The Quokkas headed off to the hilly and leafy surrounds of Doncaster this Sunday gone for a practice match against the Victorian Deaf team, ahead of the Deaf Cricket National championships in Adelaide this January.
To define it as a practice match was quite fitting, the Quokkas were practicing playing cricket, while the VDC team practiced executing their skills against slowly-moving targets.
With the good people at Fitzroy-Doncaster CC generously daonating a glorious turf wicket for the game, it was always going to be a challenge for the Quokkas to adjust to variable bounce and movement off the seam; things not really seen off the true bounce you get on Pub League synthetic pitches.
Also going against the boys in Maroon (apart from their opponents being good at cricket) was that this game was played under established T20 rules (e.g. wides, no balls etc).
Needless to say, E Xtras had a fine match.
Working for the Quokkas, though, were their imports from the VDC; James and Tony, both of whom had outstanding matches.
The other positive from James & Tony playing for the Quokkas, was that Dutchy and J Rod played for the VDC, not that it was all good news…
With Fitzroy-Doncaster scheduling lunch for us at 1:30, the Quokkas elected to let the VDC bat first, so as to ensure we’d make it to the break.
Tony opened the bowling for the Quokkas, and immediately forced all of the fieldsmen to take a few steps back due to the pace he created.
With every other bowling option literally arriving at the ground in time for the start, Tuesday was also given the new ball & was given some punishment despite some very good deliveries.
Snipper & Jay were then brought on, with Snipper bowling with heat and efficiency down the hill, while Jay bowled 4 excellent overs of bounce and swing up the hill for a reward of 2 wickets.
Chef also had success bowling his darts up the hill, while The Rev delivered a “Rev Classic”; an over of head-high full-tosses, in-swinging yorkers, a wicket (thanks J Rod) and finally him breaking down completely with a bad back & going off.
The remaining bowling overs were completed by Keegs (subbed on for the Rev) and Alex, whose bowling may or may not have been impacted by his big win during the week.
At the end of their batting innings the VDCA had put on 162, which didn’t seem that bad after them being 0-47 after the first 4 overs.
The lunch spread was delightfully received, with further delight being shown by the VDC guys when they realised the Quokkas were drinking beer between innings.
The gospel of Pub Cricket isn’t going to spread itself you know.
The Quokkas started their batting innings strongly, with Curto and James from the VDC leaving the good balls (which was most of them) & hitting the bad ones through the gaps.
They then decided to hit some of the good ones through the gaps too, as scoring more runs than the opposition is a more-proven way of winning a game of cricket than playing “good ball, bad ball”.
Getting a little too aggressive, Curto managed to find a way to run James out, bringing the Big Dog to the crease.
Being a particularly poor cricketer, there are few moments that I can actually savour or look back on with untainted joy in my time with the game, but shooting The Big Dog out for LBW on 0 while umpiring this match is one of them.
Curto followed the ‘Dog back to the pavilion / toilet block soon after, bringing Bowl’en (Shane) to the crease.
It’s still to be proven that Shane is a pub cricketer, he does drink a lot of beer & is great for a yarn, but he insists on playing proper shots through the off-side.
As a result, he found this (proper) bowling to his liking & swiftly moved to 11 before being dared into playing a leg-side shot (by Dutchy) & popped one back to the bowler.
I believe you could hear Dutchy’s laugh in The Hague.
Alex also showed the benefits of patience & proper shots, before being stumped off a Jaffa
Keegan was unfortunate to go Caught Behind for a Duck, the wicket keeper didn’t hear the knick (obviously) until the umpire told him.
You’re welcome Keegs.
At 6 for 66, the Quokkas were either in a Metal Band or a world of trouble.
It was the latter.
Thankfully, a procession of Tuesday (18), Chef (24) and Tony (33) brought the game all the way to the last ball of the match with 1 needed to tie, 2 needed to win and Chef on strike.
I won’t go into the details of whether the last ball was a wide and didn’t need to be hit, or whether it was caught behind, or whether Chef was also run-out, but the game ended with the Quokkas being 1 run short of a tie.
It was a great game in all, played in a wonderful spirit, apart from Dutchy nearly laughing himself to death after getting Tuesday out & Tuesday taking a risky run with a call of “come on, its just J Rod fielding”.
Thanks very much for the VDCA for the game, as well as Fitzroy Doncaster CC for being such great hosts.