• For the uninitiated, I quite like statistics and I quite like Cricket. I know that this is a pairing as unbelievable as Gum and Nuts, but here you have them, together at last.

    250px-Nuts_and_Gum

    I also like The Simpsons

    What I have attempted to do here is look at the data from the games the Quokkas have played using the Yarra Pub Cricket Association (YPCA) rules to identify trends and consistencies to get a better understanding of changes in the games. None of the statistics analyzed include wins, as this is not recorded and not the point of the Quokkas at all. The data includes results from the last 6 seasons, as this is the most accurate and comprehensive data available.

    It should be noted that YPCA rules include; no LBW, no wides, retirement in the over you get to 30 runs, free hit on the first ball, dangerous balls etc.

    Coming out to Bat

    The Quokkas Cricket Club played its first game of Pub Cricket in the Summer of 2009/10 and have gone on to play over 50 Pub League games since then, as well as Big Day Not Out matches, T20 tour matches, Blind Cricket matches and even two 35-over games in Sri Lanka.

    We shouldn’t talk too much about the statistics from Sri Lanka.

    It should also be noted that the Quokkas have played games using YPCA rules against non-YPCA teams, so the number of games played and quality of opponents has varied. The YPCA games played over the last 6 seasons are as follows:

    Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 10.03.27 am

    The Dream Team

    In its time, the Quokkas have had 67 different players represent the side, with the Big Dog on most appearances (51) and twenty one different players having appeared in 1 game only.

    pic 1

    This indicates at least two things; the level of consistency and improvement may be lower with a more varied and inexperienced team, and that players who appear more regularly really is a celebration of availability over ability (thanks to G Haigh for that one).

    Ticking like a clock, a fast clock

    One of the easiest things to look at to show performance and change over time is runs scored and runs conceded over time.

    A look at the graph below tells a story of fairly close games (excluding 2013/14), which can be self-explanatory when explained by the team chasing a score. Also impressive are the wild swings in runs for and against make our fresh air attempts look positively elegant.

    pic 2

    Again, the relative closeness of the runs for and runs against totals are probably better explained through the nature of a game in which one team chases a score, apart from our old friend 2013/14, but it does show an overall upward curve in the number of runs being scored in YPCA games.

    I would be very interested to track this against cans sold if anyone has that data.

    Looking at the average of runs scored and runs conceded per over argues this point even more starkly.

    pic 3

    So how are these runs being scored? An analysis of the % of runs scored as boundaries and the average number of boundaries hits per game tells a different story (below).

    pic 4

    The % of runs scored as boundaries has remained pretty consistent over the 6 years, sitting somewhere between 50% and 57%, despite the total number of runs scored.

    What this indicates is that The Quokkas have found ways to score more often per ball, other than just smashing it. Not very pub like.

    Like the Budget, its all about the Economy

    But hitting runs is only half the game, there is also that pesky issue of needing to bowl or stand in the field and smash cans under the sun, rather than the shade or back in the opponents pub.

    No, that has to wait.

    We’ve already had a look into the number of runs scored against and conceded per over, so understand that opposition teams are scoring more and scoring more quickly. But what does this mean in regards to wickets and the old adage about ‘putting pressure on the batsmen’? A look at the number of wickets taken per season against bowling average and the average number of wickets per match also tells an interesting story.

    pic 5

    There appears to be a direct correlation between the increase in wickets and wickets per match, which is expected. This chart also shows that where the bowling average increases, the number of wickets decreases, which is also expected.

    Perhaps the most interesting piece of data from this chart though, is that the average number of wickets per match has not really changed over time. This can be easily explained in that there are only 10 wickets that can be taken, but this doesn’t take into the retirement rule in YPCA games.

    It does suggest, though, that it doesn’t matter who bowls; wickets will fall.

    In all, the data does support the basic tenets of the game; if you bowl well, you will get wickets and go for less runs.

