The Green's response…… words by Josh Smith

Raymond Snr and Mr. Sackley duly went out to the middle for the customary coin toss with Raymond Snr using the first of his Jedi mind tricks to win and install his Greens into bat….It was discussed in the changing room to reverse the batting order which was dually agreed upon apart from Raymond Snr insisting Mr. Rees opens up to steady things with the promoted lower order to ensure we at least got some runs in the first 10 overs…..Jedi mind trick number 2…..Raymond Snr’s plan was working a treat. 10 overs in Greens were at 64/4 with Raymond Snr (6), Coles (0), Mooney (0), and Raymond Jnr J (0) all succumbing to Mr. Harvey’s superb opening spell of  bowling that included a complete Hat-trick, a caught behind, bowled and an LBW.

The next 10 overs started in much the same way with Mr. Rees feeling he had to provide catching practice to first slip off the bowling of Raymond Jnr B. Gone for an elegantly played 40. This bought in what could be argued a slightly less elegant Mr. Ward but argued again just as effective. Mr. Ward and Mr. Theo (3) (apologies for no surname) made a well-paced 20 before Mr. Theo was bowled Mr. Hassan (apologies again.) Mr. Smith came to the crease and so the rebuilding commenced. Mr. Ward and Mr. Smith taking advantage of some inviting captaincy from The Golds to swash buckle the greens up to 120 odd by the middle of the innings prior to Mr. Ward missing quite a nice straight ball through quite a large gate from Mr. Banerjee for a fabulous 33. By this time Miss Pinky had been and gone, still without the faintest idea what cricket is but safe in the knowledge Mr. Pinky does actually do something on those Friday and Saturday afternoon’s he manages to escape (at least that is what she thinks.) One thing she couldn’t understand was that if we were outside ‘running’ around all day, why are we not all fit?!?

The dismissal of Mr. Ward bought out Mr. Turner and the revitalization of the Green’s innings continued with more swash-buckling. Mr. Smith eventually out LBW to a well claimed 5 for from Mr. Harvey for 42 with the score on 190 odd. The ‘hard-working’ and late arriving Mr. Brown came to the crease with Mr. Kym (I need to remember some surnames) huffing and puffing from having sat with his pads on for the best part of 20 overs, gradually being promoted to number 11 (remember we reversed the batting order.) Mr. Turner stuck around for another few overs before being bowled by Mr. Escritt for a pleasing 24. This bought Mr. Kim to the crease who took the Snr partner’s role with Mr. Brown showing him how it’s done with some lovely shots before Mr. Brown (7), who was middling everything for 1 was finally caught middling it to mid wicket, moments after blaming his bat and calling for a new one. Mr. Kim not out for an apparently controversial 11. Innings closed on 226 all out off 33 ish overs with much thanks going to the Gold’s for top scoring for us with extras of 60…..The favour would be returned.

With both teams retiring to the changing rooms for a quick turnaround, Mr. Turner offered out the energy drinks to the Greens (Savannah Cider) and Mr. Raymond came up with a masterful team talk, “The Golds don’t think we are playing as a team, lets show them how it’s done!” or something to that extent. Jedi Mind trick number 3.

The Golds opened up with Mr. Johnno and Mr. Crayton, with The Green starting out with Mr. Smith and Mr. Mooney. Mr. Smith instantly regretting extending his run up in the 40 degree plus heat, getting a little over heated in the first over but bowling Mr. Johno for 0 with his in-swingers. The Green’s showed tenacity and good ground work in the remaining overs up to tea but coming out empty handed as the Golds were comfortably in control with 79 on the board and the only additional loss of Mr. Dommett for a hardworking 19. Caught Mr. Reymund Snr bowled Mr. Rees off his first ball. Jedi Mind trick number 4.

The marvelous delights of tea were consumed, amid a variety of conversation between players and families. The final curtain was ready to rise with the Golds well in command needing 150 odd from 26 overs.

