Darjeeling v Awali Taverners at the ICC GCA – words by Stephen Brown

An early start was in store for Darjeeling, but incredibly managed to get all 11 men there before the opposition. The usual stench of stale alcohol and cigarettes filled the changing room, with Julius being the only exception as he now only drinks water and smokes an electronic liquid tube! Nick Harvey then tried to cure hangovers by opening a boiling hot bottle of Jäegermeister, and Gary Turner  was put in charge of dishing it round the lads and demanding you take a “man’s swig” of the devils juice.

Noel, who looked like some kind of cartoon puppet when he walked in with his youngest son’s white shirt on, was again given the honour of leading the troops. He won the toss, elected to bat and made his first masterstroke of the day by announcing Badger would accompany Brown at the top of the order and stride out at number 1!

After months of anticipation, Badger took the first ball of the day and got an almighty roar from the crowd as he nicked one through the gully for a welcomed boundary. Darjeeling got off to a flyer with a breezy 20 by Brown, and a short cameo from Chris N, before been cleaned up by a full toss. There was confusion on whether or not it was a no-ball, but it is very difficult to argue when you lose your off stump, and have to walk past it on your way to the changing rooms.

Darjeeling then consolidated with Anthony working the ball around and Badger “the anchor” still playing and missing every other ball. When Anthony departed the last ball before drinks, Badger was to walk off to a standing ovation for his 45 ball 29*. However, everyone’s hopes turned to despair when he decided he’d had enough and wanted to retire. Rumours were spreading that fitness may have had a part to play, but it was later confirmed that he was getting the shakes as he’d not had a Benson & Hedges for at least an hour! A new record that will take some beating.

Julius and Gary were to take the crease after drinks and their innings couldn’t have been more different. Gary played a fluid run a ball 27, with a little help from the keeper, who dropped the worst catch I think weI will ever see. Julius or Julia as he was known on the electronic scoreboard was under pressure from ball 1. Myself and Jonno (who had dragged himself out of bed to watch) had told him to stop being so selfish and to “crowd please” for once in his life. With this seed now planted, he scratched and prodded his way around for what seemed like 3 days! Messages were being sent via walkie talkie for him to kick his stumps over, and although he tried as hard as he could to get out, the fielders just couldn’t help us out. His mammoth stay was eventually ended by a sharp grab at slip and Teddy departed for a prolonged 11. This turned out to be a blessing for Darjeeling as this brought MOM Nick Harvey to the crease and he blazed his way to a 25 ball 50. A real impetus that was needed, and he and Noel upped the run rate in the latter stages to set the visitors a tricky 217.

The visitors got off to a flyer with Julius and Josh bowling a real mixed bag. Both got unlucky, beating the edge on numerous occasions, but boundaries were leaked and the visitors were above the rate in the first 5/6 overs. Julius then struck twice in two balls (the 2nd being a debatable LBW decision by stand in umpire Jonno) which turned the game back in our favour.

Noel was rotating the bowlers well and Chris N and Chris “the scorer” Tebb put a squeeze on, going at under 6 an over. For those wondering why Chris T is nicknamed the scorer, you won’t believe it until you’ve seen the book. He was either a very lonely young man, not quite good enough to make the senior side, or enjoyed picking up 20 quid every Saturday. No matter the reason, his multi-coloured scorebook and his performance on the electronic scoreboard was a very close runner up to Nick Harvey for MOM! Not many enjoy the luxury of scoring, and his efforts were well appreciated by all and in particular Badger who was attached to an oxygen machine in the dressing room and unable to score after his 13 over stay at the crease.

With the run rate now climbing, who better to take advantage of the conditions than Gary and Badger. Their opener Charles was the only player who could still take the game away from us and when Gary had him caught at short extra cover by Anthony who was fantastic in the field, Badgers eyes lightened up on the arrival of “the rabbits”. I can’t finish talking about Gary without mentioning his maiden over! Only the 2nd of the day, but his was the only one that counted as he was bowling at someone who could hold a bat. The other maiden being bowled at Badger earlier in the day with 6 plays and misses infuriating the opposition skipper.

Badger gladly helped himself to a couple of wickets, and MOM Nick Harvey bowled a tight spell to back his batting up and also chipped in with a wicket. Josh at this point was in the captains ear ensuring Noel he was warmed up and ready for another chuck. Noel contemplated this, but with the run rate now at 28 runs an over, he just couldn’t be risked! Instead, the skipper went for experience and threw the ball to Simon Fowler who’s trusty dobbers earned himself a wicket and made a win now impossible for the visitors.

