Sunday 27 January 2013 saw the mighty Labour in Vain Quokkas, in their penultimate game of the Regular Season, take on the Prince Patrick Hotel at the home of Pub League Crickets poor illegitimate cousin, Alfred Crescent (its interesting how we keep getting allocated this ground is it not?). The last time the Quokkas played at “The Crescent” was prior to Christmas against my namesake (Radar), The Curtin Hotel, and thanks to some lusty hitting from Rowdy (who can forget that 87 NOT off 20 odd balls), The Rev got his beloved Quokka Cap back and the Quokkas amassed 260 odd off the allotted 25 overs. Consequently spirits were high and totals of 220+ were being spoken about amongst the group prior to the commencement of proceedings.
Given we were hosting and as is the tradition the Quokkas were first at wicket. Big Dog (back at the top of the order looking to recapture his pre-Christmas form) and Ed (following on from his NOT the previous) opened up against the PP’s pace attack (who all strangely bowled off three steps – took me a few overs to work out they must play a lot of indoor). The Big Dog cracked the first nut of the day forward of point and the ball raced to the boundary, almost the perfect start for the Quokkas. Unfortunately though his innings terminated at the start of the second following a C&B, however that brought our Western Suburbs import Rowdy to the crease. Well he missed the first one, but not many after that as he carved his way to a majestic 39NO off 15. Ed was doing a fine job anchoring the innings (as he said its all about partnerships) and as such after 12 overs we had two retired in the bank with the score a healthy 1/104. As Dutchy always says, we are prone to 3rd quarter fade outs (whether with bat or ball) and the 7 overs after the drinks break netted us only another 34, despite the good work of Ed 24 off 29.
As captain for the day I didn’t see much of the last dozen overs of our batting as I struggled manfully with the BBQ (thanks to Kathleen for putting me out of my misery there), but I did look up at one point to see Curto paddle a full toss from a spinner into he soon to be be married face and then go crashing to the ground with a remodelled septum. The site of blood, especially Curto’s lifted tensions but failed to lift the run rate as our last 6 overs resulted in another 34 runs despite the best efforts of Emu’s 26 off 24.
Consequently at tea (code for poorly cooked sausages prepared by me and tasty steaks by K, but with cold and abundant beer, nice work Mo) the innings was complete with the what appeared to be a sub par total of 172.
After the break, with Curto heading off to the ED, it was now up to the Quokkas to unleash with the ball and in the field. The idea being to not only restrict the PP from scoring but also to try and dismiss 11 of their batsmen (probably wishful thinking given they flogged us last season, and in the process only lost 1 wicket).
With Curto off the field his young nephews, Sam and Will filled the breach admirably as the Quokkas attack went about taking wickets.
After receiving some advice from a number of 20/20 experts it was agreed to adopt a more adjunct approach to our bowling, dropping off the normal 2 over spells and adopting a random one over, “horses for coureses” approach. The theory being it doesn’t give the batsmen a chance to get a look at too many balls by the same bowler.
It seemed after 5 overs this was a master stroke with a wicket falling and some good bowling by Robbo, English Rob, J Rod, Dutchy and Emu keeping it super tight with the PP Floundering on 1/18 and going nowhere. That early tight bowling however was all undone when the PP unleashed their Panda, who combined with Biff and David W to smack a much more respectable 80 off the next 8 overs and to lift the score to 4/95 at the break (still behind the Quokkas though on the Duckworth Lewis model).
After the break the wickets kept tumbling but the runs continued to flow at 10 runs per over for the next 7 overs and it was going to come down to who cracked first as both teams headed for an early finish. When the Panda strode back to the wicket the game seemed to be still in the balance with the Quokkas needing just one more wicket, but he quickly snuffed out any hope wielding his trusty piece of bamboo and parking the next few nuts into the surrounding parkland (almost destroying a child’s Pinate in the process and knocking a lady off a bike).
Despite the loss the bowling was generally of a reasonable class as was the catching by Robbo, Morts, Dutchy and J Rod. There were also a couple of run outs, one thanks to an excellent throw from English Rob from the boundary and the other after a PP batsman blew an achilles and headed off to the ED, while The Mu dislodged the bails at the non-strikers end (competitive bloke that Mu).
Notable bowling figures were J Rod 2/19, Emu 2/22 (off 3), Rowdy 2/15 (off 3), ED 1/21 (off 3) and Morty who had 0/10 (off 2) but did have a controversial stumping disallowed for a knee high full toss.