Mr. Sackley and Mr. Crayton Carried on where the Golds left off before Mr. Crayton was bowled by the Green’s ‘all-rounder of the day’ Mr. Ward for the innings of the day 48. Mr. Tideswell entered the fold and carried on where Mr. Crayton left off with compiling a decent innings of 25 before being caught off the impressive bowling of Reymund Jnr J. This was all becoming a familiar story as Mr. Harvey again came in and created another good partnership with Mr. Sackley before succumbing to another of Mr. Reymund Snr’s Jedi mind tricks (Number 5), a snick off Mr. Mooney’s boot to be run out at the non-strikers end (14).  This was the luck the Green’s needed; Mr. Brown held a catch, Mr. Sackley going for 37 off the bowling of Mr. Reymund Jnr J. Mr. Mooney then produced another magical over, trying to emulate the heroics of Mr. Harvey’s previously bowling first Mr. Moses for 3, and then Mr. Escritt for a golden in successive balls…..This bought the fearless Mr. Reymund Jnr B to the crease; Sledging coming from all angles behind the wicket from his father, he stood up and defended the ball stoutly.

With the run rate increasing the squeeze was on…..Mr. Hasan swinging at everything but finding the chirpy fielders and Mr. Raymond Jnr B intent on not letting his father get the better of him, despite some attacking batting coaching from out ‘promoted number 11’ Mr. Kim. 6 runs in 6 overs, the run rate was still increasing and Mr. Hasan diving out the way of a ball from Mr. Mooney caused much amusement to Mr. Rees as he fell to the ground in fits of laughter.

After much debate and controversial discussions in the middle Mr. Raymond Snr turned to more Jedi Mind Tricks (number 6) and bought on Mr. Theo. Tossing the ball up Mr. Hassan’s eyes lit up, as did Mr. Raymond Snr’s, a swoosh of the bat and a rattle of the stumps, Mr. Hassan had missed but Mr. Raymond Snr didn’t. Stumped for 6. It was then Mr. Theo’s for the taking and he obliged taking the final wicket wrapping up what at one point seemed a very improbably victory for the Greens. That’s Cricket!

A good team effort from the bowling with Mr. Mooney (7-12-2) Mr. Raymond J (6-30-2) and Mr. Theo (1-5-2) all taking the limelight. The Greens did oblige with the extra’s providing 40 of them.

And so back to the changing rooms for the debrief, the banter, and the light hearted debates.

All-in-all a much enjoyed day by all, and one that shouldn’t be left to linger too long in the memory before another is organized.        

Greens defeat Golds in Winter Season opener – words by Ash Banerjee


 Lower-order recovery and the skipper’s ‘victuals for victory’ strategy the keys to win


Darjeeling CC opened the entirely hypothetical winter season with a 40-over intra-club match yesterday, despite any evidence of winter being thin in the air or on the ground. 

Greens’ skipper Raymond Sr. had spent the week plotting the Golds’ demise, and their newly-anointed skipper-of-the-day Sackley walked right into the trap. The experienced and canny Raymond conned the Winter Gods into favouring him with the toss, convenient as two of his squad (the irrepressible Brown (S) and the responsible-yet-delayed Turner) were not expected to arrive anytime soon. 

Play began at 10:38 with Raymond and Rees opening the batting for the Greens, and Harvey and Moses sharing the new ball for the Golds, from the Academy and School Ends respectively, both bowling in the right areas and making good use of the conditions, and the batsmen being circumspect as a few no-balls and wides kept the board ticking slowly.

You have to bowl lots of dot balls or take 10 wickets to win a one-dayer, and Harvey took three in the third over to put the Golds ahead on points quite early in the piece. First, the infamous Raymond himself, nicking a brute of a delivery to Dommett behind the stumps and pausing for effect before being sent on his way, the very next ball Coles choosing to leave an in-ducker which struck him in line on the knee-roll, then Mooney, after his many sacrifices on Friday, stylishly shouldering arms only to see his off-peg gone, mortified, with Scholtz mocking in absentia, “Cheers Jules, thanks for coming.” A hat-trick for Harvey, the ghost of Tony Grieg heard gushing it’s all happening in the middle as winter set in early for the Greens at 14/3 after 3 overs. 

Raymond Jr. (J) was in next, pa testing the opposition to see if they’d take the frontline bowlers off to give the young lad a break, and Sackley obliged, taking Moses off and replacing him with the fraternally friendly medium pace of Raymond Jr. (B) at the School End. 

