• Whalers CC 144/5 (Fruity 2/18) bt Quokkas CC 143 ( Amit 33, Alan 26) by 5 wickets

    Having scribed a few Quokka match reports over the last couple of years and now running low on ideas, I thought I ought to look at how our opponents do things and maybe `steal some inspiration’. I scored a few runs against the Whalers Cricket Club last season, so my ego couldn’t resist seeking out that specific match report. Sure enough, a half century, as part of a Quokka-best 171 partnership, was mentioned, but the runs appeared to have been scored by some fella called CMES. My first thought was that we must have had some sort of 16-bit home video console turn out for us (Ed: possibly better in the field than some Quokkas), but my friend Wiki assured me that CMEs were actually coronal mass ejections, or to you and me, solar events caused by huge explosions when magnetic fields become entangled, that hurl giant clouds of particles (matter and electromagnetic radiation) into space. Not your everyday number four batsman.

    I am sure you will know about these phenomena already, but for the sake of my barber who feigned interest in my `unusual cricket match reports’[see what I did there Tim?], CMEs take up to three days to reach our planet and cause geomagnetic storms that disrupt the Earth’s magnetosphere. The solar energetic particles can cause particularly strong aurorae (Northern Lights and Southern Lights), but also disrupt radio transmissions and damage satellites.

    Obviously the amount of radiation received by the earth effects our climate and although solar events such as CMEs do add to this total, scientists don’t believe these are the cause of the warming in our atmosphere over the last half of 20th century – that’s just down to us humans burning a shit load of fossil fuels that release gases into the atmosphere that trap heat radiating from the Earth’s surface to space. Having created a greenhouse effect and heated the place up, causing the ice caps to melt, we now have a big fucking problem.

    As you will be aware, the earth’s planetary albedo (the amount of energy reflected by a surface) is being reduced as the snow and ice melts. With less reflection of the sun’s radiation, more energy is retained in our atmosphere, creating even hotter temperatures. That melts more snow and ice, which means less reflection…I think you can probably see a pattern developing here. Think of it like a Quokka batting collapse. As every wicket falls, the quality of the incoming batsman decreases, that increases the likelihood of another wicket being lost and cycle continues at an ever-increasing rate.

    I bet you thought albedo was a congenital disorder characterised by the absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. Which is interesting, because you’re concerned about the planet and global warming, right? So, you will have come across this term during your own readings? OK, so I hadn’t read around this subject either, but does our failure to do so mean our concern for the planet is not truly genuine? I am minded of this very question when discussing my barbers next visual art project, which he described as being `based on peoples’ genuineness and the token gestures we make to save the planet’ – kind of like Binman’s attempts at catching.

    Whether my love of cricket is genuine certainly came into question on Sunday, when I somehow deflected a very legside wide off the inside of my thigh back onto the stumps. It was further tested when the Whalers opening batsman repetitively smashed me over the London Wetland Centre and out towards Craven Cottage. I know I enjoy the game, especially when I score a few or bowl well, but it’s when you get a solitary run, and go for 16 off your only over that you really discover how much the game means to you.

    Having spent a couple of hours on the M25, thanks to an untimely M4 junction closure, I expected to be last to arrive at the Kings House Sports Grounds, but with The Egg still giving Evil Dave a guided hotbox tour of central London, Tom the Yak gave me the `honour’ of leading the side. Genuine Quokkas numbered five at that point, but with the overendowed Whalers providing us with the genuinely enthusiastic Amit Kash, Sohail, Viren and Amit Kumar, we were able to get things started.

    With Quokkas as rare as rhinos, I stuck two whalers in, hoping they weren’t rabbits [Ed: very nicely done Ches]. Actually, the young debutants faired pretty well against some half decent swing bowling. All four put bat to ball, especially Amit Kash, who gave us a good platform from which to fall off. In between, Kiwi Scott, also making his Sunday debut, was triggered from his very first ball, by me. During the drinks break, The Egg asked if I had mistaken him for an Aussie…I had. Not to show favouritism, I sent Amit Kash packing the same way when he played around a straight one. At the non-strikers end, Viren believed I had made an error of judgement. With 3 down and only 50 on the board, he might have been right…but not about the LBW. “A ball pitching in line, hitting the pad half way down, when the batsman is standing right in front of all three stumps, is, in my book, out mate. I value your opinion though.” [Ed: is that you being genuinely insincere Ches?].