There was still some action to be played as Julius was on a hat trick from earlier. He charged down the hill and bowled his quickest delivery of the day (clocked at 48mph) but the shuffly Guy Parker safely dealt with it. Julius was to grab another wicket with the penultimate delivery of the game and was the pick of the bowlers with figures of   4-0-25-3. The opposition finishing 47 runs short, and a convincing win for Darjeeling.

A game played in superb spirits, and the Bahraini lads were extremely accommodating after the game allowing us to drink all their beers. Shirt presentations were carried out by Nick Harvey and by the time the 5th bottle had gone down, it was nailed on that we will be visiting Bahrain in the near future for a rematch.

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Darjeeling v BCA Eagles – Words by G Moses

On what can only be described as a balmy day, the likes of which we are unlikely to see again until November, DCC took on relative newcomers to the Dubai cricket scene, BCA Eagles, at the Sharjah English School Oval on Friday.

Our skipper for the day, N. Raymond, won the toss and in decidedly un-DCC fashion, chose to have a bat. He and B.Scholtz strode out purposefully and put on a fluent 33 run stand before Brian played an elite spoon to cover, out on 12 after looking in good touch.

G. Moses walked out to the middle, visibly struggling with the disappointment of finding out midweek that he’s ‘not as good as he thinks he is’. Nonetheless, the two put on the partnership of the day before N. Raymond played all round a straight one from Adil, out on 53 with the score on 128 after 14 overs.

J. Mooney esq. joined the fray shortly before G.Moses was adjudged out leg before by B. Scholtz* to one that had the keeper cart wheeling towards fine leg, also for 53.

A. Bavcevich (AKA B. Tony) came out and was soon sitting back in the stands having scored a brief but classy 2. 139 for 4 after 16.

In walked N. Harvey, who in a batting display reminiscent of Zabeel Park days, scored a fine 34 not out, ably assisted by C. Dommett (9 not out including a 4 off the last ball of the innings) after J. Mooney had gotten out for a well-played 19.

DCC 205-5 after 25. Respectable.

With the young B. Raymond in the team, there was talk of potential nepotism, however that was quickly quelled as N. Raymond tossed the new cherry to his mate D. Mariadason instead of his young protégé.

The decision was justified by a tight spell, with D. Mariadason returning figures of 3-8-1, in tandem with N. Harvey, who toiled through the University-end trough for a return of 3-15-0. It was already clear by this stage that the BCA Eagles were not the mighty opponents we had feared.

J. Mooney, arguably the pick of the bowlers, replaced D. Mariadason from the water tank-end, taking wickets in his first and third overs, finishing with 3-8-2, effectively ending any impetus the Eagles had managed to generate.

G. Turner came on next, going wicket less in his first, much to the dismay of all present. 3-14-1.

G. Moses, B. Raymond and B. Scholtz (the latter bowling spin, in what could best be described as a metaphorical middle finger to the Eagles) each picked up a scalp, at varying rates of economy (read: G. Moses was expensive).

Last mention of the bowling must be reserved for one ‘Hash’ Banerjee, who, amongst figures of 4-14-2, managed the unthinkable; a maiden over at SES, which was duly greeted with much joy and elation. In light of this astonishing feat, ‘Hash’ must be recognised as the day’s best bowler. Sorry Jules, no hard feelings.

After 25 overs, BCA Eagles ended with 128-9, testament to the health and wealth of DCC’s multi-pronged bowling attack.

The game was played in good spirits and future fixtures against the Eagles will be welcomed. Special mention must be made of the grace with which G. Turner accepted the ‘not out’ leg before decision against his bowling.

SES continues to be a happy hunting ground for us, and despite a friendly warning from a man wearing pyjama’s, cigarettes were smoked and scoops were savoured into the dusk hour, a most fitting end to what must go down as my most-enjoyed match at SES.

Afterwards, Brian, Hash, Chris and I went to the IV to get pissed.

*Mention must be made of a bet between B. Scholtz and G. Moses on end-of-season batting averages, and one can only assume Scholtz’s decision was in the interest of damage control. Fair play to him.

