The reeling rhythms of a Riverdance céilí pulsated over the turf of the Alfred Crescent oval to set a cheerful tempo for the inaugural mixed pub league game between The Old Bar and the Quokkas. Even before a ball was bowled, there was a victory for diversity in pub league cricket with 6 females participating for the Quokkas and 7 for the Old Bar.
Though it was offensively hot, the Quokkas innings was even-tempered with a credible opening partnership between Vibs and Ren. Vibs powered her way to 25 before retiring and Ren played a smart innings, displaying varied stroke-play for her highest Quokkas score of 17.
Karly was unlucky to get stumped and Cat also went cheaply getting herself run out backing up (in order to give others a go). Eliza cracked 8 singles – also a career best score.
Next in was the resilient Fiona who, despite being virtually blind after an operation on both eyes two days earlier, defied medical advice in order to play her first match in a decade or so.
Our opposition fielded many female first timers, many just learning the art of bowling. Dutchy poked a few singles with the near sightless Fiona, heroically holding up an end until lunch.
At the break the Quokkas totalled 4-95 off 20, and both teams were treated to “a delicious range of food with amazing salad” – Big Dog. Jigs and folk tunes continued to throb out of the adjacent Irish Festival and in the much less Irish heat the beer esky needed replenishing to keep up with the collective thirst of the players.
It took a bit of motivation to get going again but then the Old Bar innings was hectic. Vibs opened the bowling and swung the new ball more than a taped tennis ball, and then had to be removed from the attack because she was unplayable.
There was a moment of romance when Rev celebrated with Ren after taking a fine catch off her bowling. This caused some distress to Vibs, who needed reassurance that pashing was not a team custom.
Another highlight was Rens spectacular overhead running catch, or more accurately, a footy-style mark to the chest –slightly more painful with a cricket ball but effective nonetheless.
There was a respectful pause in play to mark the occasion of the naked cyclists’ procession through Edinburgh gardens, after which early drinks were called with the Old Bar on just 18. The Old Bar opted to let their female players bat twice allowing for an unequivocal victory for mixed cricket.