    Summary

    Success, if that is what you are chasing in YPCA games seems to be reliant on the ability to score more often off more balls; post a high score and put pressure on the other team.  It doesn’t matter who bowls, wickets will fall.

    Scoring more doesn’t have to be through boundaries, but minimizing dot balls.

    The ability to score more often and more quickly is increasing in the league, and it seems to be a more equal distribution of scoring among teams, given that they are all scoring more with the same number of wickets conceded. There appears to be less weak (conservative) players in the league, or perhaps they are all just wearing maroon.

    Taking wickets does not seem to be a priority in the game, though economy rates do. Getting a batsman who is struggling out to be replaced by a hitter can end up hurting you, this is particularly pertinent in regards to the return of retiring batsmen.

    It is, though, against the spirit of the game and the league.

    Scoring quickly and fielding economically, is easier said than done; particularly when you have a team made up of ring-ins who are unfamiliar with the game. Or perhaps lack of expectation and emphasis on enjoyment does help? That being said, the whole point of the Pub League is not to win games but have a go, and possibly feed a borderline unhealthy obsession with statistics.

    Play up, play up and play the game

  • A legendary person is someone whose story becomes bigger than they are.” So begins the website of the EJ Whitten foundation. Today was the story of Big Dog; legend of the looping leg break, foundational pillar of the Aussie Quokkas and all round good bloke.

    Recent revelations showed the EJ Whitten AFL legends game only paid 6 cents of each dollar donated to charity, the rest being strangely unaccounted for. About time the Quokkas had a legends game then…

    Lonely and Bowlen opened the Legends batting. Sadly for the All Stars Ed opened the bowling. 6 balls later Lonely was halfway to retirement.

    Snipper initially stemmed the bleeding but another 9 balls and Lonely was off for a rest.

    Bowlen stuck around for a little longer before falling to Mo for 12, and Gregor smashed a quick 17 before Nick AW took his bails off. The came the Dog, immediately off the mark with a single and………… 2 overs later got another. Student Pup was in need of a lie down after the long walk to the middle was more effort than has made in months. He quickly got his wish after embarrassingly failing to get off the mark, more embarrassingly he was caught by Ed.

    Like a disabled child at Disneyland, Howie fulfilled his wish of stepping out for the Quokka’s. Partnered by the Dog, the entertainment was less Space Mountain and more spinning teacups but the scoreboard trundled along.

    Ed, resplendent in his new-found catching ability, replaced Tuesday with the gloves. Howie was an immediate victim after a solid 20 and Big Dog paddled to 18 before being gleefully taken from behind by Ed for 18.

    As John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John found out at last year’s ARIA’s, Jay and Local didn’t stand a chance against the mighty Gow who swept all before him and took both in the same over.

    Capping the Legends innings was the beauty and beast partnership of Cat & Dutchy, with the beast scoring quickly before being caught in the ‘other’ covers by Phantom. Celebrations were short-lived however as Lonely returned and while Cat intelligently kept the singles ticking over, Lonely terrorised an unfortunate JRod Death Over which got tonked all over Alphington and left the All Stars with 167 to chase.

    After a prawn and fancy salad lunch (my how we’ve changed!) opening partnership of Ed and Alex did well to see off the opening swing of Local and Lonely (could someone get his kid on the pitch to distract him please!).

    Up stepped Jay (who had clearly been saving his energy for bowling), and had Alex caught by Greg on 14. Snipper made a quick-fire 10 but like so many before him fell to Big Dogs bird scarers, then Jay returned to take Nick AW for 1.

    The All Stars were looking shaky but Mo managed to settle some nerves before being undone by the reinvigorated Pup for 14.

    Howie’s disability eventually got the better of him, his hamstring forcing an early bath. Ed, hamstrung only by his ability, managed 20 before caught by Dutchy off Pup.

    It wouldn’t be a Quokkas game without a friendly run out. JRod duly obliged by playing limpet as Rev was almost close enough to kiss him having run all but one of the required 22 yards between the stumps.