    With Quokkas with talent being in short supply (Ed: has it been any other way?], I was thankful the next man in wasn’t wearing black Adidas trainers and at least asked me for a guard. Alan, making his Sunday debut, played confidently, smashing the ball through midwicket and cover on numerous occasions on his way to a nice quarter century. A devilish ball called time on that cameo, which enabled a devil of our own to enter the fray. During a short visit to the middle, Evil Dave hit a few lusty blows and with Tom using all the lessons I gave him in the batting cages at Sluggers World Class Sports Bar, the scoreboard began to tick over nicely. However, wickets kept falling, that is until Fruiti, hiding at 10, and The Egg, took charge and saw us through to the close of the innings. At 143 from our 35 overs, we were probably a few short, but it could have been worse.

    PHOTO-2019-07-02-10-31-08I don’t normally comment on opponent’s errors, especially as our own are so glaring, but one missed catch off our friend Special K’s bowling, does require further examination. A looping mishit drive hung in the air for quite a while, providing more than ample time for the cover point fielder to move the five yards into the circle to make the simple catch. However, for some unknown reason he chose to walk so slowly that the ball fell a yard short of his outstretched arms. I looked hard to see if Special K’s `never mind’ smile was genuine and I can only conclude that he is a far better man than me. If it had been off my bowling, I’d have cried like the IDLES’ Joe Talbot on the Park Stage at Glastonbury [Ed: that’s a set and a half].

    Of course I am now wondering if my own appalling attempt at a legside glance that lead to my downfall is being described with equal amazement in the Whalers match report…I do hope so and if their writer has come to our website for inspiration, it’s Ches (aka Seagull) not CMES.

    Over tea, we discussed the diet of Canadian geese, the possibility of a Whaler winning `bestest and fairest’ and methods of enticing greater participation from hibernating Quokkas. The promise of vodka jellies and chocolate orange marble cake at Wantage seemed to raise Alan’s eyebrows. The idea of two tours was met with mixed reactions. Japan anyone?

    Having seen that India were going to fail to chase down England’s total in the Cricket World Cup, we set out to prevent the Whalers doing the same. We were ever so slightly less successful. Evil Dave provided a fine opening spell, showing good pace and garnering a couple of good wickets along the way [Ed: are there bad wickets? Shut up Ed. In this new era of genuineness and honesty, I should point out that I’m now arguing with my imaginary editor]. The Yak, Sohail and Fruiti provided good support and another three wickets, one of which was thanks to a tremendous catch at first slip from Kiwi Scott. Sadly though, none of these were of their opening batsman, who during a fine innings of 86 never offered a chance.

    In the field we look pretty good except when Sohail prevented a certain runout by catching a ball destined to hit the stumps. Apart from that, there were very few occasions where I needed to provide hard luck platitudes through gritted teeth. Alan did a terrific job behind the stumps and had the good sense to ignore Virat’s advice to stand further back to help prevent his legside wides going to the boundary, instead suggesting that he “bowl on the offside”.

    At the death, Amit Kumar showed real talent with the ball [Ed: sign him up Skip], but at the other end 35 runs scored from just three individual overs from Kiwi Scott, Virat and myself, put paid to any hopes of a Quokka victory.

    Such is life. And with the glorious summer sunshine [Ed: are we allowed to be thankful for that now that you have explained global warming?] on our backs all day, an (very) amateur cricketer’s life isn’t too bad at all. I encourage all current, past and future Quokkas to sample it next week at Hartfield before the ice caps have fully melted and the ground is under three feet of water. Try to car share though.

    Posted by iain @ 11:36 am

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