Amidst the carnage, Rees stayed calm, farmed the strike to shelter young Jake from the newie, played the ball on merit and struck boundaries at will to keep the scoreboard moving. However, Harvey soon scalped another in his 4th over, Raymond Jr. top-edging a dolly to Escritt at short mid-wicket for nought, Greens 44/4 after 7, with the first partnership of any significance realising 30 runs in 5 overs, all to Rees and Extras. Remarkably, nos. 3, 4 and 5 had failed to trouble the scorer

Ward arrived at the crease and immediately began playing some shots, to Rees’ relief. With Saeed on at the Academy End, the pair added 20 in quick time before Ben got one to kick up slightly, Rees nicking off an attempted glide, pouched well by Houghton at slip for a well-made 40, Greens 64/5 after 10. Adamson in next, and out shortly thereafter for 3, bowled by Saeed off “the in-swinger he’d been searching for,” getting his first wicket for the club, Greens 82/6 after 13 thanks to some strike-pinching and good hitting from Ward.

Tardy Turner had finally turned up but there was no sign of Brown yet so Smith was sent in, an inspired move as he settled into stroke-play with ease. Escritt replaced Raymond Jr (B) at the School End, bowling well, but the batsmen were up to the task and the partnership of the innings ensued either side of the first drinks break as they put on 44 for the 7th wicket as the pair milked runs off some unthreatening bowling. 

Ward finally succumbed to Banerjee from the Academy end, bowled off a flipper for an incisive 33, Greens 126/7 in the 19th and this brought Turner to the wicket and thence began the second significant partnership of the innings as Escritt, Banerjee and Sackley leaked runs to the rampant Smith and Turner, odd full-tosses going for 4 even as the dulcet tones of Michael Holding echoed ‘the bad ball must be put away.’

Finally, Sackley resorted to pace to prise the partnership apart, Harvey obliging by trapping Smith lbw for an adventurous and target-setting 47, a 5-fer to Harvey and the Greens 190/8 in the 25th over to bring Brown in at No. 9. Meanwhile, Moses had to pull out of the attack with a sore back after trying to bowl an effort ball (he hates the phrase ‘bowls a heavy ball’ on account of its inaccuracy per the laws of physics). 

Turner and Brown carried on for a bit before Escritt bowled the latter for an enterprising 24, 200/9 after 27, bringing in last man Harris, a good No. 11 to have in any side. Harris and Brown had a bit of fun as the Golds’ lads wilted in the field, taking the score along to 226 before Brown hacked Banerjee across the line to Sackley at short mid-wicket to bring the innings to a close at the end of the 37th over. From a precarious 82/6 the Greens had done very well, aided by some indisciplined bowling (60 extras!) and lackadaisical fielding from the Golds, to end up with 226. 

The Golds had a decent showing with the ball, Harvey the pick of the bowlers with 6-0-23-5; Moses 3-0-19-0, Raymond Jr. (B) 6-0-41-1, Saeed 4-0-24-1, Escritt 7-0-37-1, Banerjee 4.5-0-25-2, Sackley 3-0-23-0 

The scheming Raymond Sr. then unfolded the next phase of his cunning plan, asking the Golds to bat 10 overs as “Tea wasn’t ready yet,” then sent Turner to the rivals’ changing room with a fine, chilled bottle of Macon Village from Chateau Fagerhult to take their minds off the chase

Houghton and Apps opened the batting for the Golds, with Smith (School End) and Mooney (Academy End) opening the bowling for the Greens. Smith worked up a fair head of steam in his first over, castling Houghton with an in-swinging full toss off an under-edge (called no-ball for height) off the 3rd, then yorking him off the inside edge with the last ball, Houghton gone for a duck, sent off with a bellow from the bowler, the Golds 2/1 to bring Dommett in.

A fine partnership followed, with Apps playing attractive shots on both sides of the wicket and Dommett offering sensible support and rapid running, the pair never looking troubled and assuredly putting on 71 off 12 overs while taking the shine off the new ball, then blunting the challenge of the first and second change of the Yorkshiremen Turner and Brown, forcing Raymond Sr. to take them off after 2 and 3 overs respectively, and introducing the off-spin of Rees and the brisk pace of Ward. 

The change worked, Dommett caught behind off Rees’ first ball for 19, Golds 75/2 after 13.1, the skipper Sackley coming in to continue the chase with the returning, in-form Apps, whose stroke-play was as fluorescent as his accessories. Mrs. Dommett appeared and Tea was taken after 15 overs, a sumptuous feast of sausage rolls, spring rolls, curried egg sandwiches, samosas, onion bhajis, brownies, carrot cake, fruit and more, mostly provided by the Darjeeling ladies, Mrs. Raymond & Mrs. Harvey in the main. Mrs. Apps, Mrs. Rees and the soon-to-be Mrs. Tideswell were also present, and children gallivanted nonchalantly on the mound and under the 

tree. Banerjee uncorked a chilled bottle of Gavi with first dibs for the ladies, with Harvey, Sackley, Dommett, Turner, Raymond Sr. and the sommelier polishing off the rest. The senior members were heard remarking this is just like old times at the old Clubhouse, in the TMS booth in the sky Blowers waxed eloquent on the quality of the cakes, and as the afternoon sun peaked, civility prevailed, appetites were sated and thirsts slaked
, and the third phase of Raymond Sr.’s evil plot was put in play, inducing a sated torpor to the Golds’ lower order, effectively taking them out of the chase. 