    With a daunting run chase ahead of them, Tuesday (8) and Phantom (9) went down swinging but failed to partner JRod for any length of time. When Nick AW returned as #11 Jay made doubly sure by bowling him again to finish off proceedings with JRod ending up not out on 35 having sensibly stayed out in the middle to avoid the still-fuming Rev.

    All up the Legends won by 40, with some lovely bowling from Jay (3-8) and Pup (who took 2 wickets but despite being sent 6 photos of the scorecard not one of them shows how many runs he went for!)

    All in all a great day, good to catch up with old faces and a reminder of why we all play cricket, and why many of us no longer do!

  • Match Preview: Quokkas CC v Quokkas CC

     

    Match Facts:

    Sunday, March 6

     

    Alphington Park, Parkview Road

    Alphington

     

    Time:

    1pm

     

    The Big Picture:

    The Quokkas CC was started on a whim but has continued with a substantial dose of fortune.

     

    It was in 2003 when the Rev, working at a Private Equity firm in London was wondering how he’d fill his day, saw an ad for an indoor cricket league on the newly popular “internets”.

     

    Emailing an English friend, they quickly decided to enter a team, with neither players nor a name. A recently published article on attacks to the worlds least threatening marsupials, Quokkas, provided inspiration for the name while desperate calls and emails brought in the players.

     

    The Quokkas spent 2 years in the indoor league without managing to trouble the “win” column too often, eventually taking out a league award for turning up.

     

    Taking the hint, the Quokkas soon started organising outdoor games against Village sides and tour matches throughout Europe, always striving to find someone worse than them. The endless search goes on.

     

    Moving back to Australia in 2009, the Rev started up the team again in the Yarra Pub Cricket Association, from which it has moved on to playing regular tour and charity games.

     

    One of the first players to sign up to the Quokkas in Australia was the Big Dog, his name derived in the Arabic sense, being that it was in relation to the name of his eldest son; Pup.

     

    This game was originally organised to mark the Big Dogs 50th game for the Quokkas, but a countback has revealed he has already played 55 games.

     

    Oddly, though, this WILL be the 50th game for 2 other Quokkas stalwarts, Ed and Dutchy.

     

    The game will be played between past and current Quokkas and see the return of such luminaries as Bad Boy and Lonely.

     

    Perhaps most importantly, it guarantees that a Quokka team will win the game. Not that that has ever been the point.

     

    Form Guide:

    The current Quokkas are coming off 2 wins in a row in the YPCA, which is unprecedented in recent times.

     

    In the spotlight:

    Basically everyone

     

    Team News:

    After starting the week with 28 available to fill up the 2 teams, the night before the game sees only 23 available, so anything could happen before 10am.

     

    That being said, the night before also sees The Rev settling in to watch another episode of ‘If you are the one’, so there are definitely bigger problems in the world.

     

    The available list, for each team, at the time of writing is:

    Quokka Legends:

    1. Big Dog
    2. Pup (c)
    3. Howie
    4. Lonely
    5. Dutchy
    6. Local
    7. Jay
    8. Bad Boy
    9. Tinny
    10. Chef
    11. Bowl’en

     

    Quokka All-Stars:

    1. Cat
    2. J Rod
    3. Ed
    4. Rev
    5. Snipper
    6. Alex
    7. Gregor
    8. Tuesday
    9. Phantom (c)
    10. Cuz
    11. Nickname AW
    12. Mo*

     

    Pitch and Conditions:

    The match is to be played at the wondrous Alphington Park, with grass so lush that you just want to spill a catch on it so you can sprawl for a while. That’s my excuse.

