing) are:

    1. Big Dog
    2. Ed
    3. Dutchy
    4. Local (c)
    5. Tuesday
    6. J Rod
    7. Snipper
    8. Chef
    9. Bowl’en
    10. Jim
    11. Jay
    12. Pup?

    Pitch and Conditions:

    As of 6 days before the match, I still haven’t been told where the game is. Any insights would be really, really great. The good people at the Bureau of Meteorology tell me its going to be at least 27 degrees, so a pleasant afternoon wherever we are.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • Chef played his 10th YPCA game on the weekend & took his 12th wicket in the process. His average of 10 runs per wicket at 5.22 RPO is simply startling
    • This weekends match will be Snippers 10th, the man in new trousers currently has a batting average of 60.33
    • Along with taking a sensational catch last weekend, Dutchy also scored his 600th run for the club (the record). The man in orange has a batting average of 26.09, with 10 not outs, 55 fours and 21 sixes. Don’t ask about his “bowling” (aka. Throwing) average
  • 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)
  • Match Facts

    Sunday, October 19, Alfred Crescent Start Time 1pm (AEST)

    Big Picture

    Another big summer of cricket commences this weekend for The Quokkas, who have had a much lower-key off season than in recent seasons.  They can only hope that this results in a better start than in recent times, the last two seasons commenced with big interstate losses in Tasmania (to The Royal Oak Hotel) and in South Australia (to The Heapsgood XI).

    SONY DSC

    Happy Memories from South Australia

    The usual mix of retirements and disappearences have occurred in the off season, with some new and old faces returning too.  Of the new bunch, Snipper and Chef show real promise and even commitment, which will be handy given the packed schedule ahead.

    Of the familiar faces, Radars return from the USA is a real boon for the Quokkas, given he can open the batting and the bowling and is just a really good bloke in general.

    The schedule itself will see the Quokkas compete in (at least) 12 matches, including 4 non-YPCA games.

    In all, it’s a big season ahead and it kicks off this weekend against the YPCA new (and unknown) boys; The Terminus.

    Form Guide

    Quokkas: LLWLL

    The Terminus: n/a

    In the Spotlight

    Radar is Captain in this, his first game back in the mighty Maroon.  Unseen for a year while smashing ear drums and realities all over the USA, the bowler in tight denim has been right into pre-season; throwing down unplayable leggies, screaming seamers and destroying the odd car or two with the one that goes OVER the net.

    With the need for more players, especially younger ones, more dire than ever; Snipper is a welcome addition.  Unfairly, he seems able to bat, bowl and field.  AND his girlfriend bakes fresh scones.  It’s all a bit unfair really.

    Superman_Earth-One_001

    Snipper

    Team News

    The late mail is that The Phantom and Lonely unavailable due to parenting requirements.  We are hoping that Don (the Big Dogs mate) will be able to make it though and that “Is Don, is good”.

    Quokkas XI (probable):

    1. Robbo
    2. Local
    3. Snipper
    4. Radar (c)
    5. Big Dog
    6. Ed
    7. Rev
    8. Chef
    9. Emu
    10. Curto (w/k)
    11. Don

    Pitch and Conditions

    The last time the Quokkas graced Alfred Crescent local was the semi-finals of the Big Day Not Out in which The Phantoms bowling was pogo-d all over the neighbourhood.

    It’s also the ground where, under Radar’s captaincy (and Rowdy’s 87* off 23), the Quokkas hit over 260 runs in a 25-over match.  Aside from the memories of the run-fiesta, this ground is a favourite of the Maroon army due to its central location & for having a playground that small children can be locked in for hours.

    The lackadaisical streakers are always a treat too.

    Never with this result, though

    Never with this result, though

    Sunday is expected to be a dry 28 degrees, so similar to the run-fest of 2012, though without the Quiet man.