Darjeeling v Fly Dubai – Words by Noel Raymond

Friday 3rd May 2013, the scene was set for another “Titanic” encounter between Darjeeling CC vs Fly Dubai. Literally, Darjeeling CC, in recent games between the 2 clubs, had hit an “Iceberg” called Azeem (opposition skipper) who had bludgeoned our attacks, irrespective of who bowled, to all parts of the ground.Prior to the start, a most un-darjeeling thing, was a pre-match warm up in the nets for 5 of us, just checking first-gamer David Mariadason could really bowl as he claimed and giving the boys an early work out. After near complete exhaustion, having the honor of DCC Skipper, I proceeded to the toss at 1.30pm. A good omen for DCC, with a stand-in Fly Dubai skipper, with no sign of The Iceberg (Azeem). Won the toss, and batted, as we do. Fly Dubai’s offer to play 25 overs, was unceremoniously dumped by Sackers citing, that it, ‘would be eating into drinking time’! ……So 20 overs it was.
To Open the DCC innings Our Dependable Chris Dommett, accompanied with a tactical move to give Sackers quality time to score some runs, after succumbing to un-Sackers like shot at ICC last game I saw. Our  tails up, with 9 opposition taking the field,  and no sign of the Iceberg (Azeem). Great first over, 17 off, mostly wides, with some glorious cover drives from both Chris & Sackers. Both openers exuding confidence, kept good pace, scoring 7 an over until an un-Sackers-like shot missing a full toss, bowled, for 29 graceful runs. 1-57 after 8. I joined Chris, and at drinks DCC were 73 for 1 off 10. A plea went out to the boys at drinks to up the run rate to 10 off the back 10 overs, as the Iceberg Azeem had turned up with the other missing player after 3 overs, so DCC were in for a fight.
Chris ‘The Dominator’ took up the gauntlet and continued to bludgeon the bowlers, consistently picking out the deep fielders on the boundary for 1’s, with a smidegeon of boundaries thrown in between. Run rate increased consistently between us, until I mis-judged a drive to a slower ball, caught at cover for 37. 17 overs DCC 2-144 going at 8.5 an over. In walks Brian “The Great Leslie” Scholtz, who also plundered the bowlers with some beautiful shots to the boundary fielders for 1’s, while Chris “The Dominator’, found the gaps with boundaries more consistently and pushed the run rate to 8.7. DCC 174 for 2 off 20 overs. Chris “The Dominator’ unbeaten on 70 and extremely bright red from an exhausting but terrific team innings, along with Brian “The Great Leslie’ unbeaten on 7.
Sackers 29
Chris 70 NO
Noel 37
Brian 7 NO
DCC 174-2 off 20 overs
DCC taking the field, with a tactical move to reserve Brian & CD, when the Iceberg surfaced in the batting.
Young Jacob thrown the challenge to cement his good new ball spells. After 2 wides to start, he showed good line and length to consistently beat the bat with some good out-swing bowling, 2 runs (wides) off the 1st over. David (1st Gamer) Mariadason, thrown the new ball challenge, and successfully continued the Darjeeling tradition of taking a wicket in their first game. Batsmen bowled playing on after David’s inswinger nipped in. Well done David. David & Jacob bowled well together in tandem, Jacob trapping the other opener LBW with a full toss, and given out by the Iceberg (Azeem), who was impressed with his ability to out-swing the new ball against the breeze. GREAT encouragement from Brian ‘The Great Leslie’ on the cow-corner boundary, really lifted young Jacobs spirits.
Jacob 4 overs 1-22.
David 3 overs 1-25
Enter CD ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ Kotze, to bowl in tandem with Brian ‘The Great Leslie’ Scholtz,  with the Fly Dubai best batsmen occupying the crease. Both CD & Brian, bowled an inspiring line and length and made it very difficult for the opposition batsmen to score, ably supported with some great fielding…..Sackers excepted, who taunted the bastmen to run 2’s against his powerful arm, and they gratefully obliged, easily making their ground on several occasions, much to poor Brian’s bowling stats. CD trapped a batsmen LBW, and got another batsmen out caught Brian on the boundary. Brian was very unlucky not to pick up a wicket and bowled a great tight spell in the middle overs when it mattered. The Icebreg Azeem realising the game was swinging DCC’s way. tried to up the anti, but again CD outfoxed him and had Chris The Dominator pluck out a catch at point, and take it on the second grab on his way to the ground. The Iceberg threat melting away.
CD 4 overs 3-28
Brian 4 overs 0-19
Mohit & Ben were introduced and bowled a good line & length, keeping the batsmen below the run rate. Ben unluckily missing the stumps on several occassions with in-swingers, picked up a wicket caught Brian on the boundary. The final over of the match, Ben gave DCC a real scare, going for 3 sixes in a row from the opposition who finished just short on 167 for 6 in 20 overs.
Mohit 2 overs 0-18
Ben 2 overs 1-30
Anthony 1 ‘forgetable’ over 0-20
Nathan great keeping effort, against a variety of bowlers.There was a lot of deliberation about the bowling figures, as it also seemed to contain wides/byes/anything else,…… but that’s whats in the book !!
GREAT team effort from the all the boys, with outstanding contributions from Chris on the batting front and CD on the bowling front. Our fielding & positioning was great, often frustrating the opposition.
History created with DCC victorious over Fly Dubai.
DCC 174-2 off 20 overs
Fly Dubai 167-6 off 20 overs.
The Titanic sailed safely to the Irish Village for a couple of quick rounds enjoyed by the boys (old & young ones) to celebrate the break through occassion.
Well done ALL !!