     

    Stats and Trivia:

    • 66 players have turned out for the Quokkas since 2009, with each player playing an average of 9.4 games
    • The average Quokka bats in 8.3 innings, with an average high score of 20.4
    • The average Quokka has taken 5.5 wickets at the cost of 125 runs & has taken an average of 3.4 catches
    • Of the 66 Quokkas to have played for the Quokkas in YPCA-rules games, Big Dog has played 45, with 39 innings, 405 runs (10 not out), with an average of 13.97 and a high score of 35
    • The Big Dog has also taken 27 wickets for 660 runs at 24.44, or 9.71 runs per over, with 11 catches and 1 run-out
    • For the party boys, Ed has 675 runs at 29.35 and Dutchy has 686 at 28.58
    • Ed has 57 fours and 16 sixes, Dutchy 68 fours and 22 sixes
    • Ed has bowled 94.1 overs for 34 wickets at 16.29 and 5.89 runs per over, Dutchy has bowled 80 overs for 13 wickets at 45.69 at 7.43 runs per over

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • From Captain Chef…

    Our Quokkas. Whose spawned by Reverend.
    Mellowed by the Game.
    Their Kingdom undone.
    Still managed fun, on Earth
    (Hated) Dan O’Connell brethren.

    D-game display our swollen head.
    And forgive us our dropped catches.
    As we forgive those who score heavily against us.

    For they bled us not of elation.
    Our bats weak from weevil.
    Beer and wine is our kingdom,
    Underpowered, but what stories,
    For catches win matches.
    Whatmen.

    grandstand2

  • Match Preview: Quokkas CC v The ‘HATED’ Dan O’Connell CC

    Match Facts:

    Sunday, December 6th

    WT Peterson Oval,

    Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy

     

    Time:

    1pm

     

    The Big Picture:

    This match will be the last YPCA game for 2015 for the Quokkas, which is possibly a good things as they have shown much better form in T20 matches this summer (against Nerrena CC and the VDCA).

     

    Perhaps 5 overs is a bridge too far for the highly trained athletes in maroon.

     

    While the Quokkas will be looking to carry their good form from the last month into this game, they are up against a formidable opponent on an unforgiving, big ground.

     

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas are coming off their first win in a while and a 1-run loss against a State-representative side.

     

    The DOCCC, on the other hand, are the reigning BDNO winners so should romp this in.

    Legends

    Legends

     

    In the Spotlight:

    Jazzron returns to the Quokkas for his first game after a 3-4 year absence. The man in bizarre hats and Hawaiian shirts may not have had a bat in his hand for a while, but there is little doubt he knows what to do with a can of beer in it.

     

    Jim comes back into the side after some time spent on the road, no doubt being inspired for some new songs.

     

    Team News:

    The selection merry-go-round was well and truly in force this week, with Tuesday dropping out of the original selected XI on Tuesday, the normal mad scramble occurring, then Jam Boy (Bowl’ens brother in law) confirming availability.

     

    The Selected XI at the time of writing is:

    1. Snipper
    2. Jay
    3. Dutchy
    4. Radar
    5. Jazzron
    6. Bowl’en
    7. J Rod
    8. Chef (c)
    9. Jam Boy
    10. Local
    11. Jim

    Pitch and Conditions

    WT Peterson Oval is something of a mirage. It looks like a true pitch, accompanied by its splendid grandstand and other remnants from the early 20th Century, but really it’s a road with big boundaries.

     

    Big scores can be hard to come by at this ground, while there is little reprieve from the hot sun.

     

    Its going to be a stinker of a day on Sunday, 31 degrees with little relief, so tough going for the team that fields first (The Quokkas).

     

    Stats and Trivia:

    • Jim brings with him a RPO average of 6.6 and a batting average of 42, both of which will be welcome for this game
    • This will be Jazzrons 10th match for the Quokkas, he has a batting average of 20 and a bowling…well, the less said the better
    • Radar is back into the side after his delayed honeymoon, this will be his 24th YPCA match for the Quokkas, which will move him onto equal 7th for all-time appearances

     

     

     

  • 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.

     

    Artists impression of Jay

    Artists impression of Jay

     

    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.

