A legendary person is someone whose story becomes bigger than they are.” So begins the website of the EJ Whitten foundation. Today was the story of Big Dog; legend of the looping leg break, foundational pillar of the Aussie Quokkas and all round good bloke.
Recent revelations showed the EJ Whitten AFL legends game only paid 6 cents of each dollar donated to charity, the rest being strangely unaccounted for. About time the Quokkas had a legends game then…
Lonely and Bowlen opened the Legends batting. Sadly for the All Stars Ed opened the bowling. 6 balls later Lonely was halfway to retirement.
Snipper initially stemmed the bleeding but another 9 balls and Lonely was off for a rest.
Bowlen stuck around for a little longer before falling to Mo for 12, and Gregor smashed a quick 17 before Nick AW took his bails off. The came the Dog, immediately off the mark with a single and………… 2 overs later got another. Student Pup was in need of a lie down after the long walk to the middle was more effort than has made in months. He quickly got his wish after embarrassingly failing to get off the mark, more embarrassingly he was caught by Ed.
Like a disabled child at Disneyland, Howie fulfilled his wish of stepping out for the Quokka’s. Partnered by the Dog, the entertainment was less Space Mountain and more spinning teacups but the scoreboard trundled along.
Ed, resplendent in his new-found catching ability, replaced Tuesday with the gloves. Howie was an immediate victim after a solid 20 and Big Dog paddled to 18 before being gleefully taken from behind by Ed for 18.
As John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John found out at last year’s ARIA’s, Jay and Local didn’t stand a chance against the mighty Gow who swept all before him and took both in the same over.
Capping the Legends innings was the beauty and beast partnership of Cat & Dutchy, with the beast scoring quickly before being caught in the ‘other’ covers by Phantom. Celebrations were short-lived however as Lonely returned and while Cat intelligently kept the singles ticking over, Lonely terrorised an unfortunate JRod Death Over which got tonked all over Alphington and left the All Stars with 167 to chase.
After a prawn and fancy salad lunch (my how we’ve changed!) opening partnership of Ed and Alex did well to see off the opening swing of Local and Lonely (could someone get his kid on the pitch to distract him please!).
Up stepped Jay (who had clearly been saving his energy for bowling), and had Alex caught by Greg on 14. Snipper made a quick-fire 10 but like so many before him fell to Big Dogs bird scarers, then Jay returned to take Nick AW for 1.
The All Stars were looking shaky but Mo managed to settle some nerves before being undone by the reinvigorated Pup for 14.
Howie’s disability eventually got the better of him, his hamstring forcing an early bath. Ed, hamstrung only by his ability, managed 20 before caught by Dutchy off Pup.
It wouldn’t be a Quokkas game without a friendly run out. JRod duly obliged by playing limpet as Rev was almost close enough to kiss him having run all but one of the required 22 yards between the stumps.
With a daunting run chase ahead of them, Tuesday (8) and Phantom (9) went down swinging but failed to partner JRod for any length of time. When Nick AW returned as #11 Jay made doubly sure by bowling him again to finish off proceedings with JRod ending up not out on 35 having sensibly stayed out in the middle to avoid the still-fuming Rev.
All up the Legends won by 40, with some lovely bowling from Jay (3-8) and Pup (who took 2 wickets but despite being sent 6 photos of the scorecard not one of them shows how many runs he went for!)
All in all a great day, good to catch up with old faces and a reminder of why we all play cricket, and why many of us no longer do!