The scorers Raymond Jr. (B) and Banerjee then passed the sheet on to Houghton, with an exhortation to make a contribution to the team’s efforts and score with the pen since he couldn’t with the bat. Houghton settled in with the leftover sausage rolls and omitted to note the scores and overs at the fall of wickets whilst eating for Kent and drinking for France.

The top order continued to thrive after Tea, first Apps and Sackley putting on about 20 for the 3rd wicket before the former was bowled by Ward for a classy 48, then new man Tideswell and Sackley putting on another 40 or so with good strokes all around the park as three catches went down in characteristic Darjeeling fashion. Tideswell eventually holed out in the deep off the bowling of Raymond Jr. (J) for an enterprising 25 off 29, with a big six over cover off the hapless Harris, who bowled better than last week but still couldn’t buy a wicket

Harvey and Sackley put on another 30 or so before the latter’s straight drive found Mooney’s trailing boot (even while he was taking evasive action) onto the stumps while Harvey was backing up, unfortunately run out off for a typically efficient 14 off 16 balls, the Golds approximately 160/6 off (I think) 22 overs, still in with a chance if the lower order kept their heads about them and the tail wagged, but some on the mound suspected that the worm had turned. 

New man Saeed was in at 7 and Sackley was looking sublime until he was snared in the deep playing one lofted shot too many while trying to force the pace, Raymond Jr. (J) doing the damage again. With the indisposed Moses coming in at 8 the Golds had hope yet, until he was undone by a pearler from Mooney taking top of off, and the wheels began to come off the Golds’ chase. 

Escritt in next and out first ball, bowled by Mooney, then Raymond Jr. (B) in, defending doggedly while Saeed tried to farm the strike, trepidation on the mound as tension and humour mounted equally as only 6 runs came off 6 overs, the chase effectively grinding to a halt. In an inspired move Raymond Sr. brought on Adamson to bowl his dobbers, and Saeed was out stumped to bring in last man Banerjee, with 40-odd needed off 5 overs. A few runs later Raymond was stumped as well and it was all over, the Golds collapsing from an assured 135/4 (or so – wish he’d done the FoW) to 190 all out after 33.

The Greens conceded 40 Extras yet bowled well, Smith 4-0-23-1, Mooney 7-0-12-2, Turner 2-0-15-0, Brown 3-0-28-0, Ward 6-0-25-1, Rees 5-0-33-1, Harris 3-0-23-0, Raymond Jr. (J) 6-0-30-2 and Adamson the pick of the bowlers with 1-0-5-2. 

On deeper reflection the ebb-and-flow of the game presents an interesting story. The Greens began poorly before a late-order recovery got them to a respectable total, while the Golds began well then tailed off rapidly, run-scoring and wicket-taking showing alternating bell-curve-like patterns over the course of the day’s play. A game of two halves indeed, through the course of which the injured Brown (J) made snarky comments through the day on everyone’s batting techniques, bowling form and fielding prowess (or lack thereof) and cracked up all present. 

With so many old and new members having played a good game of cricket, a team photo was inevitable and Theresa duly complied. Gary snapped away through the morning, some more were taken with phones in the changing rooms, and all will be compiled as an album on facebook in days to come. 

And so, to the changing rooms – both teams gathered in the winners’ with cold ones in hand, the books were read, banter exchanged, Gary magiced up a bottle of sparkling Rose for the winning skipper, Dannie appeared in a technicolour sarong brighter than anything we’ve seen on Crayton, then presented Hassan with a jockstrap, the bottle of bubbly went around the room, we finished up the beverage and some proceeded after showers to Girders, hurried along by the most pungent of farts from an apologetic Brownie which necessitated a rapid exit from the changing rooms. 

