XMAS Match on the 27th December 2013 – words from G Human

It was the night before Christmas……… hang on that’s another story


It was the festive Darjeeling cricket game held in the midst of Sharjah, far far away from the North Star.

True to the etiquette, fashion and reputation of Darjeeling, the 1pm start became a 1:20pm inshallah get together and with a possible 1:30 start.


Most players arrived with a lot more of a different spirit than the intended Xmas spirit. This spirit grew as the game progressed.

The two wise “G’s” were self nominated and went forth in selecting the team – Team Gary and Team Greg put their teams together and with a minor one or two last minute changes the final teams were  selected. Winning the toss for this game was of upmost importance and Gary being the strategist pounced at this opportunity to nominate his team to bat.

The rules were fairly simple – play cricket and have penalty drinks. For those not there, a brief description;

                                3 dot balls – drink for the batsman

                                Wides/no balls – drink for the bowler

                                Bad fielding, good or bad batting, drop catches, 4 or 6’s, bad wicket keeping etc etc…

 Basically anything deemed right or wrong justified a drink.


The opening pair of Paul and Brandon took to the crease and Team Gary’s tactics were already put in motion. The first drink took place within the opening 3 dot balls for the batsman and then the fun and games began. Team Greg and his team were fined with drinks for the first 5 overs, bad bowling and fielding, it was only in the 7th over when the first 4 appeared and that’s when the batsman also got involved with the drinking game.  Paul runout, “Jagermeister”, Brandon retired with 50 plus “Jagermeister”, Jason a Goldie “Jagermeister”, Isra retired “Jagermeister”, “Jagermeister” “Jagermeister” “Jagermeister” “Jagermeister” Kym in and out “Jagermeister” “Jagermeister” etc….

Batsman score, bowling figures  – available on request   

Bottle of “Jagermeister” finished and advantage Team Gary. The innings ended with 190 off 20 overs.

Drinks break – as if it was needed.

Needing 191 to win –  Johno and Ash opened for Team Greg putting on a great partnership of “who gives a damm” “Jagermeister”  – substituted with beverage and cheap wine. The game was now in very high spirits and it became even better (thanks to Brandon’s dad) when a 2nd bottle of – yes you guessed it “Jagermeister” made its debut. Same as the first innings, no balls “Jagermeister”, wides “Jagermeister”, fours, sixes “Jagermeister” “Jagermeister”, beverage, “Jagermeister”, wine “Jagermeister”. Johno good knock, retired “Jagermeister”, Ash great score retired “Jagermeister”, Kym bowling – worst for the day lots of “Jagermeister” etc etc .

Again  Batsman score, bowling figures  – available on request.

Lots of dropped catches to be expected from a sober Darjeeling team, no different from a spirited team.

PS – News flash for all Sharjah and Iran residents – there were no reason for concern regarding the light tremors experienced during the afternoon. This was only the result of a good attempt but bad result dropped catch “Jagermeister” and one of the highlights was a great attempt of a diving catch – more of a falling over attempt but roughly about 5 meters away from the ball, “Jagermeister”. No names mentioned at this time.

The game was going to be close, run rate achieved, then a wicket “Jagermeister” – pressure was on both captains. Advantage Team Greg in the last over, only 8 runs needed for victory  – Tom stumped “Jagermeister”, 3 balls 3 to win. Greg eventually found the crease –  The final showdown Captain against Captain, wide called and there seemed to be a hint of “match fixing “ in the air, 3 balls 2 to win. Greg a swing and a miss, 2 balls, 2 to win, another ripper from Gary, Greg sways back, big swing and another miss.

Advantage Team Gary, last ball, 2 to win. Another big swing from Greg, confusion all round, Brandon throws back to the non strikers end, Gary allegedly fumbles the ball and Greg is through for the single.


Great finish to the 2013 Darjeeling year.

Team photo and pleasantries  followed.  

DCC vs The Lions at SES 13th Dec 2013 – words by Hassan Saeed aka Darth Vader

There was much anticipation in the lead up of this game against The Lions at SES. Our Skipper for the day was Boom Boom Jason. The start of the match wasn’t encouraging with only eight DCC guys showed up on time ( I suspect the rest were still recovering from their hangover after over indulgence of some sort the night before). At the toss we had no option but to bat first which seemed a sensible decision as our opening pair of Israr and A Lang put on 42 runs for the opening wicket after 7 overs.


