The inaugural Serious Simon game on Nanjing soil was hotly anticipated to say the least. As the touring party tussled their way through the crowd at the station and onto the train, there was only a brief scare with both the touring kit and Captain Darling (Windy) being misplaced in the fracas. Both were soon located and the focus swiftly moved onto Rum & Wizard’s tea.
En route to Nanjing, Pussy tried to wash away his domestic sins with a cold shower from Parrot, upon receiving salvation, he B-lined back to Miss Pussy in Shanghai and was not seen again!
The levels of excitement were sky “wizard’s tea” high as we arrived in Nanjing, so high that a few in the squad lost their way, taking various routes & modes of transport to the pitch. Fruitbox, Parrot & Captain Darling (Windy) deciding to keep things rural and hitch a ride in a shrub filled pick-up truck much to the local’s amusement.
After a few more beers to acclimatise the Bashers were ready to take on Nanjing’s finest.
Inaugural Serious Simon Highlights
Although a crushing loss, hunger and passion burned in the hearts of each K during the Inaugural Serious Simon (more likely rum-induced heartburn). There was real confidence that a sixes trophy would be coming on the train home.
Some very welcome pints and laughs followed at the Tap Planet with more K’s joining. Rumours of Pussy also being in the bar remain unconfirmed but a good spot nonetheless. After munching some of Nanjing’s finest kebabs and quaffing the local beers, led by General Melchett (Bhenchod), the Bashers headed home one by one to prepare for the cake, with Parrot showing his fetish for taxidermy (poor deer) & going for a midnight foyer fountain dip on the way.
The Tuck Shop Pie Chuckers led by General Melchett (Bhenchod) & The Kakadu Bashers led by Captain Darling (Windy) were in high spirits as they boarded the beer-laiden bus to the ground. Some on time, others not. Upon arrival, we nestled into our allocated tent, perfectly situated next to a paddling pool full of beers & gin. With panama hats on and cake in hand, the Bashers meant business.
Tuck Shop Pie Chuckers v PRICCS
Tuck Shop Pie Chuckers started with a strong batting performance from Fruitbox, Ripper also chipped in before entering the wormhole and a competitive score was on the board. Shit Shoes did not bat, but was seen wearing his helmet throughout the innings, on his better half’s orders. Safety first.
With some impressive keeping by Parrot, tight bowling from Paps and athletic catching from Fruitbox kept the batsmen at bay to secure the Tuck Shop Pie Chuckers their first victory. The Bashers went wild.
The Kakadu Bashers v Bogans (THE SLEDGE)
The Kakadu Bashers opening game was a fiercely competitive battle for The Sledge. Skid Row & Omega producing a bowling masterclass in how to play the rural conditions, making life hard for the Bogans, with the batsmen struggling to pierce the field.
Messi & Tampon showed how to handle the pressure of a big game, and were striking the ball beautifully, and the boundaries came, to the delighted cheers of the Bashers’ faithful on the side lines.
Roared onto Victory, The Kakadu Bashers reclaimed The Sledge, causing ecstatic cake fuelled celebrations. Thanks to pitch-side social media, word of The Sledge victory spread like wildfire. On an aircraft somewhere, Rash (unavailable) was asked to respect the other passengers. Somewhere in Shanghai, Pussy poured himself a wizard’s tea and smiled quietly.
Tuck Shop Pie Chuckers v Beijing
With Ripper on another planet, Bird Shit was called into the side and opened the bowling spectacularly with a diamond duck wicket, causing hysteria on the pitch, with Fruit box and the lads running around cock a hoop, and off the pitch with Bambi’s flying cake-cam crashing into the crowd. What a start.
Sutton and Shearer, Lillee and Marsh, Dawson and Wilkinson. Sport is filled with iconic duos and at Nanjing we saw the creation of another – Parrot and Tucker. The Lancastrian’s tight bowling and the Queenslanders lightning hands induced three stumpings in an over. Unheard of.
Beijing were in trouble and resorted to some questionable sportsmanship in the field with Bhenchod being tackled to the ground while running between the wickets (although the Beijing player was later heard to describe Choddy as a twig). This was not enough to deter the Tuck Shop Pie Chuckers with Fruity and Parrot guiding them into the Semi Finals. Some were more ready for the knock out stage than others, the morning’s cake taking its toll on certain maiden tourists, namely Ripper who had now fully entered the wormhole.
The Kakadu Bashers v Nongmin
With a new wave of energy from Tampon’s delightful pork pies, The Kakadu Bashers batted first, with the hope of emulating their fellow K’s into the semis. Unfortunately, the shots, and there were definitely some shots… were all hitting the fielder’s hands. Matador licked fours to the ground, but was contained due to some bright fielding from Nongmin.
With Bambi’s ferocious pace and Mal’s first-rate probing, all tried in vain to stem the flow and with the loss, the Kakadu’s only hope of making the semi’s was in the bowl off.
With a few N20 balloons kindly distributed to the team by Messi to clear any pre bowl-off nerves, The Kakadu Bashers took to the pitch, and with the crowd boisterously cheering each bowler on, one after the other each Kakadu Basher saw off a beer but failed to hit the stumps.
Kakadu Bashers were out and the fairy tale of an all-Shanghai final was over. The post-auction social media hashtag of #Pray4TheKB seeming all too prescient.
Hopes of more silverware rested on the shoulders of General Melchett (Bhenchod) and his players.
Birdy took the new ball against Sanya and again induced a diamond duck. The man was on fire and picked up another one. Choddy stepped up and bowled a wicket maiden, (an occurrence as rare as Bambi staying to the end of a night out).
Paps stepped up to open the batting and sent the ball everywhere, crashing sixes into the arms of bemused students with Parrot and Fruity supporting. Into the final went the Chuckers.
Birdy opened the bowling and yet again created havoc with another two wicket spell, a long career of touring clearly helping him to balance cake consumption with cricketing ability. The rest chipped in with wickets and a chaseable total was there for the taking.
It started well with Paps smacking it around (and in turn earning Man of the Tournament) but unfortuntately the pitch began to deteriorate with 7 pea rollers in a row leaving the Chuckers with an uphill task. The Suzhou umpire forgot how to count to six to make matters worse. Birdy, Chod and Shoes did what they could but The Tuck Shop Pie Chuckers were left four short at the end.
It had been a valiant fight, but Tuck Shop Pie Chuckers were distraught, striding off the field and promptly to the bar.
After the game we were treated to a hearty roast duck meal and then the Nanjing K’s invited us over to their HQ, Clockwork Bar, where we were treated to a live performance from Stagnant pond and more heavy drinking. Serious Simon had his character assassinated thanks to a re-working of The Stones’ classic Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
Thereafter there is little recollection of the evenings events as it descended in to looseness and a lecture from Tampon about Chinese political history.
The next morning, hangovers to the right, hangovers to the left, it mattered not, we had the Sledge.
So the Nanjing Rural Sixes came to end for 2017 but we left full of memories; four wins, two defeats; Bashers laughter, Pussy’s tears; gin flowing, cake munched; Ripper dazed, Skiddy hooned. What a weekend.
Special thanks to Shit Shoes for organising the stylish camo Tour Kit, and Bambi for sorting the train tickets.
Looking forward to next year!