The Last Revelation
The Saturday Team lost by 1 run to Midsomer Norton. You can see the full scorecard here.
Last week Green Gibbo was on holiday. Or as The Book of Revelation puts it: “Great Green Gibbo went forth with the kings of the earth and committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of their fornication”. The locals were no doubt kept awake by the whine of their fornications as well.
What happens when an omnipresent god goes on holiday? Team selection goes tits up, that’s what. With Green Gibbo off fornicating in Spain RT1 decided to pick a team. No sooner had this happened than a missive from Green Gibbo arrived via email. The email stated that Green Gibbo could not get his email to work so he was sending an email to say he had no idea who was available but he had picked a team anyway. The logic of sending an email to inform people that your email is not working is beyond the ken of mortal men. Apparently Green Gibbo believes that it is better to send than receive emails (and give rather than take, obviously… bugger I alluded to fornication again… oh arse I just used ‘bugger’ in the same sentence as ‘fornication’… oh fuck I just uses the word ‘arse’ in the same sentence as the words ‘bugger’ and ‘fornication’… etc.). On getting the email RT1 then re-picked a team that looked a little more like the one Green Gibbo had picked and emailed it out.
Surprisingly there was a reply to RT1’s second selection effort from Miguel, the barman at Hotel Babylon where Green Gibbo was staying; this said that Miguel was incensed. How on earth could Jose, Julio and Juan be left out because all three are “sturdy fellows”, or at least this is the phrase that is returned if you put “macho hombre” into Google Translate.
And so it was that Green Gibbo, riding a magnificent seven headed beast (or a small green Nisan Micro if you refrained from the mushrooms on Friday night) led the Eastonites from The Promised Plough for the last time this season to do battle at Midsomer Norton.
The pitch was hard, dry and flat a bit like – insert your own tasteless joke here. In fact it was by far the best batting wicket that the Eastonites had seen all season and once you’ve factored in a fast out field it was the perfect opportunity to discard Plan A (win the toss and bowl first) and Plan B (stick to Plan A) and win the toss and bat first. Green Gibbo lost the toss and the Foe elected to bat first.
Before the game commenced Green Gibbo produced a little something he had brought back from holiday with him. He described it as a “traditional alcoholic beverage of the region”; this is how it was described to him by the man at duty free who then must have muttered “sucker” under his breath because it would perhaps be better described as “fornication wine”. The bottle was passed around and the Eastonites bid to drink from it. And so it was that, after this un-holy communion, the slightly sozzled Eastonites took to the field and the Foe’s opening batsmen strode to the crease.
Kahlu and RT1 opened the bowling. The batsmen struggled with Kahlu and he went for just 18 runs off his 8 overs. RT1 also bowled well and was disappointed not to be awarded a caught behind, in fact astonished or incensed would have been a better description. This season poor RT1 has lost his previously unwavering faith in humanity and the human spirit due to batsmen not walking. Fast forward to RT1 in his dotage, bemused and alone he sits in his own foulings hunched in front of an electric fire, his small dishevelled flat is filled with yowling cats. He picks one of the cats up and strokes it saying “you would have walk, wouldn’t you Puss?” You, batsmen and umpires of the North Somerset League, You did this to him!
At drinks the Foe were on 58 for 1 and decided to accelerate, which caused Garnier and TT to get tonked a bit so Green Gibbo brought himself on and he got tonked a bit too, but eventually he picked up three wickets. The Foe’s youngster who had opened the innings hit 72 before being caught behind by Gretch , toing a wide (“a probing, exploratory ball”) and walking (hurray). At the other end Iggy bowled well and took 2 for 26 off 6 overs.
For a change the foliage was well behaved allowing the Eastonites to hold a few catches. Kahlu and Garnier both caught regulation catches while Grove pulled off what was independently verified, by the opposition scorer, as the best catch that anyone has ever seen, ever. Grove has held onto a couple of sharp ones at gully with his right hand this season but has also dropped a few on his left hand, in this match however he dropped the slightly easier chance on his right hand and caught one diving full stretch to his left.
At one point it had looked as though the Foe would score more than 180 but losing wickets had restricted them to around 160. Taken by the end of season spirit Green Gibbo gave Ormisher, who had not been allowed to bowl yet, the penultimate over. Ormisher duly responded with an over that only went for 3 runs. Consumed with his own infallibility Green Gibbo decided to give the last over to Preece, who has never bowled an over in league cricket before. Preece’s over went for 6… or had it? Reviewing the scorebook at tea Green Gibbo noticed that a 4 from Preece’s over had been recorded as 2 runs rather than a boundary. In a sporting gesture Green Gibbo amended the required total to 170. There was some speculation that Green Gibbo’s choice of bowlers for the last two overs had more to do with the recently installed Ladbrooks App on his iPhone and less to do with tactics. However, his plans were thwarted because the Foe never reached the 180 that his spot bet required.
