The 2012-13 Lennie Pascoe Plate

A sporting event can be a microcosm of life sometimes. It can show the best of the times. It can show the worst of the times.

Well, the 2012-13 Lennie Pascoe Plate was no different. It was full of intrigue, drama and of course ‘con-tro-ver-sy’. And that was before even a ball had been bowled on a hot and humid Brisbane afternoon where the pitch was hard and dusty and the beer was cold and wet.

This annual event never ceases to amaze though and it’s always a challenge to predict just who will be walking away with “The Plate” as things come to an end at the going down of the sun that day.

As an explanation, the format of the event entails six teams of two players each batting for six overs (split into two innings of three overs) while the rest of the teams field. It’s got an indoor cricket flavour with wickets merely resulting in the loss of five runs rather than someone having to make their way back to the pavilion.

First up it was Geo and Stan who spent a bit too much time settling in and gauging the dusty sub-continent-like conditions before smashing a ten off their third over. Their techniques were a little wanting so it was a bit of graft, but still, they were in the positive come innings end.

Next in came the two Scotts whose running between wickets left a lot to be desired resulting in an early runout. Not sure why. Surely “yes Scott” should have been easily understood by both. A couple of all-run fours in their last over put them in good stead though.

Funk and Waz were at third drop with runs coming easily to them with Waz in particular swinging the bat like the baseballer he is and bringing up a number of twos and threes. Funk also doing his best Gilly impression with the cow swot over mid wicket being his modus operandi.

Coming in at number four, The Dugong and Dobbs quietly accumulated runs without losing a wicket in their first innings. Like a Bevan or a Hussey, they were in double figures before you’d even realised they were in as they nudged and prodded the ball around the park (impressive wagon wheel) with plenty of ones, twos and threes.

Sharpey and Gibbo came in next and they quickly made up for the lack of wickets in the previous innings. A little unlucky these two as the wickets were largely due to catches being taken on the boundary or via some of the more localised rules like ‘one-hat-one-bounce’.

Our final team included Thom and The Badger with the scoresheet showing plenty of ones and twos but also the loss of a wicket each over. A decent effort from these boys though as The Badger had only just arrived seconds before his turn to bat meaning no warm-up or stretch. Then again, if you knew The Badger, warming up and stretching aren’t exactly at the top of his priorities list.

So after everyone’s first innings, it was Dugong/Dobbs in the lead with 33 runs followed by Funk/Waz on 24 and the two Scotts on 11. Every team being in the positive at half-time a rare event but something to be celebrated. “Drinks” were duly called then, even though it was a little redundant seeing ‘drinks’ had already been partaken throughout the match so far.

With the sun getting lower and some of the big gum trees nearby providing some much needed shade, Geo and Stan began their second innings like their first with a slow start full of plenty of dot balls. Come the third over though they were really in the swing of things and ended their batting with a final over containing a few fours.

The two Scotts then made their way to the wicket and they were in trouble from the get-go. Runouts again were their Achilles heel with some ambitious backing up at the bowlers end confusing the striker and leading to all sorts of comedy from an observer’s impartial view. Geo putting his body on the line in the field also adding to the comedy (lucky the Royal Brisbane Hospital was just up the road).

Funk and Waz seemed to have caught the two Scotts disease next up, losing two early wickets in their second innings. A number of dot balls in a row meant Funk had to face the next ball with an upside down bat and that seemed to work for him as he dispatched it for a three. A final over of ones and twos was solid and kept them in the race for The Plate.

Half-time leaders The Dugong and Dobbs then strapped on the pads to try and defend their lead. They were in trouble straight away though (were the beers starting to take affect?) with wickets and some desperate fielding cutting into their run tally. The shoulders opened up in the last over though with an all-run seven the result of Stan hitting a tree with his return throw from the boundary and the ball bouncing across the road and down the hill. Would that seven prove to be crucial in the end?

Next in were Sharpey and Gibbo and their rotten luck continued. Glorious technique was there for all to see but again their placement, Gibbo in particular, was poor and a number of catches were taken in the deep. Their last over saw the highlight of the day with Dobbs taking a one-hat-one-bounce catch off a tree. It just wasn’t Sharpey and Gibbo’s day.

The final innings then saw The Badger and Thom return to the crease to see if they could put their names up in lights in the Pascoe Plate Hall Of Fame. Their first over was a flurry of activity with ones and twos before their second saw an abundance of no-balls and wides making it feel like the longest over in history. Lucky I can’t remember who the bowler was. Three wickets in the last over brought things to an end though, not just for the chances of The Badger and Thom, but for the whole event as well.

Noriega the Scorer then worked his magic (a late pullout due to a side strain – no rotation policy I swear) while sitting out in the middle of the pitch while the boys dived into the esky yet again to mark the end of proceedings.

The light was fading fast as hearty laughs could be heard across the park. Most notable point of discussion was the lack of any Boonies this year – losing a wicket for hitting a beer can in the field. The banter was brutal though meaning there will be no shortage of chin music at next year’s event.

In the end it had been epic. It had been grand. The muscles were aching but no-one could really feel it. Not until the next day anyway.

Hopefully Lennie would have been proud.

Final results:

2012-13 Lennie Pascoe Plate
Winners – The Dugong/Dobbs: 37
Runners Up – Funk/Waz: 32
Third Place – Geo/Stan: 20
Fourth Place – The Badger/Thom: 12
Fifth Place – Two Scotts: 8
Wooden Spoon – Sharpey/Gibbo: -1

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