‘The 4th time the PM is out, he’s out’
Scott Morrison waits for the deliverySource:Supplied
With more help from Scott Morrison’s dog than the Prime Minister himself, Wippa secured a one-run victory over his Nova co-host Fitzy in the second edition of their First XI Backyard Cricket match at Kirribilli on Thursday.
The match pitted two celebrity-stacked teams against each other in a 10-over-a-side, everyone bats and bowls match on the manicured lawns of the PM’s Sydney Harbour residence.
Wippa opened the innings but found a juicy delivery from Channel 7’s Jim Wilson too tempting and tonked it to fall six-and-out.
TV personality Dr Andrew Rochford, whose main contribution with the bat was an all-run five when he hit the ball to fine leg and it was lost in the garden, then fell victim to a brilliant forward diving catch by radio host Ben Fordham off the bowling of former Test cricketer Ed Cowan.
Gladys with the bat flip.Source:Supplied
Then came Mr Morrison and one of the more remarkable innings you’re likely to see.
Australian Prime Ministers have had some forgettable moments on the cricket pitch. Bob Hawke top-edged a hook shot into his own face and John Howard bowled a ball he’s never lived down.
This wasn’t that. ScoMo can hold a bat OK and had the right attitude as he looked to hit hard and long. But boy was he unlucky.
Good stance and grip from ScoMo.Source:Supplied
The 51-year-old lifted his head slightly and skied his first delivery caught in the deep. It didn’t matter because you couldn’t get out first ball and so he jogged to the nonstriker’s end.
Back on strike two deliveries later, Mr Morrison appeared to either be caught behind or stumped by Fordham. Take your pick. But it was his backyard, so another chance was given.
Next ball, a decent clip to mid-wicket that was picked up one-handed by Brett Lee. Before the PM was mid-pitch the former Aussie spearhead had sent a direct-hit crashing in to the stumps.
The fourth ball he faced was well-struck again, but found another fielder, this time at mid-off.
Fitzy had seen enough: “The fourth time the Prime Minister gets out, he’s out.”
Scott Morrison loads it up.Source:Supplied
Singer Conrad Sewell, who earlier nailed a rendition of the national anthem, crunched an all-run six to get the innings back on track.
But Home and Away stalwart Lynne McGranger, despite Wippa’s instruction to “send it to Yabbie Creek” was finding it a little more difficult to get bat on ball. “She can at least act like she’s a great cricketer,” Fitzy quipped.
After scoring a slightly-under par 38 from the first five overs it was left to entertainment guru Richard Wilkins to play the anchor role.
Dickie just refused to get out and with the help of the Prime Minister’s dog, Buddy, who took off with the ball a couple of times, pushed the total to 83.
After failing with the bat, Karl Stefanovic opened the bowling for Wippa’s XI and aimed a beamer at the head of his brother, Peter, prompting Fitzy to say “he’s not an Uber driver Karl”.
Peter Stefanovic and Cowan set a solid foundation and with Wippa bowling like Steve Harmison, Fitzy’s top-loaded battling line-up looked like chasing the target with ease.
Lee put one on the roof but as the required run rate dwindled a bit of old-fashioned evening up took place as Fitzy walked despite being caught by a non-playing member of the crowd and Binga made a half-hearted attempt to make his ground and was run out.
It was the opening the Wippa XI needed and with Wilkins willing to stoop to underarm tactics they began running through the opposition.
There was controversy as Nova’s Sarah McGilvray was dropped by the keeper. The bails were whipped off leaving celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge — who was forced to run from the nonstriker’s end because of tippy-go rules — with no chance. McGilvray eventually did the honourable thing and walked.
Team Wippa with the trophySource:Supplied
Seven newsreader Mark Ferguson was gone six-and-out, leaving Fordham and Nova’s Matt de Groot needing five runs off Rockford’s final over.
They played it safe, taking singles from the first three deliveries, but then “Dr Death” turned up the pace and took out Fordham’s middle stump.
The Prime Minister had the final word: “I’m glad we won off Ben Fordham getting out … and I thought the player of the match was Buddy.”
Team Fitzy with the money raisedSource:Supplied
Last year’s inaugural Fitzy & Wippa’s First XI Backyard Cricket event at Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s home in Kirribilli won an Australian Commercial Radio Award for best station promotion.
This year’s event raised $15,000 for Batting for Change, a charity that seeks to create transformative educational opportunities for disadvantaged young men and women in cricket-playing nations. You can find out more and donate here.