     

    Congrats mate

    Congrats mate

     

    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

    Not actually part of the game

    Not actually part of the game

     

     

    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”.

    Seen here, Dutchy and Mike Whitney

    Seen here, Dutchy and Mike Whitney

     

    Thanks very much for the VDCA for the game, as well as Fitzroy Doncaster CC for being such great hosts.

     

    teamshot

     

     

     

     

     

  • Match Details

    Sunday, November 29th

    Fitzroy-Doncaster Cricket Ground

    Schramms Reserve No.2 ground

    JJ Tully Drive, Doncaster

    Start Time

    11:30 toss of the coin for a midday start

    (Does anyone have a coin? Promise I’ll return it)

    The Big Picture

    This week is sure to bring a pantsing to the Quokkas.

    The game is going to be played against a representative State side who are warming up for Nationals, on Turf, with LBW and other rules.

    We are doomed. DOOMED! Lord knows why I tee’d this up at all.

    I've been waiting to use this for ages

    I’ve been waiting to use this for ages

    I’m not going to give this the soft wash: they are going to smash us.

    That being said, the game is only a T20 affair, so we should be done nice and early so we can enjoy the VDCA enjoying their victory.

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas are actually coming off a win, there first for the 2015-16 season, after successfully chasing 150 against The Old Bar with 7 overs to spare.

    The win was obtained through some big hitting by Chef (44 off 14), J Rod (41*) and Tuesday (30*).

    Yup, this guy

    Yup, this guy

    The Old Bar did have a couple of good batsmen at the top of the order, like most pub teams, but we aren’t playing a pub team this week & so are potentially facing proper cricketers in the Spinal Tap way.

    All the way to Eleven.

    In the spotlight

    New fella Jay comes into this game with some solid form with bat and ball behind him. Being someone that looks like they can play proper cricket, Jay could very well thrive on a proper deck.

    The Rev has been generous enough to elect to play in this game, his first since the start of the season. In that time he has been focussing on his real cricketing strength; administration, so we can no doubt welcome a strong performance off the field.

    Team News

    Once again the Quokkas start the week one short from the required XI needed to field a side, but the VDCA has suggested they could loan us some players, which is mighty nice of them.

    The ten at the time of writing is:

    1. Alex
    2. Curto (w/k)
    3. Big Dog
    4. Tuesday
    5. Bowl’en
    6. J Rod
    7. Jay
    8. Snipper
    9. Local
    10. Rev (c)

    Pitch and Conditions

    As unbelievable as it sounds, the Quokkas will be playing on a Premier Division wicket this week. This sort of fraudulent behaviour hasn’t been witnessed since Ed introduced himself as an Author.

    The weather is expected to be cool and overcast, so we could well be dealing with more swing than the 70s.

    Stats and Trivia

    • Chefs 44 off 14 last weekend is only second to Rowdys 87 off 23 (3.14 to 3.78) for strike rates for scores over 30 – imagine if he had another 9 deliveries!
    • Chef is also scoring 74% of his runs through boundaries (40% fours, 34% sixes) this season
    • Tuesday doesnt have a batting average this season (yet to be dismissed)
    • Dutchy (2 catches yesterday) increased his career total by 25%
    • The man with 41* – J Rod (269) – sits behind only Dutchy, Ed, Emu, Big Dog & Gladys for career runs
    • Curtos (aka The Wild Things) wicket yesterday, his 6th, dropped his avg with the ball from 43 to 38.5 (31 overs total, 231 runs, 7.45 RPO)
    • There isn’t anything I can say about Local that hasn’t been said before
  • pogonophobia  /p?g?n??f??b??/

    extreme dislike of beards

     

    The natural habitat of the Quokka is northside inner suburban Melbourne. As we have tired of our surrounds the quest has continued to find new locations to spread the quokka legend. This year’s tour game took us far from the hipsters and skinny jeans of Fitzroy to the Gippsland countryside. Stories abounded that our hosts Nerrena had the only other ex-hurler Irish cricketer playing in Victoria. Someone other than Big Dog with a single cross-batted shot and an unorthodox bowling action? That alone was worth investigating further.

