The Saturday Team were beaten by Stanton Drew by 116 runs. The full scorecard can be found here.
Stanton Drew is a hot place that smells suspiciously of sulphur. It is set in England’s Green and pleasant land but is packed with dark satanic milliners selling all manner of evil head wear. There are several stone circles at Stanton Drew which are, according to local legend, wedding guests that danced to the Devil’s fiddle playing on a Saturday night but did not stop as midnight passed and they continued to dance into the Lord’s day. They were thus turned to stone. As well as the stone circles there are two upright stones that stand either side of a third recumbent stone in the pub garden, these are meant to be the bride and groom with the pissed vicar lying at their feet. These naughty revellers are apparently waiting for the Devil to return, when they will dance again to the sounds of his satanic fiddle (that is a musical instrument not a euphemism).
Last season Knowle West Cricket Club folded and the Bailey family moved en mass to play for Stanton Drew. Rob Bailey had, before this game, amassed almost 700 runs in 11 innings with two centuries; one of which was 202 not out. The stalwart of the Eastonite’s batting on the other hand has been Green Gibbo who had made about 260 runs in 9 innings.
So the scene was set for Green Gibbo to meet the Anti-Gibbo!
Or was it? Green Gibbo had sent out a text the night before saying that the Foe’s star batsman was handcuffed to the radiator in his front room.
Arriving at Stanton Drew they found a lot of fat men watching a game of football in the outfield of the cricket ground. Some of the fat men turned out to be pregnant ladies, while others did not. As the football continued the Eastonites inspected the pitch which was very flat and slightly moist. “It is very flat and slightly moist”, explained Garnier helpfully. When the football game drew to a close the Foe’s cricket team arrived and dragged a very large net down to the far end of the ground and erected it to catch any boundaries that might happen in that direction.
Once all the mowing and hedge protection and boundary rope positioning had been done a toss happened, which Green Gibbo won and he elected to bowl. The Eastonites took to the field on a very hot sticky afternoon and the opening pair strode satanically to the crease; one of whom was the Anti-Gibbo. Bugger! Who had Green Gibbo handcuffed to his radiator?
So what does the Anti-Gibbo look like? Well dear reader, he is a robust gentleman with a robust mouth. He took his guard and announced that he was hung-over due to being at his mum’s 50th birthday the night before; this comment started a monologue that then continued at some considerable volume for the duration of the match.
If you are confronted with a power house of batting (and talking) there is only one thing to do: get him out early. And so it was that the Eastonites droped him in the first over. To be fair it was a very difficult, legside, caught behind chance.
The Anti-Gibbo then settled. Sloggers have been seen before but this fellow chose which ball to have a go at and then hit them blooming hard. However, he was not too proud to defend and take quick singles (he could move quite quickly for a big bloke). Before too long he was on 50 and the Foe’s total was 64. In fact it was getting a little tedious as the Eastonites watched the Anti-Gibbo biff the ball around like a class room bully busted down to kindergarten lording it over his schoolmates. Whilst this happened dark clouds rolled in over the hills and the wind picked up. Ravens began to appear one by one and land on the outfield. The strains of Carmina Burana drifted on the uncomfortably hot breeze.
The Anti-Gibbo had shown he could handle Budge and Garnier, so what about Kahlu? Well, he struggled with the odd ball but other balls flew out of the ground to be retrieved by his reluctant team mates who would spend most of their team’s innings in the hedge rows. Despite the boundary fest nothing much had looked catchable for an age but then finally, when he was on about 70 odd, he launched a loose one high to cow corner… which was dropped by a Cowboy.
The Anti-Gibbo was finally out, caught by Green Gibbo at deep extra cover, for 115 with the foe on 170. The clouds miraculously cleared, the Sun came out and the ravens buggered off.
