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.