    Stats and Trivia

    • This will be The Big Dogs 33rd match for The Quokkas, quite fitting given his Irish accent;
    • Ed (366 runs) is marginally behind Dutchy (369) in regards to total runs, with the Dutchman out with Bread and Butter Pudding related illness, this is “Le Coqs” big chance to move to 2nd on the all-time runs list;
    • Radars statistics are quite binary: 12 matches, 11 innings, 112 runs, 11 fours and 1 six

    Quotes

    “The last time I played (baseball) at JL Murphy Reserve it ended in a bench clearing brawl and a member of the opposition subsequently being charged with assault. Any correlation between this event and my prior pitch decking the batter is purely coincidental”

    -Dutchy

  • It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we were all going direct to the Labour in Vain, we were all going direct the other way to the Prince Patrick, it was sunny, it was stormy, it was 25 degrees, it was 15 degrees, it was Ed’s six, it was Mo’s pushups, it was Canty’s chambray, it was Emu’s mohawk, it was Dutchy’s tanty, it was Curto’s lack of a mid on, it was pub cricket at its best, it was pub cricket at its worst.
    It begins, as it is with all things, with the Creator. The reason for being. The Reverend.
    And Curto.
    Their opening partnership looked strong. Curto shouted, Rev ran. Boundaries were hit, a platform was built. The sun was shining. All was well with the world.
    Ignoring all before him, The Rev focused on those he could not see, namely keeper and slip. Repeatedly he took forth the edge of his bat and cleft them in twain. This reverse attack tactic could never last long however, and soon a trademark ‘leave’ toed to first slip marked the end of his on-field contribution (14).
    Joined at the crease by the perfectly-coiffured Emu, the scoreboard ticked over nicely until Curto (15) fell foul of a full toss bringing the score to 46 for 2. Curto silently made note of this tactic for later in the day.
    It is heartening to see what the love of a good woman can do for a chap. Emu looked rejuvenated by promises of betrothal from Mademoiselle Mu and raced to 31 while Canty could only stand and admire.
    Gladys swung like the silver fox he is but could only manage 10. Phantom added a certain 27-year-old English medium pace bowler to his long list of English cricketing comparisons by not walking when the ball hit his elbow, but then tried to swat a straight one and left on 7.
    Meanwhile, Canty had his collar popped for the occasion however and had no intention of going anywhere, especially anywhere near the strikers end. He ensured the scorers rarely had to deviate from the binary system and was fittingly dismissed on 11.
    At 94 for 5 our early platform looked in jeopardy. Rowdy, on who’s Atlassian shoulders so many Quokkas innings had been propped up, put the pressure back on with some big hitting. Despite racing to 14, his ‘go big or go home’ strategy soon saw him home.
    Mo carried on where Rowdy left off and some muscular shots led some to question his relationship with the Essendon medical team. Newly married J-Rod, perhaps showing what too much love from a good woman can do, chipped a flaccid shot to mid off for 1.
    Big Dog started strong but the tempting waft from the barbeque proved too much as he departed on 3 from as many balls.
    With 8 men back in the shed and the score at 111 (which no doubt delighted Canty) it didn’t look good. What we needed was something out of left field and that was exactly what we got. Ed emerged from the toilets still clutching his little master and proceeded to slap it all over the place. Three fours and a six over cover prompting Platoon-like celebrations and talk of a book sequel.
    As Mo’s peptides ran low he headed back to the pavilion on 13, Emu returned to accompany Ed for the final 2 overs. Sensing a man looking after his average, The Prince Patrick brought the field in and kept Emu down to a few singles.
    With the Quokkas finishing on a competitive 149, it was time for Dutchy’s bicycle barbeque and Ed’s attempt at food poison with a $10 bag of snags.
    And so to the field… a freshly pepped Mo took the new ball and along with Rowdy & Dutchy gave the PP little opportunity to score. With the batsmen hungry for runs, the early introduction of Big Dog’s pastry treats was too much for one to bear, charging down the wicket leaving Gladys an easy stumping. 17 -1.
    Gladys was in on the action again in the next over with J-Rod attracting the edge and being thankful one of the few Quokka keepers able to take such tricky catches was behind the stumps. 26 – 2.
    Enter the PP captain and Ed’s muse, Jeremy. Emu’s decision to move Curto from cover to slip saw his first ball lobbed safely up to cover. Subsequent dropped catches by Dutchy & Ed (trying to attract the attentions of Man City scouts by bringing the ball down beautifully on his chest) meant opportunities to send their big hitter back early went begging.
    Always preferring to see wickets fall from his own bowling, Ed redeemed himself thanks to another stumping from Gladys. The cricket gods were clearly unhappy however, venting their displeasure with weather uglier than a Mortimer inseminated Tasmanian. Time for drinks.
    With the gods sated with cans of Melbourne Bitter and the smoke of exotic herbs, play soggily resumed with the PP on 71-3.
    Another 40 runs with no wickets meant the PP had 2 retirees, one enabled by square leg umpire Strawbs’ double vision, but Gladys’ catch from Big Dog meant the game was going to go down to the roach. Glady’s had now been involved in all 4 wickets, but kindly no-one mentioned the captain’s field set exclusively for catches in front of square.
    Clearly useful in a casino, Ed’s score updates informed all that the PP needed 14 of 12. Pressure on.
    Mo was feeling pressure of his own as he rang up his 1000th push up while Curto took what everyone assumed would be the second to last over. Let’s just hope any deliveries he’s involved in in the near future go rather more smoothly.
    Recalling his own dismissal he attempted a similar ‘full’ ball but was a smidgen (6ft) too high. Wild thing indeed. 11 from 12.
    Fielding downwind of the umpire’s intoxicating waft clearly affected J-Rod who, after being labelled as ‘Quokka’s best fielder’ by someone else who must have been breathing the same air, casually set about proving them wrong.
    A 6 closely followed by a 4 saw the pressure evaporate, and another single saw the PP home and (mostly) dry. The Quokkas team left wondering what might have been and whether Curto was lamenting more the loss of his mid on or his mind.
    What might have been then infact was, with the PP closed and the Labour never more open, Ed took full advantage of Kathleen’s absence to snuggle up to Jeremy on the warm deck (see photo).
    The Loving Couple