A really great day out for all… well done to Nick for organising it, to the Darjeeling ladies (Mrs. Raymond most of all – she later confirmed Noel had asked her to hold off coming to the ground as his plan was playing out well) for a sumptuous Tea, and to our junior members Jacob and Ben for being absolute troopers as they always are.

Darjeeling CC v Fly Dubai CC – words by Hasan Saeed

There was much anticipation in the lead up of this game against Fly Dubai at SES. Have beaten us a few weeks ago, we were hoping to get the better off them in this encounter.
There was a struggle to get eleven players on the field for DCC post Thursday night hangovers etc. However, when all  members turned up the fact that the match was reduced from 25 to 20 overs given the heat and mosquitoes factor wasn’t encouraging!
Our Captain Nick, having won the toss decided we would bat first and set a formidable total on the board. Chris and Ian had the honour to open the batting and get us to a flying start.  Tight bowling by the opposition didn’t allow us to get way and when the first wicket fell for 18, the second wicket fell at 29.
With both our openers gone it was down our in-form batsmen Jason and Greg to steady the ship. However, Jason’s knee started playing up and when Jason retired hurt along with the runner we knew we were in trouble.
We were rescued by some very clever batting by Greg who finished on 52 not out despite running out of partners, and the 2nd highest runner scorer was the extras column at 35. We managed a score at SES of 132 off 20 overs.
It was down to our bowlers to bail us out and they nearly did but the dropped catches allowed the opposition back in and win the game from us. The new ball was given to Chris and Jacob and the first wicket of the opposition fell when Ash took a brilliant catch in the long on boundary. A few overs later Nick cleaned bowled one of their batsman what appeared to be an in-swinging Yorker!
We were right back in the game, so we thought. However when Ash came on to bowl we had could have had the Captain of Fly Dubai along with their other in form batsmen out if we held on to three dropped catches.
Here are the DCC bowling figures.
Chris Ward – 3 – 0 for 14
Jacob – 3.2 overs 1 – 21
Nick – 4 overs 1 – 22
Greg – 4 overs 0 -21
Ash – 4 overs 0 – 47

The match lasted until the 18th over, however had we held on to those crucial catches we could have won as it was always difficult for a new batsmen to settle in and score runs.

Darjeeling vs Loose Cannons – 21 September 2013 by Lawrence of Arabia

A hot balmy afternoon awaited both teams at the ICC. The pre-match discussion centered around the Cannons good record on grass and Darjeeling’s makeshift bowling attack. Danny Rees made his debut for the club and proudly hung up his Welsh towel in the change rooms for all to see.
The Cannons won the toss and no surprise, batted first. Darjeeling opened up with Etienne and Danny. The opening batsman (in particular Clint) took advantage of the quick outfield and some fullish deliveries and started hitting boundaries at will. Captain Ash decided to turn to spin, first, Kim (aka Warney) who got some turn straight away. Unfortunately, the batsman took advantage of the few balls that didn’t get a chance to turn, and at the first drinks break (7 overs – it was hot!!) the Cannons were no loss for around 70-80.
Finally, a change in luck for Darjeeling, the Cannon’s opener smashed a straight ball at Clint, who took a blow to his right hand. The other opener retired shortly thereafter suffering from heat fatigue. Captain Ash turned to Browny who bowled 4 very tight overs from one end, building up some great pressure.
The turning point of the game was when Ash brought himself onto bowl. Firstly, taking the prize wicket of Clint after Andrew took a juggling catch at mid-on. Ash then proceeded to destroy the Cannon’s middle order. Whilst some of the “Cannons” were a little “Loose” with their shot selection, all credit to Ash who finished up with a “michelle pfifer” – 4 overs 5 wickets for 12. Sackers also bowled a couple of tidy overs and took a wicket. The bowlers were well supported by the fielders (Cameron, Nathan and Noel behind the stumps etc.) and after looking like scoring 220, the Cannons made a sub-par score of 163.
Darjeeling opened the batting with Danny and Browny – who made a great start to the run chase with an opening partnership of over 100. In fact, the only problem was working out exactly how much they both scored – as the scorers from the Cannons team had got slightly confused for some reason with our openers (despite only one wearing a helmet). Anyway, Danny finally retired with heat fatigue after scoring a well made half century on debut. Sackers was next in and unfortunately got a straight one first up and was on his way. Noel then stepped up and with Browny scored some quick runs together and sometime in the 19th over we had reached our target with the loss of only 1 wicket. All credit to Browny who batted throughout the innings and remained around 80 not out – having been on the field for the entire match.
A good win for Darjeeling – which we celebrated with a few pints with the Cannons at the Ernie Ells club.

