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.
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