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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