All of the cricket was rained off over the weekend. The Saturdays did at least manage to start thier match. The full scorecard can be found here.
How on Earth could people on such a miserably wet island invent a game that requires dry conditions to play. After two weekends without cricket a rusty Saturday Team emerged, blinking, into something that wasn’t quite sunlight and headed for Harptree Villages. On arrival in West Harptree Uberpops immediately upset a local by asking for directions to the cricket pitch, which it turns out is in East Harptree. “I wouldn’t go up there this time of the afternoon” said the surly West Harptree gent.
Just round the corner, in East Harptree (about 100 m away), an inspection of the wicket revealed it to resemble chocolate fudge icing with grass sprinkles, i.e. it was very, very soft. “Better not lose the toss then” said a Uberpops, who had caught a bad case of surly off the West Harptree gent. One of the Foe’s players noticed this and looked concerned, “Ear, you ate bean commooning down West Arptree ave eee?” he asked.
With the teams assembled all we needed to get going was our beloved leader who was driving from CACKK Camp to ‘steer his merry band to glorious victory’, or if that failed he was going to captain the Saturday Team. A small green car drove into the car park and from it oozed an ill-appointed green man. “Take me to your leader” he said to Kahlu. “You are my leader” replied Kahlu. “Bugger” said the dishevelled green slime, “Take me to their leader then”. He was take to the foe’s leader who took one look at him and said, with some suspicion, “Ear, ur knot fraaam West Arptree r e?”. “No your Reverend I have come from CACKK and when it is over I will return to CACKK”.
For those of you not in ‘the know’ CACKK is the Cowboys and Cowgirls Kids Klub and it was their annual camping weekend in Wales last weekend. For those of you who are in ‘the know’ it will be quite obvious how dangerous such an event can be for a man of Gibbo’s week temperament, what with them having a ‘mix your own cocktail’ bar and the like.
The foe’s skipper tossed one into the air, “errrrr?” said Gibbo in indecision. “No, tails” said the foe’s skipper and chose to put us into bat. Gibbo looked at Grove apologetically and in a green hue he complained that he had been ‘Cupised’ the night before and so had not slept. Those of you in ‘the know’ will realise what this means: to be Cupised is to spend the whole night with Cupis getting drunk and being psychoanalysed by the same while having his finger repeatedly jabbed in your face. This is like Clare Rainer, Lord Kitchener and Oliver Reid rolled into one. If you are very lucky Cupis will perform the ancient rite of the ‘Eastville Pant Dance’, a cultural phenomenon that has been the subject of a paper by an anthropologist from Goldsmiths College. (I know, dear reader, that you think that the author makes stuff up when writing match reposts, but that bit is actually true)
In the spirit of journalistic fairness (and in fear of Lord Levison) your author phoned Cupis up and put Gibbo’s accusation to him. Cupis countered that he was the victim and had been Gibboed. Perhaps both of them should go away and look synergy up in a dictionary or a self-help manual for the bewildered, befuddled and just plain buggered.
And so Grove and Bordi strode manfully to the wicket. Or at least Grove minced slightly in the English style and Bordi pranced rather in the Italian style. Shortly thereafter Grove stroked one to mid-off, shouted yes and charged a single. Bordi stood his ground admiring the cut of the fielders jib. “YESSSS” screamed Grove. “Not just now brother” replied Bordi. Grove tried to turn and return to his ground but the soft earth beneath his spikes yielded and he was left floundering as he was run out by a good half-length.
Gibbo was pointed in the general direction of the crease and leaked to the wicket. After not so long he looked on as Bordi got bowled by one that was tossed up and disappeared into a tree behind the bowler’s arm. “It was tossed up and disappeared into a tree behind the bowler’s arm”, explained Bordi. Big Tall Toole skulked to the middle with a dickey tummy. Eger to get back to the commodious pavilion and its well-appointed water closets he chipped a leading edge into the air and was easily caught. Iggy swung at a straight one, he later blamed the foe’s wicket keeper for talking him into it.
So enter Kahlu with a good 25 overs to bat out. The second ball he faced went for an enormous straight six into the car park. For the next over the foe put a man straight and right on the boundary, in fact he was so far from the wicket he was almost in West Harptree. Gibbo saw the danger, “watch out for that fielder who is so far from the wicket he was almost in West Harptree” he warned Kalhu. A single brought Kahlu to the strikers end and the very next ball was smashed straight at the fielder Gibbo had pointed out and he was caught. Next time Gibbo has undertaken to point to a gap in the field instead of a fielder to see if this brings more encouraging results.
Green Gibbo set about grinding and gunning an innings out of the awful pitch. Meanwhile TT was bowled out by one that nipped back off a crater which had opened up in the pitch after the bowler from that end had gone for a burton. Uberpops was given out LBW to one which soiled his trousers mid-thigh. Gretch was run out and Garnier, after an entertaining six, was caught.
Entering the last over with 9 wickets down RT1 was looking good and on strike, Gibbo called him through for a suicide single and ran him out. With four balls left Gibbo had run out the last batsman and thus stranded himself on 46 not out. He was of course fined for gratuitous jug avoidance of the most heinous kind.
The foe had a bizarre idea of how to make a cricket tea; everyone in East Harptree brought a contribution. There was only one flaw with this otherwise cunning plan and that was that most people had brought biscuits, only one person had made a sandwich and someone else had just nipped into the filling station shop and bought an all-day-breakfast baguette. As we chomped our way through the full McVitie’s range it looked as though the forecast rain had missed us and our 114 all out would not be enough to prevail.
We took to the field and their openers took RT1 and Garnier apart. Kahlu looked to be causing the batsman more trouble but they cruised to 70 for 1 off 10 when … halleluiah and kumbaya … the heavens opened. We retired to the pavilion and waited to see if it would clear up. The foe would not concede defeat until a storm drain at the top of the pitch burst and sent a tsunami dramatically heading towards the wicket. “Pub” said the foe’s leader. We of course went to the East Harptree pub since no one in their right mind would dare go to West Harptree at that time of the evening.
Gibbo won MOM for his captain’s innings. Garnier won the Cider Moment for his 6.
To get back to Bristol we had to build ourselves an ark. And so it is after 3 days adrift that I hope someone will find this match report stuffed into an empty Red Stripe can and send out a rescue party. The plan had been to wait a day and send out the dove to search for dry land but the dove is missing and Garnier has suspicious feathers around his mouth… The Bastard.