The Foe finished on 239 for 2 after a little argybargy over a caught behind, where the batsman did not walk and so was not out and a run out, where the batsman did walk (instead of running) and so was out. The other opening batsman finished on 75 not out but had received constant abuse from the Anti-Gibbo, who stood on the boundary rope once he was out and threatened to turn his team mate to stone if he did not get a move on. The Foe looked like they may go on to score 300 and so it was a fine effort to restrict them to 239, which at 6 an over was an achievable target on a flat pitch.
The hot, tiered and tetchy Eastonites made their way to tea which was a splendid affair in the English style. However it was a slight disappointment to see the inclusion of chorizo (which is Spanish) and corned beef (which is obviously Argentinean) as sandwich fillings.
After tea Iggy hugged Grove manfully and then they strode manfully to the crease. At least Iggy fumed in the hot and pissed off style and Grove minced rather. Several weeks ago Iggy got possessed by the Duck Demon who had been residing in him ever since. However, since Iggy scored 38 last week the DD had been feeling a little uncomfortable and looking for a new home. When Iggy hugged Grove before they went in to bat the demon had obviously taken the opportunity to make the jump from one host to another because after three balls Grove minced back to the pavilion having played the most pathetic shot possible. And who was the bowler? The Anti-Gibbo, that is who, with the ever present monologue and now in league with the Duck Demon. He went on to get 2 wickets for only 14 runs; the other wicket was Iggy, who got so wound up by the constant chuntering that he self destructed.
The fragile Eastonite’s batting line-up once again put in a feeble performance, failing to find the boundary while watching the required rate rise. The wickets then tumbled.
Some of the Eastonites got so frustrated watching their team’s innings that they decided to indulge in some country pursuits go on an impromptu hippy hunt. A hippy vagrant type had wondered onto the ground looking for a drink of water and was reported, by the Foe’s women folk, to have left with a cricket bag. RT1, who dislikes hippy men but likes women folk, and Iggy, who was in such a mood he would have picked a fight with Ghandi (and lost), jumped up ready for action. Kahlu, padded-up and waiting to bat did the same and the three of them jumped into RT1’s van like the Primark A Team. Sometime later they returned having hunted down the hippy and demanded to rummage through his worldly belongings, they reported that he did indeed have a cricket bag but it only contained his dirt vagrant pants. RT1 went off to the kitchen to scrub his hands in boiling water; “dirty, dirty, dirty” was the mantra as he scrubbed his hands red roar.
With a little resistance from the lower orders the Eastonites limped to 123 all out and ran away to the pub. Green Gibbo was so pissed off at the Eastonites’ efforts with the bat that it was thought a sacrifice was needed. Searching for the nearest thing to a virgin that they could find, which turned out to be a 53 year old mother of three, they performed the ceremony on the ‘drunk vicar’ stone in the back garden of the pub. Garnier dutifully collected up the blood that flowed and made black pudding. “The secret to a good blood sausage”, he said helpfully, “is blood”.
TT and Green Gibbo shared man of the match and the hippy hunt won the Cider Moment. The Eastonites are to petition the IOC to get hippy vagrant type hunting and lynching into the 2016 Olympics. Well done lads, the cricket might have been shit but the hippy hunting vigilantism has inspired a generation.
There you have it: the Anti-Gibbo scored a century, bowled well, even rolled the pitch and his wife made the tea. Also, 83.5% of the words spoken during the match came from his mouth. So it was that the big fish in the small pond prevailed as the Cowboys floundered and the Devil returned to Stanton Drew, who’s naughty party people once again danced to his tune. Due to Green Gibbo’s anger there is now a new stone circle in Stanton Drew that used to be the Easton Cowboys Saturday XI. According to local legend one of the stones can be heard to make a ummy sounds every time a rabbit hops past and it can occasionally be heard to break wind.
Meanwhile in St Annes the police and fire brigade managed to free a bemused Rob Bailey (former Northamptonshire and England batsman and first class cricket umpire) from the handcuffs that had been used to secure him to the radiator in the front room of an unassuming suburban house.