A GARDENERS WORLD EXCLUSIVE
Today's match report is based on a recording of mobile phone call that has come into the club's possession, purportedly of The Sunday Times' proprietor Rupert Murdoch discussing his team's performance against the GCC while returning from Turney Road in a chauffeur-driven car. Readers are warned that Mr Murdoch - if it is he - frequently employs profane expressions. Non-Australians may wish to consult this glossary: http://www.koalanet.com.au/australian-slang.html.
Where it has been possible to identify individual players from his descriptions their initials have been added in brackets.
"... strewth, out comes the sun and all the poms start whinging about how it's hot enough to bake a lizard's gonads. 70 degrees Fahrenheit! Typical pommie bullshit. Hey, Jerry, remind me to get Ivens to have a go at that global warming toss in his next editorial. Pinko crock of shit. Anyway Jez, you beaut, where was I? Oh yeah, the arse-end of south London, that's where I was - looking at the names of the ST lads in the scorecard and thinking: where are the bloody stars? Where's bloody Clarkson and Gill? What about Liddle? Don't I pay those bastards enough? Bloody hell, Jerry, all I could see was a mob of lower galley drongos led by some chucker called Struthers. But then - sweet Jesus! - I saw the streak of piss that was the oppo and perked up quicker than a pecker in a - [editor's note: comment redacted for the sake of propriety]. Bunch of musos, degenerates, bald fellas and Observer readers. Then this Struthers bird comes clucking over saying he's won the toss and has put the oppo into bat. What, I roar, that pitch is as dry as a nun's nasty, they'll rack up a score bigger than Tony Abbott's bollocks. Christ, mate, are your kangeroos loose in the top paddock? N-n-n-n-o, stammered the cowering skip, the pitch is green and two-paced, boss. On your head be it Struthers, I growled. Win or..."
[The recording grows indistinct at this point, with sounds of confused mumbling. Then:]
"... one of the bald fellas, John Lloyd I heard him being called - jeez,I thought, that bodgy tennis bloke has gone to seed - he smacked his first ball for four, some kind of cover drive. You know what a cover drive is don't you, Jez? Course you do. Fair play to Mick, he must have yarned enough about cricket. Anyway, this tennis fella [JL], he looked handy, but then he gets out trying to strong-arm a yorker from our opening quickie, the galah. Next the other oppo opener [ES] gets one in the neck, a full-length ball leaping up like a tiger snake on a hot day in Tassie. So then this bruised bludger [ES], he hops around streaking it here and there like he's got the runs in an outback dunny. The oppo skip [JE] is in with him, solid-looking bloke too, until he gets one plumb in front and comes off boo-hooing about nicking it, the whinging pommy bastard [JE]. The next fella [SS] gets bowled quicker than a rat up a drainpipe, then the jumpy bloke [ES] gets his stumps whacked as hard as a dingo's arse. Oppo are 48-5 after the next bogan [TL] gets bowled by the ST ringer, bloke called Sanna whom Struthers reckons is a real bewdy bottler. But the rest of the fella's spin bowling, strewth, it cost big bickies, I tell ya. You've come a gutser, I shout as a long hop gets larrupped for four by an oppo batter [FK]. But his spin twin cobber at the other end cleans up a couple of wickets [FK and TW], one a national player for Montenegro [TW], so good onya, ST boys. 76-7, the Gardeners are looking as wobbly as Jeremy bloody Hunt at Leveson. But then, Jerry, bugger me if we don't let the dipsticks off the hook. This posh FT journo with a long name [LH-T], I know that fella, he was London Press Club arts critic of the year in 2014, wasn't he [editor's note: Mr Murdoch misremembers. It was 2013], well, you see, he comes in with a big bloke the oppo called "Tasty" [NC] and they start knocking it about like blokes doing the Aussie salute. A straight hit down the ground from the "Tasty" bloke, then, holy dooley, a slog sweep from the journo. Or was it the other way round? Dunno, Jez - by then I was mad as a cut snake, spewing at the ST fruit loops for letting the runs flow like amber fluid in Fleet Street on Friday lunchtime. Then when the bloody award-winning journo [LH-T] gets out, gloving one down the leg, the drongo, a hippy in a baseball cap [SF] comes in and causes even more grief. Him and the big bloke [NC] add 32 runs. Have a bowl yourself, you dropkick, I yell at Struthers. O-k-k-k-ay b-b-b-oss, he yammers. And stone the crows, Jerry, if the sook doesn't get both the batters out [SF and NC], leaving the oppo's last fella [RN] stranded on 2. So Jerry, the oppo were 150 all out, which meant - Jerry, are you listening? - which meant a bollocking all round for the ST mob, Rebekah can get the P45s..."
[The recording again grows indistinct, with various words intelligible ("Battenberg cake", "rissoles"). Then:]
"... so after tea, Jerry, our boys head into bat. First over, right, the mug batter spoons a catch off a ball that jumps up like a boomer [bowled by RN]. We're in the shit house now, I said. But the new batsman, jeepers, he was an ocker alright, a right jackaroo; he had flatter feet than a postie, but credit to the battler, he whacked each bloody ball to the bloody boundary [bowled by RN and NC]. Meanwhile the ringer fella, Sanna, lives up to the skyline promo with fair dinkum runs - drives, cuts, lofted pulls, jeez the bloke duxed it. Fifty for one after five overs and the oppo are cranky as a surfer catching a brown-eyed mullet. Some left-arm twirler [TL] gets a few on the spot but we keep rattling on like the the Great Western Express until the bloke in the baseball cap [SF] gets the ocker lad for 51 and the next bloke for a duck. No drama though, Jerry, the ringer keeps going with bonzer strokeplay and takes us to victory with 79 not out. Oppo weren't within a cooee of troubling us. Near the end the "Tasty" bloke [NC] flung himself to the floor quicker than a cabbie doing a yewy to avoid a high velocity ball, the bogan. Strewth, we creamed 'em, Jez, stonkered the bastards - 151 for three off 21.4 overs. Well done boys, I said to the ST mob, I'll get Rebekah to renew your contracts for an extra month and allow you one lunch break a week. Here's a couple of quid to put behind the bar. Meanwhile oppo looked fit to spit the dummy, faces like half-sucked mangoes. Off they went to hit the grog, the arseholes..."
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Oliver Cunningham (life)
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