No obscure 80’s (maybe even 70’s???) English references this game report since a majority of the Quokka players were neither English or Australian, with two playing cricket for the first time ever. Great thanks to Julian (French) and Laszlo (Hungarian) for coming down to Regent’s Park to try it out and create enough of a team, along with help of three of the opposition’s star players; Martyn, Rocket and Viv. St Anne’s were just keen to play, almost too keen booking a Saturday game, causing a 12th hour panic when the Skip realised two days before leaving us with half a team. Nethertheless having the last game called off made us all eager and happy to play, a good sign for cricket and the Quokkas.
Quokkas fielded first, meaning the newcomers could watch and learn, not worrying about how to bat… yet. Tight opening bowling from Satan and myself were good signs at the start, Smruti showing his skills with three catches and Doc keeping wicket ‘proper’ keeping low and close. I did drop one off the Skip, but the Quokkas were on a roll as he made a mends and caught and bowled one himself. Martyn and Viv showed solid stoppage bowling but the surprise was Anand. After trying to excuse himself from bowling, he was convinced/forced to give it a try by the Skip and three solid overs of fast paced leg spin had us all wishing for more. Unfortunately the overs ran out but the Quokkas were convincing – holding St Anne’s to 92 runs, a good team performance.
After a lovely afternoon tea, Quokkas were confident of a win and gave our newcomers a chance, not hiding them at the bottom but working in at the top. Gracefully the oppo realised this and didn’t bowl their best first up, but that didn’t matter as we all got ourselves out in one way or another. Holing out, run out and even a stumping for poor Lazlo (the keeper said he was out of his crease for the last 3 balls) meant that Quokkas were 36 for 5 after 12 overs. Even with such frustration we were still tantalizingly close and on pace. Smruti played some convincing shots with a high of 23 runs but unsurprisingly the collapse continued. I went to help move the teas/tables back to the car and when returned it was all over. 76 runs all out.
A loss for quokkas but a fun day for cricket and a whole new experience for a few. It reminded me of how I got into cricket in the first place on a trip to London, and part of that was a tour of Lords. I didn’t understand the game at all but it intrigued me and I learned. Sometimes it’s not about getting good players (it doesn’t hurt) but about making friends that are willing to give it a go.
Tom the Yak