Darjeeling v Awali

Awali from Bahrain were busy practising in the nets, in their banana yellow pyjamas, as the Darjeeling boys arrived at the ICC Global Cricket Academy Oval 1, obviously looking for revenge from their last visit to Dubai.

Nick Harvey the Darjeeling skipper for the night got off on the right foot, winning the toss and electing to put the Bahraini’s into the field. Opening with the pairing of Foley and Dommett who were keeping the scoreboard ticking along at 7 an over until Foley spooned one back to Chris Bloodworth (4 – 26 – 1) for a caught and bowled for 13. Chris Neal joined Chris Dommett in the middle with the pairing upping the tempo to 8 an over, with Dommett reaching his half century in 50 balls, with Chris Neal on 48, deciding to try and get one round the corner, stepping too far across his stumps to get skittled by Guy Parker (4 – 29 – 1) with Darjeeling on 117-2 Captain Harvey striding into the middle to make a brief cameo appearance for a quickfire 10 off 6 balls before the slightest of touches down the leg side for Paddy Bateson to pouch to the delight of Nick Bishop (4 – 44 -1). After a lengthy absence from cricket, Andy Tideswell joined Dommett and both kept the run rate around the 8 an over pace, after the allotted 22 overs Chris Dommett (74 not out) and AT (25 not out) Darjeeling had amassed 182 – 3.

A brief rest period and Darjeeling were out in the field chomping at the bit to put Awali to the sword. Julius Mooney steaming in from the Kindergarten End took only six balls to see Paul Baker (1) back to the Pavilion after shattering the stumps. David Mariadson bowling meanly only giving 3 in his first over. Then controversy as an adjudged LBW for Mooney against Doug Perrins, the Awali skipper, who was walking, was called back by the Darjeeling skipper, Julius was definitely not a happy Teddy!!

Justice was served in the 6th over as Mariadson (4 – 24 – 1) had Perrins trapped LBW, this time these was no reprise and Awali on 46 – 2. Charles Forward was starting to amass the runs with Graham Hoar ably assisting until Nick Harvey (4 – 17 – 1) struck in the 11th over with a thin inside edge to Chris Dommett, with no hesitation or signal from the umpire Forward marched back to the dressing room. Nick Bishop joined Hoar for a 16 run partnership before succumbing to an easy catch for Mooney off Matthewson (4 – 24 – 1) CD Kotze (3 – 23 – 0) Mohit Manwani (2 – 11 – 0) and Chris Neal (1 – 13 – 0) yielded no more wickets but the bowlers keeping it tight enough to restrict Awali to 149 – 4 of their 22 overs.

A fine game played in the spirit of cricket.

Matthewson wins Match single Handedly! Still no Sign of Averages!‏ – words by Gary Turner

We all thought that volunteering for a Saturday night game under the lights at the world famous ICC was a really cool idea! How wrong can the 11 sweaty betty’s  who braved the high humidity of the last day of August 2013 be?

The opposition , OMD , spookily playing in Black shirts , where at the ground early and practiced hard the skill of continuously dropping a white cricket ball. This practice would come to our rescue on more than one occasion as the evening progressed.

Ash , our stern but methodical skipper won the toss and as is the norm chose to bat and selected that well known optical duo , Dommett and Lloyd to open our batting. As in the morning game Mr.Wide kept the scoreboard ticking and our gallant openers ran several swift singles before Chris found the middle of his bat with a couple of crisp fours. Having run a three Nick decided it was too bloody hot and mistimed  a shot and was caught for 8, the partnership worth 30.  Enter the fray our nonsmoking  athlete , Greg Moses, who looked lean and mean. Greg started with a thunderous on drive , some said imperious , others regal , others didn’t like regal and then the conversation turned to the strange names of cigarettes in the UK in the 70,s , like number 10,s and number 6,s. Ash denied all knowledge of such vices using the fact that he was not raised in the UK as a defence! Flimsy stuff!

Chris ran his usual sharp ones and twos before also being caught off the bowling of Bin. He had in fact Bin and Gone!

Greg was seeing the ball well but spooned one off into the deep , we held our breath as the ball spiraled out of the inky black sky and breathed again as he was dropped! A dolly we all said!

Lawrence struck a few lusty blows before he was smartly stumped for 13 off the bowling of Qasim. Our run rate was about 7 an over and we all know that is never enough at the ICC.