    The preceding week was spent with the squad oscillating from 13 down to 10 and with a couple of late additions we had 12 to play. On winning the toss our hosts decided that the decent thing was to give us the choice in any case and so it was that the Quokkas were set to bowl first. Snipper and Eliza arrived rock-star late but our hosts were happy to hold off the start. There was significant net activity and youthful exuberance by our opponents whilst the Quokka pre-match routine consisted of cracking open a few cold cans. All the warning signs were there you might say.

    The innings in the field started well with Ed and Chef keeping it tight. The Nerrena captain poked and prodded to 13 as wickets fell around him. Big Dog had a bowl and that little Waterford versus Kilkenny duel ended honours even. The Quokkas rotated the bowlers and Chef, Alex, Jay and Local all picked up wickets along the way. Impressive catches for Local and Alex off steepling shots and an uncharacteristically generally attentive fielding display left us with a gettable 117 to chase on the wide expanses of the fertile Gippsland dairy paddocks.

    Pretty great.

    Pretty great.

    The sun beat down with lazy sense of optimism at the innings break and all looked well in the world for the Quokkas. An early dismissal for our debutant Ian was followed by a solid partnership of 44 between Alex and Dutchy. Big Dog joined Dutchy to take the score to sitting pretty on 2/64 off 11 overs. But being the Quokkas calamity was never too far away and Big Dog, Snipper and Jay departed in the 12th over leaving us reeling.

    That triple wicket maiden was the turning point from which the Quokkas never recovered. Dutchy was out for 49 and Bowl’en, Cath and Ed couldn’t quite get us there despite some lusty blows in the last few overs. The Redcaps skipper showed his versatility with a spell of death bowling to clinch victory for his side. So in this particular Irish civil war it was keeping with the pattern of history as once again black and amber ruled supreme over white and blue. Tiocfaidh ár lá.

    Thanks to Brian for organising and for the whole club at Nerrena for hosting us on the day. It was a measure of the enjoyment from our side that when a return game in Melbourne was mooted one of the recently defeated Quokka batsman quickly added “stuff that, we’re coming down here again”. Big Dog retains the anti-Midas touch with a perfect record of 4 losses from 4 games as captain. Surely Winston Churchill had the Quokkas in mind when we said “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”.

  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, November 22

    Fairlea East Oval, Yarra Bend

    Time:

    13:00 EST

    The Big Picture:

    For a team that prides itself on participation over a focus on wins and losses, this season has been a real winner for the Quokkas. Going into the game with only ten available to play after 3 steady losses, the saggy maroons are in top form to play a team new to the YPCA league.

    This version of the Old Bar is new to the competition & little is known about their cricketing or drinking prowess. I’d like to think they are a rag-tag bunch of plucky misfits, but maybe that’s because I’ve been watching The Goonies again.

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas go into this game still winless for the 2015/16 season, having snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in their last game against the good folk in Nerrena.

    In the Spotlight:

    Tuesday comes back into the team at the top of the order with his big-hitting housemate, the Quokkas are hoping that the man under the ink can bring some more big runs to start the innings.

    After opening with Dutchy last week, Alex helped put on a 44 run stand & also bowled his customary deep, deep heat – though without the short balls. If he can keep this form up, he could well go home with a firm piece of plastic in his hands on Gownlow night.

    Team News:

    After the rush to play at the start of the season, the Quokkas only have 10 available for match day at the time of writing for the second week in a row. With several on standby, we should get the XI up fine.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Absolutely nothing.

    Absolutely nothing.

