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  • After two years of lockdown, The Quokkas took the opportunity to play a tour match on King Island with great excitement.  The prospect of cheese, gin, steak and Australia’s largest lighthouse on offer was certainly more appealing than looking at the same four walls for another weekend.

    The Big Dog, on return to the side after a bad case of umpiring, got on the plane at Melbourne Airport and declared that he was going to chase down Boonies record of 54 cans. Quite the ambition for a 45 minute flight that didn’t serve booze.

    There is definitely another report to be written about how beautiful King Island is and how suspiciously friendly everyone there is, but this isn’t the place, so you’ll have to visit it for yourself to find out.

    The game itself was held at the local High School on a footy oval that had wings so large that a 747 might get jealous.  Thankfully the King Island Cricket Organisation Committee, Rikki, was on hand to help and soon witches hats were placed ten metres in from the boundary to give it more of a MCG size.

    It should be noted that Rikki was far from alone at the game.  A decent crowd (by our standards, and probably BBL standards) had turned up to watch and take some photos, one of the photographers taking Umbridge at my decision to bat from the far end as he would have to move. In my defence, the other end of the pitch was as undulating as the local golf course (#1 in Australia, thank you very much) and would have resulted in serious dental assistance.

    Aside from the crowd, a small army turned up to represent King Island, which has not had cricket played on it since Bob Hawke was Prime Minister.  You would think that a cricket side that has been playing relatively regularly since Kevin Rudd was in power might be able to beat a rag-tag group thrown together, but then you may not have met The Quokkas.

    Different sort of ute muster

    Being the hospitable type that I am, I offered King Island the chance to bat first, but they insisted on a toss which they won (ed: omens ahead), and decided to have a bowl.

    I’d come up with our batting order the night before over a team dinner of Wallaby Bolognese that was not too bad if I do say so myself.  Unfortunately I forgot the line up with my head still swimming in marsupial sauce, so J Rod and Fridge were sent in to pile on some runs.

    Unfortunately batting was bloody hard at the chosen end of the pitch too, and runs really weren’t flowing as freely as hoped. Fridge did manage to smash a 6 over cover with a shot that made me a little woozy, but a score of 1/21 after 6 overs that included a maiden and a wicket maiden wasn’t giving me a lot of confidence.

    Woof

    In one of the great mind games of all-time, the opposition players came up to me regularly to ask for the score then pause and look concerned, before heading back to their huddle to tell the others, only for someone else to come out and repeat the process.  Maybe a total of 45 after 25 overs would be enough?

    On mind games, we do need to celebrate J Rod stopping the game while batting to get someone to move their car due to the glare off the windscreen.  Alpha stuff.

    Back in the middle, the President of King Island (Jordan) had joined J Rod and started to build something of a partnership, finding the rope and keeping the fielders busy. To script, her dismissal saw us go to 2 for 45, then 3 for 46, and then 4 for 69 (nice) as Tim B Chapman and the returning Big Dog struggled in the difficult conditions.  Its very possible that Tim was simply exhausted from so much laughing.

    Tim, seen here in a rare moment between laughter

    Dutchy came in and finally offered us some hope, despite running out The Dog, peppering the leg-side boundary to bring up 29 runs off 13 balls.  The pitch had the last laugh though, as one went under his bat to hit the poles and leave him 1 run short of a retirement score.

    James and The Animal came in and got busy straight away, swishing at everything to keep the score ticking as well as possible in the conditions.  Feeling frustrated with the lack of runs, they both generously retired to give Cat her return hit and unleash our own finisher; Ed.

    Cat must have been out of lives as she got the best ball of the day, managed to edge it, and have an absolute screamer taken at slip.

    Very still Cat

    Ed and myself managed to see out the last over, not losing a wicket but also not scoring a lot of runs. I can’t remember the last time we posted a total as low as 113 and I wasn’t confident at our ability to defend it.

    After a delicious lunch that was provided by the local Lions club (many thanks), we got back out there to a mixed start; Ed bowling the first one off the pitch and then James taking a screamer second ball – only to have it overturned (still a free hit).

    While the early bowlers were economical, we were still going at nearly 5 an over after 4 overs with no sign of a wicket, until a cool breeze known as The Fridge stepped in and started nipping it everywhere, taking poles and causing all sorts of chaos.

    Fridge, seen here creating chaos

    The Animal chipped in, initially taking a screamer of a catch at square leg, before knocking over the middle stump of one of the King Island big hitters.

    James formed a bad cop – bad cop partnership with The Fridge, bowling tight lines and refusing to give away runs.

    Sadly, there was just too little to defend and the introduction of some big hitters had King Island reach the target in the 15th over.  We kept going with the game regardless to make sure all of their small army got a bat and it was great to see the smiles that our bowling brought to people deprived of cricket for so long.

    There was also the small matter of an incredible catch taken out on the boundary by a certain Captain running at full tilt, pouching it in front like Tom McDonald on the lead, but the telling of that that too is for another time.  Or more likely several times.

    Thanks again to Rikki and everyone at King Island for making this happen, it was a great trip and we all had heaps of fun.

    Posted by Rev @ 4:16 am

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