So with the weekend out of the way and the delights of Chiang Mai explored the Tourists had to focus on the weeks work ahead with Sunday seeing both Darjeeling teams in action, with back to back pairings close to lunchtime. The 1st’ were taking on the Ios Malakas and the Tea Leaves with the unfortunate task of facing the Redland Tigers, one of the strongest sides in the tournament.
At the appointed hour, captain for the 1st team Paul Sackley lost the toss and the Malakas elected to bat. Opening the bowling with Gris, conceding 16 runs, with 2 wides and a no ball accounting for 10 of those runs, Brian Scholtz bowled the second over with two dots balls to start with a six of his 5th ball ruining his tight over. Jon Houghton went for 22 in his over with 3 sixes and a four, Julius Mooney first four balls only yielded 3 runs with a six and a four of his last 2 balls, Ash Banerjee bowled the final over with 62 on the board, his first ball going to backward of square for four, then success as he cleaned bowled the Malakas number 10, their number 11 got a top edge into the face and had to retire with Ash finishing his over for 7 – 1, and Darjeeling had a target of 69 to chase. With a strong opening pairing of Gris and Brian, Brian retired for a 12 ball 30, Gris blasted a 9 ball 26 with Jon making his cameo appearance for 1 off 1 to reach the total in 3.4 overs and seal the first win of the week.
With the 2nd Skipper Chris Dommett also managing to lose the toss Redland Tigers decided to have a bat, literally blasting the Tea Leaves out of the park scoring 105 – 1 off their 5 overs with the wicket of Trent Conwell falling to George Appleton caught in the deep by Ron Jones. The Tea Leaves reply of 44 – 3 in their 5 overs showed the frailties in their batting line up.
Monday saw an early start for Darjeeling, the first game of the day at 9am taking on the Perth Postels, with Sackley once again losing the toss and being put in the field. Sticking with the same bowling line, up the Postels got away to a good start, with Gris being wayward and gifting 20 extras through wides, his consolation of bowling a straight one and cleaning out one of the opener. The remaining bowlers kept it tight and only yielded 28 runs, the Postels finishing their 5 overs for 53 – 1. This time round, and the promise of a round of golf in the afternoon Darjeeling openers Gris and Scholtzy finished it in 3.2 overs reaching 54 in 10 balls apiece with Gris scoring 26 to Brian’s 20.
The Tea Leaves had a slightly later game at 10:25 and took on the Divine Felons from New Zealand, Chris Dommett’ double headed coin again letting him down, opening with debutant Charl Botes who after a nervous couple of wides settled down to bowl a reasonable over going for 17, Tyson Barrington going for 13 in the next over and Ron Jones picking up a wicket, a stumping by Chris but still yielding 16 runs. Stuart Matthewson still smarting from the previous days onslaught by Redland Tigers had a point to prove and snaffled the ex Kiwi Test player stumped again by Dommett, with his first ball, and getting Ross Ormston caught in the deep by Ron of his 5th ball finishing on 7 – 2, Mike Terrington bowling the last over went for 16 with the Felons finishing on a respectable 70 – 3. The Tea Leaves proceeded to attempt the run chase with Charl Botes run out for 1 and Chris cleaned out for 4 with only Tyson reaching double figures with 16 of 11, Ron scoring 9 of 9 leaving Terrington and Matthewson to see out the game with a partnership of 8 to leave the Tea Leaves floundering 21 short.
Tuesday saw the final games in the initial group games with Darjeeling taking on the Surrey Vagrants and the Tea Leaves facing the Clifton Hill Stray Cats, thankfully both at respectable times. Sackley for once got the rub of the green winning the toss and finally getting to bat first. Opening with Gris and Brian, disaster struck in the first over with Brian adjudged LBW on the 3rd ball and Gris getting snared in the deep of the last ball, Paul Lack ending up with 8 – 2. John Houghton and Paul Sackley set about repairing the damage with Sackley going for 16 of 11 in the fourth over, Houghton seeing out the innings with 24 of 11 and Julius Mooney supporting with 2 of 3, 57 – 3 as a finishing total. The bowling line up remained unchanged, Gris again gifting 2 wides with a total of 14 of the first, Scholtz pulled it back yielding only 5, Jon Houghton then bowled one of the tightest overs seen leaking only 2 runs, Surrey struggling on 25 of 3 overs, Julius Mooney then got carted for 20 leaving Ash Banerjee to bowl the death over with 12 runs to defend, it was not to be with Surrey drawing level on the 5th ball and smashing a four of the last to snatch the game.
The Tea Leaves found themselves batting in their final group game and with Dommett rested Tyson and Andy Tideswell opened, with AT going for a three ball duck, George Appleton soon to follow on a four ball duck, the Tea Leaves reeling at 10 – 2 in 2 overs. Tyson scoring a creditable 24 of 13 before being caught and bowled Charl scoring 6 not out and Mike Terrington supporting on 1 not out, Tea Leaves amassing 51 – 3 of 5. With AT taking keeping duties he was soon in the thick of it Tyson getting one to move away caught behind, Stuart again getting the batsman to charge, stumped, Charl doing the same another stumping Stray Cats reeling on 34 – 3 at the end of the third. Terrington then yielded 16 in the fourth only needing 2 of the final over finished in emphatic style smashing George for six of his first ball.
With the mathematics done the Darjeeling 1st ended up in the Cup as a best second placed group side, the bad news being they were in the group of death with Bashundhara Cricketers and Redland Tigers, with the Tea Leaves in the Bowl facing Clifton Hill Tom Cats and Thai Thevada