    The Loving Couple

  • This Star Wars Day saw the Quokkas head to The Brandon Hotel for the 3rd annual Gownlows presentation night.  All the Quokkas were there bar Alex and Radar, who were pre-occupied with some sort of ‘other’ entertainment in Western Australia.  Rumours abound.

    With 12 rounds of voting available this season, its was always going to be an interesting race to the B&F finish line, and so it proved with Gladys and Rowdy tying on 10 votes each for the famed broken bat.  Thankfully, the bat was in good hands at the Emu residence & has had a handle installed as well as been given a good clean.  It seems Emu does some of his best work in the off-season. Rowdy gave a touching speech, reminding us all of how bad we are as cricketers, before handing over to Gladys for more of the same.  Truly deserving winners, both.

    The other major award winners included:

    • The Christopher Reeve Award (for use of legs when batting) – J Rod
    • The Chimney Award (for incessant smoking during games) – Cupsy
    • The Mike Hussey Award (for taking one for the team) – Morts
    • The Dwayne Leverock Award (for best catch) – Sam Curtin
    • The Max Nichols Award (for best dummy spit) – Dutchy (beating out The Big Dog and the Curtin brothers)
    • The Darragh O’Donovan Award (for bravery) – Alex (beating out The Big Dog himself and Curto)
    • Best Bowling Performance – Pup
    • Most Wickets – Ed
    • Most Runs – Rowdy

    Thanks to everyone for a great season, photos of the night to follow

     

  • “I don’t play for this team to win. I play to have a bit of f**king fun”

    Never has the intent of the Quokkas been better summed up. Not all opponents we come across get the ‘spirit of pub cricket’ but the boys from the Dan O’Connell sure do. We like playing them so much we have taken to ironically calling them the HATED Dan.

    We encountered a late switch of venue from the postage stamp at the Kevin Bartlett Oval to the far more picturesque Burnley Oval. After some initial confusion from the hordes making their way across the City of Yarra this was greeted with general approval and by the end of the day plans were under way to switch the Curto family grudge match to the same venue.

    The Dan took their good nature a little too far by only turning up with 7 players for our last scheduled regular season game. We offered to let them bat as they tried to drum up a few last minute replacements and congratulated ourselves on the impending victory when we had them 3-15 in the first 5 overs. Emu, Phantom, Paris and Cruiser (an Emu recruit from the Proteas via Moorabbin Park) got the bowling off to a fine start.

    Captain Big Dog rung the changes with one over bowling spells the order of the day. At drinks the Dan were 5-63 but as has been common this season we relaxed after drinks and the Dan had a middle order revival, a retiree and boosted their numbers to nine. We took our good nature a little too far when we gave them our new recruit Freo Mike to bat at the end and he promptly hoisted his free hit for six before scrambling a couple of leg byes.