Lee Dawson strode meaningfully to the crease wearing one of Badger’s Chiang Mai cast off shirts and we all agreed it fitted well!  Lee was quickly off the mark and as he does every year or so seemed to time the ball well AND ran regularly between the wickets. The runs started to come and then Greg spooned one off into the deep..(see previous part of the report!).

Skipper Ash was doing all sorts of calculations and reckoned we needed at least 179 to be sure of victory. This message was relayed to the middle. Lee hit an enormous 6 over long on and Greg hit  a smorgasbord of shots as our run rate started to climb. Greg then spooned one off into the deep (same chap , same story , same ending!). As per the skippers instructions and with precisely 179 on the board our innings came to an end with Greg having hit a fantastic 87 not out , surely he will be topping the batting averages? Who knows? Lee finished with a supportive 29 not out and Darjeeling where pretty confident that we had enough on the board.

After a Pattonesque  team talk out in the middle from Ash we set about our defence of the 179. Chris (the tyre) Tebb who was a late arrival at the ground due to having to call in a 3rd party outfit to change his puncture opened from the net end and started with something almost as rare as a Darjeeling set of averages , a maiden over! CD was given the honour of opening from the City end and bowled a good length to worry the opener and after 2 overs only 5 runs where on the board. Chris was relieved of duties after his second over and CD struck in his second so after 4 overs the OMD where behind the pace at 19 for 1.

David replaced Chris and got the ball to swing and seam with several oohs and aaahs from our nonsmoking  athlete who for some reason was static at first slip.

David bowled so well he was taken off by Ash ( a Darjeeling tradition???) who brought  himself on whilst CD finished his spell , sweaty but happy. Ash bowled a tight  first over and a generous second! I was allowed a couple from the City end and despite reading Mathewson’s  book on how to bowl Donkey Drops and take wickets , was not able to prize out the opener or the number 3 bat who by now looked comfortable and ready to accelerate the run chase.

Nick and Greg where introduced to “get us back on track” or so Ash thought. The runs however continued to flow (see earlier email from bowling guru Stu) until the opener literally gave up! Nick bowled , nothing happened , silence and the opener walked! Kaseem , out to Lloyd , fatigue! Strange but true. (it is recorded in the book as a stumping but clearly not true!).

Then the champagne moment of the whole evening. Stuart is at last called upon to bowl. His torture as a mere fielder over at least for a short while. He trundles (slightly slower than that but I don’t have a suitable phrase to suit that pace) , tosses the ball high into the night sky , down it comes and…. stumped! Eat your heart out Moses he thinks but does not say! In comes the next batsman , a left hander this time. A big swat to deep mid-wicket  and David takes a catch as coolly  as you like! 2 balls and 2 wickets to the bowling guru! The hat trick ball evades the batsman and the stumps but the 4 th ball is “spooned off into the deep , we held our breath as the ball spiraled out of the inky black sky and laughed as Greg dropped the ball and assisted it over the rope for a 4! Well most of us chuckled a bit , Stuie maybe not quite so much!

The game was almost won , Ash stated boldly that it was always his plan to bring Stuie on when the batsman where so desperate he would clear up and indeed another wicket fell to him and his figures of 2 overs 3 wickets for 7 runs will surely be recorded somewhere? Apparently not! The opposition innings closed on 159 for 6 so DCC won by 21 runs.

Nick had 2 for 35 off his 4 and CD 1 for 31 off his 4 and generally the bowling and fielding was tidy. The team spirit was excellent and the opposition remarked how sporting we all had been!! A very enjoyable evening was had by all and as I understand it evening games may become a more regular feature of our season to come. Bring it on I say!!!Image

Darjeeling CC v BCA Eagles – words by Nick "Iron Man" Harvey

DCC hosted BCA Eagles first game of the season at Sharjah this Friday.

Our punctuality was uncommonly good – with all Eleven players in attendance prior to the 2:00pm scheduled start – and not a hangover in sight (apart from Mo of course, but that’s par for the course) – as Chris Dommett recently remarked – I don’t think we’re drinking enough.

BCA Eagles started drifting in soon after 2:00pm.  I tossed with Shameem and after a re-throw was negotiated we managed to win/conjure the toss and inevitably put the Eagles into field. 

In an effort to out-fox and unsettle the opposition’s line and length we opened with Simon Fowler and the left-handed Noel Raymond (indeed, I actually put myself as skipper just so I could get Noel up the batting order!) 