    The Ten at the time of writing is:

    1. Pup
    2. Curto (c)
    3. Dutchy
    4. Local
    5. Tuesday
    6. Tuesdays housemate (man Friday)
    7. Chef
    8. Alex
    9. Jay
    10. Nick A-W

    Pitch and Conditions:

    And so the Quokkas trek back to Fairlea East, the home of knee grazes where backpackers go to disappear. Also the home of Shotguns 30, its truly the modern Bermuda Triangle. The ground is likely to be dry with a fast outfield, have no running water available or toilets. What a glamorous life these Quokkas lead.

    On the plus side, its only going to be 21 degrees.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • Incredibly, Tuesday and Chef both sit on 142 runs off 9 innings with 3 not outs each – for a matching average of 23.67
    • Tuesday has, though, taken 13 catches – better than 1 per match
    • If Pup should bat in this match, it will be his 20th innings for the Quokkas. He has scored 248 runs (9th highest) @ 19.08 for his career and taken 17 wickets (4th highest) @ 15.12 (so far)
  • From Captain Local….

    “The only things that are certain in life are death and taxes”, said someone who had obviously not picked up Dennis Rodman’s autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be and experienced the clear insight that this was indeed a book that should be judged by it’s cover and left unread.
    To this list of certain things can be added “catches win matches”.
    Fairlea West is a hard place for a gentle game. You go there without hope, because in a place like this hope gets sucked down to the dirty river along with the rest of the rubbish, and who’s got enough of it to spare? The freeway cuts a canyon behind the ground, the toilet block is locked (whether to keep you out or to keep something worse in) and running water is like human kindness in the rush to secure an overhead locker on the Tiger flight back from Bali – nowehre to be found.
    I heard a story once about this kid who used to wash dishes at a greasy spoon on Smith Street, back when you had to watch out that junkies didn’t steal the spoons, greasy or otherwise. He played in a punk/polka 5-piece called “Zombie Arse” and had some connections with a group of anarchists who ran a popular underground chess night out of a mouldy squat near Victoria Park. This dishwasher punk-rock anarchist kid took some bad acid one night and ran off up to Fairlea West, trying to shake The Fear. There on the narrow, mean strip of concrete that gets called the pitch, The Fear caught up with him. That kid is an old man now, living behind the torn and tattered flywire door of a one-bedroom flat in Thomastown, and his neighbours know to ignore his panicked cries in the night.
    The Quokkas batted first against the Curtain (The Beefies) and with solid contributions from most everyone – Tuesday and Dutchy the retirees – posted a competitive total of 7/174. After an excellent  lunch effort from Radar and Smallgoods on the bbq bike, we returned to the field and held the Beefies tightly until the drinks break. That is not a euphemism.
    However, it may be that The Fear still lurks among the yellowing grass up there at Fairlea, and all it takes is a couple of loose overs, some balls falling into empty space where a fielder should be and a catch or two going through hands for the tables to be turned as if they were specifically designed to do so, perhaps because they have been made for a catering or functions company that requires that capacity in a table.
    Several massive sixes and some traditional Quokka overthrows later and it was handshakes and congratulations all round for The Beefies.
    Nonetheless, it a testament to the Power of Cricket that this game was played in a spirit very much at odds with the brutalist surrounds. I mean, it could be that maybe the surrounds are actually not that brutal. Maybe this report is overstating the influence of the ground on Quokka fielding. Maybe there is in fact no evil malingering influence that lurks at the ground. Who knows – not me, I am not a Ghostbuster. I do know however that –  much like the type of idealised love that Paul Young and Zucchero long for in the sometimes overlooked hit Senza una Donna – when cricket is played as it was here then winning and losing simply become abstract concepts with which to illustrate, rather than define, the game.

« Previous Entries   

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

  • Proper swing bowling that was. Pitch it up.
  • Fabulous article which made us smile in the Spanish sunshine...
  • You forgot to mention Harry getting to bowl an over aswell. ...
  • Please see point 5.
  • If the ball is hit behind square, it is the non-strikers cal...