    Somewhere in here Rev had a hissy fit in the process of getting hit for 3 successive fours that seemed to be everyone’s fault except his. He particularly seemed to direct his ire at his mild-mannered captain; the poor, defenceless, hard-working Big Dog. There were knowing looks from those who Paris had told earlier in the season of Rev’s teenage anger management issues and the real reasons behind why he was sent to London.

    We finished with 8 wickets and the stylish Gladys took 4 of those behind the timbers. Emu and Phantom finished with two each with Cruiser, Paris, Rev and Bad Boy each picking up one. There were calls to only let Bad Boy play after a bucks night as he rolled back the years with a hangover/fiery bowling duet just like he used to. Having restricted the Dan to 135 we were confident of knocking them off. You can see what’s coming next.

    The delay with the food at the break, a lack of coleslaw on offer and the hot weather combined to undo our batting effort. Rowdy and Bad Boy opened up and after clubbing 10 off the first over they combined to run our Bad Boy with a direct hit off a risky single. Dutchy clubbed his free hit for 6 over the left centre-field fence but Rowdy departed shortly afterwards and Big Dog’s post-Xmas form slump continued and the only trouble to the scorers was recording 7 dot balls.

    Gladys and Rev came and went for a pleasingly symmetrical (though unhelpful) 7 each to leave us 5 wickets down and the run rate heading skywards. Dutchy top scored with 29 but was determined not to save anything to come back in at the end. In his own words “All bets were off as he sent down an absolute pie and I proceeded to loft it straight down the throat of midwicket”.

    Emu and Phantom built our best partnership of the day and then captain Tom of the Dan offered us a lifeline by putting Rev on to bowl. This was all too much for Emu who already had some conspiracy theory about the Dan and their ever-changing team line up. He edged behind in the next over and as he seemed to be the only person in the suburb that hadn’t heard it he stood there all David Warner style waiting to be given out. We continued our generosity to the Dan by offering them two substitute fielders from our ranks and Gladys upped his catches for the day tally by catching Cruiser for 1.

    J-Rod and Paris brought proceedings to a close as we crumbled to all out for 97. A defeat in pub cricket is always less important than the spirit you play the game in. The Dan even wanted to muscle in on our love affair with the John Curtin and suggested a tri-series. In any case visiting a pub like the Dan O’Connell after a loss never feels like a consolation prize. Big Dog was spotted there late at night staring into his Thunder Road Pale Ale and wondering if he would ever captain a winning side, or take another wicket, or hold onto a catch, or even score another run…

  • From Captain Radar….

    At first when I was informed of my captaincy debut in our social rematch against The John Curtain (who we always enjoy a good fair game against) I thought I was off the hook in terms of pressure to win. Little did I realise that this game was set up for one reason: To win back Rev’s hat.

    In the lead up to the game I was given a couple of ‘thoughts’ on what the batting order might look like. So like any good leader there was always someone else pulling the strings. I did enjoy some of Rev’s notes as to the qualities of individual batsmen in the Quokkas line up though… Dutchy – Jayasuriya style (I thought Jayasuria often got past 18?), Pup and myself – Calm clean strikers (Both of whom started a collapse on this day playing wild shots outside off trying to break the shackles after a great platform was set), Rowdy (Best bat in the team… I’ll come to that in a moment) and Rev himself – Hit or miss (Aren’t they the only two options in pub cricket? I mean only Phantom is game enough to either pad away or leave in this league).

    Right, so the game. Rev said Rowdy was the best bat in the team, but I think rowdy was out to prove he was the best bat in the history of pub cricket. After Gladys and Dutchy made a very solid start with Dutchy going for 18, Rowdy came in and proceeded to hit his first 4 balls for 6,6,6 and 4. This was pretty much how his innings continued eventually retiring for 42 off 11. All the while Gladys was taking his time to make 35 off 16. The middle order, including myself really played our role perfectly today making sure we didn’t hang around too long with relatively modest innings before the lower order got to come in and take control of the innings again.

    Alex started off slow but once a top edge found his bat then his eye all bets were off, on his way to 37 off 26. But a black eye would leave him wondering how his strike rate would be looking in other parts of his life for the following week. Emu also made a typical 39 off twenty after being dropped down the order to manage his workload as a bowling all rounder.