Wides kept the score ticking along at seven an over, though the runs off the bat were less fluid.  By the seventh over, the padded up batsmen (Sackers & Jason) were starting to get fidgety and all were trying to will the score on….  Noel started to respond and in the 7th & 8th over hit three consecutive boundaries..

Talk in the stands centred on (as it usually does) sports and romance.  With Sackers revealing his destined meeting with a girl at the Durham Test Match (what better place to meet a girl?)

At drinks Darjeeling were 72 without loss and with Simon’s flowing run-scoring absent (as well as him being knackered) he retired hurt bringing Sackers to the crease.  Love it seems conquers all – but doesn’t help find the middle of the bat – and after a couple of overs, Paul miscued one to mid-wicket, bringing Jason Brown on with one of his seven bats (an additional two currently being tirelessly handcrafted).  Noel at ‘tother end started to spray the ball around with more abandon and began to pile on the runs including one over that went for 26 runs.   BCA Eagles offered a reasonable bowling attack (and highly enthusiastic appeals), with Shehab’s spinners topping the fair but slightly mediocre efforts.

With two overs to spare and Noel in the nineties, all prepared themselves for the standing ovation.  Noel’s umpteenth four brought him on to 99 and even Ben and Jacob started to take some notice of the cricket.  With a single needed, Noel decided that a top-edged square cut was the way forward and we all groaned as the catch was pouched at point.  Chris then joined Jason at the crease and added four runs (Jason finishing on 19*) to the total bring Darjeeling on to 171 for 3 off their 20 overs (a total which George – who umpired – believed to be a highly competitive one considering the speed of the outfield).  Noel collapsed on the turf and remained there until the start of the next innings.

Darjeeling opened their bowling attack with Josh (Water Tank) and Jacob (University).  Mr Smith making his intentions clear (and strengthening his hostile-fast-bowler reputation) by greeting the opening bat with a bouncer that ricocheted off his lid.  It was however, Jacob that was the more consistent of the two and was duly rewarded with his efforts in the second over with the batsmen forced to play on the up and yours truly was gifted a straight forward catch in the covers.  Jacob was to enjoy another wicket in his following over and Josh joined the party in his third over as a mistimed drive was caught at mid-on.

DCC looked to be cruising at this point but a resolved BCA partnership and an expensive over off the bowling of Ben took the BCA Eagles total just five short of ours (was) at the half way stage. 

The skipper believing we needed to tighten the scoring up brought himself on and proceeded to bowl two wides whilst  Jason was keeping things tidy (relatively) at the water tank end and surprised all with a couple of jaffers and was unfortunate to finish wicketless.  With no notice whatsoever, the skipper elected to get Crayton on to bowl after his DNB showing in our innings.  In retrospect, a few minutes to warm-up may have paid dividends as on his second (legitimate) ball – he pulled up with a strain in his chest/right tit  (he’s since been diagnosed with a torn under arm muscle and we all wish you a speedy recovery Crayton, Sharjah wont be the same without your electric-orange sportsgear!) .  Jason completed the over, revealing on his penultimate delivery that he (also) wouldn’t be able to continue (or words to that effect)

With last week’s bowling star Mohit on at the University end it was (overall) hard work in the field.  BCA Eagles were enjoying a lengthy partnership with a Left-Right hand combo, frequent fielding changes and the humidity were taking their toll.  Replacing the wounded Crayton and exhausted Jason I completed the bowling from the WT end – eventually, breaking the partnership with a full straight one.   By this stage the scoring had been restricted BCA Eagles had run out of steam and effective batters.  Ben came on to finish up and was unlucky not to get a wicket on his first ball – being dropped (by a tough chance) at slip – but was credited with a wicket on the last ball of the day.

We left the field jubilant, though not unexhausted.  Hands were shaken, backs per patted, Fowler mumbled something about the number of wides bowled and Sackers headed straight for the ice box and liquid refreshment.  Noel finishing the clear MOTM with his 99 off just 61 deliveries. 

Bevvies were consumed on the pitch and only Sackers, George, Chris & I reunited at Fibbers……..a slightly poor post-match gathering.

To overcome this bizarre non-drinking affliction Chris has suggested we have a pre-winter Brunch at the end of September to kick start the return to the ICC and set our priorities straight……….we have the Bahrainis coming on Friday and a reputation to uphold!