There is a great scene in Episode V in which Han, piloting the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field to escape from the Empire, sees what seems to be a cave in one of the asteroids and guides the Falcon into it in a gentle sweeping move (you can see it below if you skip to 1:39).
I often think about this scene whenever I do a U-turn in my car, as if I am re-creating it, and it always makes me smile at my own idiocy. In fact, I always think about this scene whenever I do a U-turn.
And so began my drive to the lush outfields of Kooyong began on Sunday after picking up Maxy, with a gentle turn, heading not into the mouth of a giant asteroid worm (SPOILER ALERT!) but to our annual match against the VBCA.
Despite not having the Empire on my tail, I was still a little nervous as we were running late and the indefatigable Nick Pepper from the VBCA had originally suggested an 11am start.
I managed to coerce him past midday for a start time, but it looked like I would need to fix the hyperdrive to make it there on time.
Thankfully, the VBCA had caught a serious case of Quokka time and there were only a smattering of their players at the ground by the time Maxy and I got there, with a full Quokka squad already in attendance.
With the usual number of “outs” during the week, The Big Dog had been on the recruiting rampage and brought in George Schwab from his work. George had the visage of an experienced cricketer about him and plenty of good stories about getting injuries playing indoor, so was looking a good fit.
The other in was the third brother in-law from clan Curto, Kiwi Mark, who we had heard a lot about but obviously had his priorities right and never volunteered to play before.
Oh, and here’s a stat: Mark and George became Quokkas 99 and 100. It only took ten years, but there you go.
With the umpire for the day not yet present and Maxy starting to lose interest in Schwabbys indoor stories, the bullet was bitten and the Quokkas went out to bat with yours truly as umpire.
The innings started with great promise and greater experience, The Big Dog opening with The Animal to the roar of the Quokkas bench. Well, more of a squeak really.
The Big Dog placed the first ball down to 3rd man and we were away in style.
The two veterans adjusted to the different play quickly and were soon running regular singles. The VBCA got wise to The Big Dogs hockey shots though and bowled one on the stumps, sending him back to the pavilion.
The Animal soon followed as a result of the exact same delivery, enabling the most hilarious partnership of the day; that of Snipper and Sizzle.
Sizzle had come off his bike earlier in the week, which may have left him a little groggy and could explain him calling “yes!” on pretty much every delivery bowled, whether he was on strike or no.
Being the accommodating type, Snipper did his best to go along with this, though realised that he wouldn’t have too much time in the middle so started hitting out, including 3 very impressive boundaries square and down the ground.
Sizzle eventually ran himself out by only three quarters of a pitch, bringing Mark to the crease who retired on 15 after playing some very impressive golf shots.
Schwabby then took strike for the first time in 19 years, only to knock the ball back onto his stumps the first chance he got. Probably the worst I’ve ever felt shooting someone out. Definitely top 5.
Special and J Rod had some handy moments towards the tail, with Special hitting a nice 4 before managing to get caught of all things.
Maxy and I were then able to bring the innings home, with the younger partner finishing on 9 not out and myself on 10 not out (including a reverse sweep). I have this over him for at least another 12 months, but how much longer?
Also, definitely one of my top 5 favourite cricket memories; thanks all.
With the total on 98, The Quokka camp was very nervous about our chances, the VBCA batters having chased larger totals easily in previous years.
It wasn’t to be though, with the VBCA managing find new and creative ways to get themselves out just as they were getting started. Their creativity even stretched to letting me catch them out on the boundary and getting bowled (rolled?) through the gate by a 7 year old.
There were also solid, if spectacular, efforts in the field from Special, Schwabby (who turned back the clock to nearly pull off a screamer – artists impression below), Sizzle (fielding while holding a stubby) and The Animal who seemed to be a ball magnet all day.
Thanks again to everyone involved, it was a great day out as usual and we really appreciate the game.