    Bad boy and Rev occupied the crease for a while and one of the most important moments of the season came during Rev’s innings – He hit a cover drive for four! But then it was time for the fire works to begin again. Eventually after Bad Boy‘s dismissal it was time for Rowdy to to return and if you though his start last time was impressive how about going step further with 6,6,6,6. This on the way to 45 off 12. Combining his two stints at the crease Rowdy made 87 off 23 (has to be one of the highest scores in pub cricket yet??). With the Quokkas totalling 6 for 264.

    The heat started to get a bit serious when we went out to bowl and I was wondering whether with that total we could have just given them a t-ball set and gone to the pub, but alas in pub cricket spirit we gave bowling a shot. My memory is hazy of this innings as for a good chunk of it I was suffering quietly in the shade while I dealt with too many late nights in a row in preparation for the game but ill give it a crack.

    We started well keeping runs to a minimum whilst taking a few wickets. Alex struck with his second over and Curto with his first before being strategically dragged from the attack. I took one wicket and celebrated very early once I realised it was Rowdy fielding in slips and not myself.

    After drinks I think the heat got to us and the pressure loosened a little. The intensity we had begun with was hard to maintain for the whole innings and it saw a couple of The Curtain’s batsmen retire. Even still, we managed to keep enough pressure on for them to never really threaten for the win. The Curtain ended up going for 200-odd.

    So in the end the day was Rowdy’s supported by some great performances which on any other day would have been absolute stand outs. The Curtain were as gracious as ever and took a couple of absolute screamers in amongst all the big hitting. A happy Christmas game was had by all (Quokkas) and most importantly… Rev got his hat back!

  • First of all I must apologise for the tardiness of my report, however I must confess that I was of the opinion that the Captain for the day normally was responsible for the report (although I do further confess that the skipper did ask me to write the report that afternoon after the match).

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

  • And so it came to pass…

    The three wise men came from the East(ern suburbs) in search of the new-born Messiah. The found something better on Heidelberg Road near the Clifton Hill overpass where they witnessed the advent of cricket incompetency as the Quokkas once again conspired to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The three were last seen holding a snag in bread and a can of Melbourne Bitter, gazing into the western evening sky and talking about a Rev?

    Having opted to field in order to give opposition (the hated Dan!) a chance to find a spare public BBQ amongst the families and Xmas parties in Fairfield Park the Quokkas bowlers continued in the same wicketless way that they had finished the previous game. The opening pair of Bad Boy and Rev were accurate and although Radar and Mo gave away very few runs no early poles were disturbed. Marty made the breakthrough but the Dan were 1-60 at the drinks break.

    There were a few choice pieces of advice given over the course of the day including ‘More catching & less drumming’ for our ARIA nominated muso. But the one that got the Quokka fielders chortling most was the classic piece of own team sledging from the Dan team mate umpiring at square leg to a hesitant batsman contemplating a single ‘RUN, you f**khead!’

    Rowdy bowled beautifully and picked up a couple for his efforts whilst supersub Emu and J-Bomb took one each. But a few dropped catches combined with the sluggish effort in the field gave the general feeling that we really hadn’t done our best. Nevertheless, the consensus at the break was that a total of 6-147 could certainly be chased down if we could just keep our heads and bat sensibly.

    Yeah, about that……

    Emu and Radar got us off to a flying start and after 6 overs we had 51 on the board. A clatter of wickets followed with Emu (slogging having just got to his 30), Dutchy (quack, quack) and Rowdy (he can actually bat!) being most culpable. J-Bomb and Big Dog steadied the ship at 6 down without troubling the scorers too much and then a 46 partnership between Curto and Big Dog was a combination of good luck and Curto sneaking singles by yelling at BD to ‘Push, Harder, Push’. Perhaps the heavily pregnant Mrs Rev could benefit from such sage advice!

    We ran out of overs at 9-136. So Big Dog maintains his 100% loss record as captain but back at the pub had a grin as wide as the Cheshire Cat with his previously unheard of accumulation of 35 runs unbeaten. A triumph of stubbornness over ability but alas, too little too late to stop the Quokkas sliding into the holiday season with an 11 run defeat. Actually back at the pub we found we didn’t hate the Dan at all and they are a great bunch of blokes in the spirit of Yarra pub cricket.

    But what a story Curto had to tell on the Monday morning when his work mate posed his regular enquiry of ‘Ahhh, So how did the Big Dog go yesterday?’

   

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