The tea was a sumptuous affair in the English style. There were a few contentious points however: is Coronation Chicken English or not? Was it a product of the Raj? And if so was it invented in England or India? Wikipedia states that it was a dish invented in 1953 for the Queen’s coronation, and you don’t get much more English than that. It appears that in post war “austerity Britain” leftovers from Sunday’s roast chicken served with mayo and a bit of curry powder was a dish fit for a Queen. Further controversy raged over the fruit kebabs that had pineapple in them. “The word ‘pineapple’ in English was first recorded in 1398, when it was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees”, said Garnier with his mouth rammed with fruit kebab, “and that makes it pretty fucking English in my book”. When questioned about how he could get so enthusiastic about anything that was not meat Garnier added “pineapple is the meat of the fruit world”; which leaves the astute reader wondering what the fruit of the meat world is? Garnier himself perhaps?
The crowning glory of the tea was rhubarb crumble cake. Just take a moment to imagine the genius that took rhubarb crumble and joined it seamlessly with cake. In a world where Apple can sue Samsung for a billion dollars over the patented movement of fingers across a touch sensitive screen it seems unfair that the person who invented rhubarb crumble cake probably got nothing. We must strive, brothers and sisters, for a world in which such genius is handsomely rewarded.
And so after more swigging from the bottle of the “traditional alcoholic beverage of the region” Grove and Ormisher strode manfully to the crease. Or at least Ormisher staggered slightly and Grove minced, wondering just how he had managed to get so much strawberry jam on his ‘whites’ during tea.
The booze had obviously affected Ormisher’s brain because he was twitching with wide saucer like eyes calling non-existent singles to every ball bowled. However, Grove was more worried that the pitch was too hard for him to mark a guard in, his feeble legs unable to push his spikes against the baked earth with sufficient force. In the end he had to get one of the fielders to do it for him, much to the amusement of the Foe’s wicket keeper. Exhausted by his guard-marking efforts and worried that someone would get the last bit of rhubarb crumble cake if he stayed at the crease too long, Grove threw away his wicket to an excellent leg-stump yorker.
Ormisher hung about for a while before being bowled by what he later described as “the best ball ever bowled”, a description that cost him a fine.
Preece and Bordi then put on a good stand. Preece ground out an inning of 37 and Bordi, looking like the Bordi of old (rather than the Old Bordi), hit 42 before being caught on the boundary. On 59 at drinks the scoring rate had to be picked up and Green Gibbo, who has been the master of patient batting this season, hit 35 of 32 balls. Iggy also contributed a valuable 9 off 8 balls before being stumped.
So, dear reader, we come to the final two overs. Green Gibbo and Kahlu are at the crease and the Foe bring back their best bowler, a flame hair kid who had already dispatched the Eastonites opening pair with two of the best balls ever bowled. With 13 required the Eastonites could only manage 5 off the penultimate over which left 8 needed to win. Green Gibbo then hit 2 runs off each of the first 3 balls of the last over, he turned down Kahlu’s call for a risky single off the 4th ball and was out, caught at mid-on off the 5th ball. The Eastonites thus needed 2 to win or 1 to tie off the last ball of the match with TT fresh at crease. The bowler ran in, Kahlu started to run from the non-stricker’s end, TT blocked the ball and ran… and Kahlu was run out at the wicket keepers end.
The Eastonites lost by 1 run.
How many ways did Green Gibbo lose the Eastonites this game? Let us count them:
- Forcing the team to drink the “traditional alcoholic beverage of the region”.
- Losing the toss: the boundaries slowed down considerable as the sun set and despite running a number of 3s, boundaries proved more difficult to get as the game progressed.
- Getting Preece to bowl the last over which went for 8 runs when Iggy was on 2 for 26 off 6 overs.
- Telling the opposition at tea that they had incorrectly scored a boundary in Preece’s over as 2 runs, thus the required total was 170 and not 168.
- On a decent wicket opening the batting with Grove and Ormisher who are both renowned for being very slow scorers; especially after imbibing “traditional alcoholic beverages of the region” and eating half a tonne of rhubarb crumble cake.
- Turning down a risky single off the 4th ball of the last over.
- Getting out on the 5th ball of the last over and thus needing a fresh batsman to hit 2 off the last ball.
Thus it was that The Great Green Gibbo was revealed to be nothing more than a mild mannered middle aged man with slight delusional tendencies and a beard. Oh well, religion is a load of old bollocks really. Isn’t it?
Angelo was voted as Man of the Match and Grove’s catch (independently verified as the greatest catch ever taken, ever) was voted in as the cider moment.
The Sun set on Midsomer Norton and the Eastonite’s season as a mobile disco was being set up at the club house for a 21st birthday party. The defeated Eastonites and their fallen idol set off for The Promised Plough, which required a belligerent and slightly aroused Garnier to be dragged kicking and screaming from the dance floor. That last sentence requires some clarification: the 21st birthday party included a buffet.