Friday 4th October
With the summer heat still lingering the Tea Leaves took on the Desert Eagles at Sharjah. Winning the toss skipper Nick Harvey had no hesitation in forcing the Eagles into the afternoon heat. However the same decisiveness was lacking in the batting order, Noel went through 3 or 4 partners before striding to the wicket with Kym Harris. Noel looking resplendent in all white, Kym looking like he had just walked off a beach, set about watching the Eagles bowl to lines that would have been closer to the stumps on the next wicket. The first wicket was broken with Kym tamely chipping to midwicket with the score on 17 (10 wides), Greg strode to the wicket with purpose, allowing Little and Large to try and raise the total with the willow. After a breezy 18 off 9 balls, including 2 sixes, Greg edged to slip, score 47-2 (16 wides).
Next in was Dannie Rees who carried on where Greg left off but with Noel also finding 3rd gear and the ball disappearing to all parts. A wonderful partnership of 101 off 53 balls was only ended when closing in on 50 Dannie was stumped for 42 off 26. Noel then upped his scoring rate again and after a quick innings of 1 from Nick Lloyd, Noel with another ton in sight perished for 85 off 56 (11x4s & 1×6). Nick C (6), Nick H (4), Chris Ward (10*), Hasan (3) and Jacob R (1*) took the score from 20 overs to 206 for 8. The crowd was also entertained throughout by on-going fielding competitions between Nick H, Wardy and the Raymond boys with Wardy being beaten every time, until he realised that the winners were always at the other end.
After a quick-ish turn around Darjeeling took to the field confident of defending 206; Wardy opened up from the Water Tank end. What followed was a display of aggressive and tight fast bowling and after a dropped catch in the maiden first over, Chris struck with his first ball of the third over bowling the opening batsman. The other opener quickly followed in the same over after a suicidal single to Nick Lloyd resulted in a run-out. In his next over, Chris picked up two more wickets with another clean bowled and a Greg Moses catch. Final figures of 4-1-10-3 sum up the great spell of bowling that it was.
After a slightly less effective 0-14 off 2 Nick replaced himself with Jacob Raymond who, despite beating the bat with regularity, did not pick up the wicket he deserved (0-15 off 3). Hasan picked up a wicket caught behind by Dannie Rees to leave the opposition 36-5 off 8.2. Before a mini revival despite the best efforts of the spin demon Kym; Kym and Nick L picked up a wicket a piece before the economic Ben Raymond bowled a decent 2-over spell for 9 runs. Kym picked up a second wicket and finished with 2-25 as the opposition closed on 103 for 8. Tea Leaves winning by 103 runs!