From Captain Jay…
It was with high hopes that the Q.C.C arrived at Alphington Park last Sunday for the final Yarra Pub League match of season 2015/16.
This Captain’s quick pre game assessment of team morale was a solid 7/10. A definitive seasonal high. Q.C.C members were spotted stretching, walking fast, tossing balls, inspecting the pitch, in the nets and at the ground early.
This was, of course a big day for the hungry Quokkas. Coming off the back of the 2nd win of the season against the Rainbow Hotel, Q.C.C was in the hunt for a double and the Terminus could be just the blokes to satiate the Quokkas appetite.
A quick conversation with the Terminus revealed a squad with a total of just 19 hours sleep between the first 11 with an average of 11 stubbies consumed the night before.
While morale was high, there were significant doubts that two in a row was possible. Last week Mike McDermott, a resident of Oxford in the UK won the lottery for the 2nd time in a year with the exact same numbers. According to the Daily Mail, the odds of the same six lottery numbers coming up at random again are 5,400,000,000,000 to one, or 2,330,636 squared. The Rev assured this captain that the Quokkas odds of winning the two in a row were in the same region of probability.
It was with this weight and responsibility that two of the clubs elder statesman strode to the middle to face an impatient (keen to get back to bed) Terminus attack.
Big Dog and Dutchy put on a solid opening stand with Dutchy retiring on 40 odd and Big Dog hitting out for 11. A fine opening partnership. Seeing off the new ball and setting up the middle order to pile on the runs.
Snipper, back for his first match in a while went for 13 of 15 balls.
Then came the middle order.. and what a middle order. Alex leading the way and pushing forward the run rate right up where she needed to be. Alex (ret 34), Curto (ret 30), Tuesday (30), Jay (25 n/o) and J Rod (8) piling on 127 runs in 70 odd balls. (all batters with S/Rate of over 1.6)
The ever generous Nick AW and Local bowing out for 1 and 1 respectively.
Ed, inspired by thrilling middle order batting and in at number 11, put on 19 runs off 9 balls (S/Rate 2.11)
Quokkas finally had a total that leg side bowling and dropped catches could (maybe) defend.. 7/229
Earlier in the day the cones were strategically placed real deep to protect our leg side. Which for the most part (save Ed and Revs final overs) worked to our advantage.
Tuesday and J Rod opened up the bowling from the Heidelberg Rd end. Tuesday, overlooked as an opening bowler for most of the season relished the opportunity with the new ball. 2 overs 1/7.
Tuesday’s solid line and length set a difficult precedent for the remaining 10 bowlers to follow.
J Rod, under an injury cloud, worked away and kept the pressure on – 2 overs 0/6. The first 4 overs going for 1/13 runs (a run rate of 3.25). This was proper cricket.
The Quokkas of old started creeping back in at around the 5 over mark. Dutchy cowering under a skied top edge at an expertly placed gully. Nick and Curto colliding under a catch at fine leg.
Tuesday and Snipper dropping deep field catches. Almost unheard of..
The fix was in?
Dutchy, Nick AW, Ed and Rev bowling really tight (first) spells. Terminus, down a few wickets decided to finally install some batsman at the crease and they quickly lifted the run rate before drinks (12 over mark)
3/60 at the break. Not bad. It was only uphill from here..
It was time to turn the screws. Jay and Snipper put on a pace attack after the break. Jay being hit for 6 off the first ball back from drinks.
Was this the beginning of the end?
What had the Terminus been drinking?
Had the Terminus’s hang over subsided?
Jay and Snipper straightened up the attack with 4 overs of solid line and length, a few dots balls even. It was time to bring on the newly reformed (Aria Award Winner) Alex Gow. Recently turning to leg spin. Sighting the obvious advantage of having less of a chance of being charged for manslaughter than when he bowls short pitched/headhunting pace.
Alex’s first leg spin wicket has been compared to Warnie’s first Test ball on English soil.
Bowling the batsman round the legs, from outside leg to take out the top of off. The umpire was confused. A few dropped catches later, and a staggering total of 76 runs coming off just 5 overs courtesy of – Curto (1/18), Big Dog (0/21), Rev (1/39) and Ed (2/23).
A nervous captain retired to the deep outfield (in the shade) counting down the overs. “You can only put the cones out so far” – his internal mantra.
Terminus 9/177! Quokkas win 2nd match in a row.
Dutchy – 2 short of a 50. Solid batting.
Rev – 4 dropped catches / 1 taken (off his own bowling)
J Rod – Dropping a catch off his own bowling and dropping his guts at the same time (causing fits of laughter from the batsman)
Curto – Good match back, solid form with the bat and the gloves, good luck with the twins!
Nick AW – Great bowling, great fielding, good bloke. Endearing comments at every change of end.