Whilst the majority of the Darjeeling crew , including the current and immediate past Chairman’ where continuing the team building and bonding exercise that is commonly known as the Chaing Mai Sixes, it was left to the hardy few to brave the largest shamal seen in the UAE for many a year and take on the unknown entity known as the National Bank of Fujairah.
Greg Moses had managed to pull together a team of has beens , never will be’s and some still thinking they might be’s! Plus a ringer from London called Bruno who is a lover not a fighter!
Skipper for the day , Gary , selected because Greg did not want the stress, walked towards the square like a man who understands bad weather and duly won the toss and elected to bat. So far so good!
With no Simon Fowler to select it was obvious that Noel, the ever ready, and Ben were the obvious choices to open up for DCC. There is something impressive about Noel strolling to the wicket. A combination of pugnacious short arse Aussie and knowing that no matter how bad those first balls are he will block and say in a loud voice “NO” means reassurance!
At the other end , Ben , a man who has been sent to Darjeeling because his partner was worried he was drinking too much! WOW! Grisdale will meet you soon MR. BEN!, The bowling was average and the two boys went on their merry way , Noel striking the ball magnificently behind square and Ben pulling anything short for 4.
Noel got bored and missed a straight one for a well worked 35 and Greg , chilled as ever strolled to the wicket looking like a white and slightly tall Viv Richards. He didn’t have any smoke on him but you can use your imagination!
Ben continued to strike the ball well until on 47 a Darjeeling umpire gave an LBW! Yes! No name no pack drill as they used to say and he shall remain anonymous ….. Lee! Apparently as plumb as Jack Mc Plumb living in Plumbville!
Enter Anthony who had described himself earlier as doing a bit of both to the skipper!! Grisdale will soon meet you MR. Anthony!!!
Anthony and Greg plundered the runs off the 9 bowlers used before the former was caught on 47, a great knock if you forget the many dropped catches the bankers had spilled!
Bruno the cockney geezer came and went and it was left to Greg , 51, not out and Steve Blandford to bring us to a creditable 216 for 4 in our 25 overs.
By now the wind and sand storm was at a level that even well hard northeners , from England at least where beginning to blink! Greg, as usual, and a worthy position for a Saffer, was asked to toil up the hill, into the gale, and at pace.2 out of three was not bad as he plopped the ball on a length enough times to cause the somewhat Kamikaze openers some trouble. Etienne came down the hill and struck early with a wicket in his second over. Greg meanwhile toiled up the slope but after 3 overs was given a well earned rest to be replaced by Both Ways Anthony! Of course this skippers decision led to a wicket with Anthony clean bowling the other opener.
There is a time in a match when a decisive decision has to be made, this was not it so CD was brought on to replace Etienne who finished with very creditable figures of 4 overs 1 for 14.
CD , as you all know is an enigma. So much talent, so few wickets! But not today…… Amidst the wides and the full tosses he bowled some Jaffas and finished with 3 for 33 off his four overs before pleading with the skipper to be taken off because his wallet , still strapped to his body was giving him back ache!
Anthony, whose 2 overs gave him figures of 1 for 19 was replaced at the up hill end by Steve Blandford who these days bowls robbers mask eroding as spin.Needless to say he provided the champagne moment when a batsman tried to smash him through mid wicket and was deceived by the lack of quality of the ball and skied in towards a gently snoozing Mo. screams of catch it woke our Grocer of note and he sprinted in and took the catch at knee height ! Fantastic cricket?
Skipper GT replaced CD and duly confirmed the golden arm theory with a wicket off his 4th ball, well caught behind by the ever ready Noel. Steve finished with 2 for 33 off his 5 and GT a creditable 3 for 23 off his 3.4 overs.
All together a good performance in very difficult climatic conditions.
Please note that all names used in the production of this document are factual and will not protect the innocent!