Darjeeling v Wombats – Saturday 4 May – words by B Scholtz

Ash was nominated as the match day commander and promptly put his name forward for the General Custer award for tactical miscalculations, as he agreed to a 25 over game, lost the toss, and then when we finally thought he had a grip on the situation, discovered that the man he had nominated, Andre Fourie was not aware of his selection.

Battle plans were drawn up and frantic text messages were sent, Darjeeling would start with 10!

Much like the calamity in the changing rooms before the match started the first 13 overs were a brutal experience as catches went down, Nick nearly caught a blinder, Lee couldn’t catch a cold and Ash was keeping the air space above the UAE occupied with aerial missiles that refused to land on the pitch or inside the boundary ropes. Lee bowled an interesting over and the only breakthroughs were provided by Barry, bowling a straighter one than his previous delivery and getting an LBW and Etienne bowling their skipper.

Wombats 130 for 2 off 13.

George ‘The Chairman’ Appleton saved us from having to endure this torture with 10 men as he had emergency whites in his car and having done his stint in the heat was replaced by Chris “the Captain” Dommett who had raced over from the cinema! Top commitment!

With the reassuring presence of the previous days MVP, (where is the match report Noel ‘do we still write match reports’ Raymond!)

After the drinks break Darjeeling can claim a moral victory as we bowled a lot tighter, Nick got 3 wickets and catches were held, Gary took a stepler after the Wombats number 3 had holed out on 99 and we only went for 115 off the 12 overs taking 5 wickets. Would have been 6 but Lee dropped another one! Etienne finished with 2 wickets, Badger got 1, ‘pick of the bowlers’ Brian got none but as he only went at 6 an over when everyone else went at 10 plus he gets the accolade!

Darjeeling would require 246 off 25 to win.

With fielding done, the lads lower down the order tucked into a few beverages of the amber variety clearly confident in the match either being over before they would have to bat or terminated early as Wombats had the task of bowling 25 overs in an hour and 15!

The open 3 overs safely reassured Gary that eviction was probably going to happen before the match could be decided and tucked into another Fosters! Lee and Sackers opened the batting and set about the score with vigor. 1 of the first, 6 off the second, 2 off the third, solid test match cricket, but not great chasing 246 at 10 an over! Lee finished off his great day out by getting a duck off his 10th ball. Score 10 for 1! Brian joined Sackers at the crease as Simon was trying his best to instill some energy in the Wombats fielders to ‘quickly’ get into position as we didn’t have much time. Brian and Sackers accelerated the score putting on a quick 50 before Sackers got castled quite literally as he feel over during the dismissal. 60 for 2. Barry joined Brian and they made a quick 20 before Brian got himself out with the score on 80 after 10. Barry batted well after that and apparently hitting a huge 6, before he too was stumped and Darjeeling were struggling at 100 for 4. Enter Chris and Etienne who moved the score serenely without any issues to 120 for 4 at the drinks break after 14.

Now if anyone had quickly jumped on the internet, typed in Duckworth Lewis calculator and gone to the following link,http://easycalculation.com/sports/duckworth-lewis-calculator.php, this responsibility does fall firmly with the captain, we could have calculated we were only 9 runs short, D/L is strange!

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As no one knew D/L was even this easy to calculate the blame cannot be completely put on Ash’s shoulders and with eviction playing a role in shot selection. Chris holed out, Etienne got caught behind and when Ash joined Nick at the crease the game was teetering towards an abrupt conclusion, as the ground staff had arrived and were starting to turn the sightscreens black. To speed up the process Ash got bowled first ball and with Badger and Gary running around the changing room trying to pad up. With no batsmen appearing the game was concluded in the 17.3 over with Darjeeling 130 for 6.

In step another quick D/L calculation to concluded that Darjeeling lost by 47 runs!

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