Israr departed after making 24 runs and looked in good nick before being caught on the boundary. A Lang was caught and bowled for 13 the next over with the score on 47. It was up to Johno and Jason to build on the innings. Jason was out for 3 runs, bowled by one of their chucker’s with a suspect action. With the score on 52 or 3 there was some panic in the dressing room, then Kym strode to the crease and made 8 runs before being caught, the score was 70 for 4. Gully was out for a duck and the score became 70 for 5. Johno in the meantime was batting well, and when Ash came out to Bat they both steadied the sinking DCC Ship to post 122 after 20 overs. Johno made an unbeaten 50 with 2 4s and 1 6. Ash played well for an unbeaten 11 runs of 8 balls. However the DCC total of 122 was never going to be enough and we were at least 30 runs short. The extras column was the third highest score at 14.


Now it was up to our bowlers to perform some of their magic if we were to defend a a below par 122. Israr opened the bowling along with Gully and Israr was bowling with pace and bounce and had some of the Lions batsmen in trouble. He finally got a wicket in his second spell clean bowling on of the Lions Batsmen for a duck. By then the match was pretty much over though. The Lions opening batsmen made a solid start with the openers making 15 and 38 respectively.  We were never in the game as we needed to take wickets regularly and hold on to our catches, (we dropped a couple of absolute sitters). Dave got the first wicket after their opener was caught for 15 with their score on 70 odd. After Dave and CD had finished their spell, the spin doctors Ash and Kym were called into the attack and both bowled tight spells.  The next wicket to go was their other opening batsmen who scored 38 after being stumped by Johno of the bowling of Ash ( Score was 90 odd for 2). Mohit also bowled an over. The Has was called into the attack and bowled his usual fiery spell and picked up a wicket towards the end with the score on around 115.Here are the DCC bowling figures.


Israr – 3 overs 1 for 16

Gully – 3 overs 0 – 25

Dave – 3 overs 1 – 28
Ash – 3 overs 1 – 16

CD – 2  overs 0 – 20 

Kym – 2 overs 0 – 15

Mohit – 1 over 0- 10

Hasan – 2.3 overs 1- 8 


The match lasted until the 19th over with the Lions chasing 122 with 6 wickets in hand. All in all a disappointing result, but am sure we should bounce back strongly.

Match Report from Jono Houghton, Fri Dec 6th fixture…

Venue: Sharjah English School
Teams: Darjeeling CC v Something Champs (No name on the score sheet!)
Conditions: 25-30 degrees. Clear blue skies.
Hangover: Worst for wear after a long night out with Brownie and Gully and two hours sleep.

The day began with Darjeeling 23-0 after three overs. This is mainly due to the fact the game began with two members failing to show up on time with Houghton being in Albania the night before and waiting for an ‘airport pick up’ from Gully who as always was running late. Eventually both members arrived and were informed that Captain for the day Gary Turner negotiated the toss by explaining to the opposition captain ‘We are Darjeeling, if you want to play us we bat first’ if only all Darjeeling captains followed Captain Turners lead. Brownie and Dommett opened up and put on a solid partnership before The Domminator was bowled for 13 with a couple of expertly guided edges for 4. Darjeeling starting well on 46-1 after 5 overs.

Houghton batting at 7 needed to make some quick inroads and advised Dannie ‘the lol’ Rees to get out as soon as possible with Dannie quickly obliging being caught for what can only be described as an adventurous 7. Meanwhile Brownie was knocking it around confidently and looking good. In came Jason Brown who was quickly targeted by the square leg fielder who observantly pointed out that J.Brown could well be a run out candidate – J.Brown chirping back by saying ‘I’m faster than I look’. That theory would quickly be tested. In other news Brownie was clearly upset that his mates Jonno and Gully hadn’t come in to bat with him, he therefore took it upon himself to make sure this happened as soon as possible and duly ran J. Brown out without him facing a ball – direct hit by said square leg fielder. Darjeeling now struggling on 56-3 after 8 overs.

In came Brandon and he immediately took a liking to the bowling knocking them around before Brownie was caught top edging one for a well-made 37. Israr was next and put on a good partnership with Brandon worth 45 before being cleaned up for 14 trying to up the scoring rate. Darjeeling now 128-5 after 17 overs needed a strong finish to the innings to post a competitive score. In came Houghton scoring a quick 12 caught at long off, Andrew Laing bowled for 4, Brandon sacrificing his wicket trying to steal a quick single run out for a very well made 44 with 5×4’s. Captain Turner coming in for the last ball scoring 1*. Darjeeling finishing up on a respectable 158-8 in 20 overs on a slow outfield.

Attention now turned to what bowling options Captain Turner had available and there certainly was not much to choose from with only Israr and Gully (debatably) classified as our quicks. Nevertheless Darjeeling strode out confidently with Israr taking the first over. Israr and Gully began well keeping things tight with Israr having an absolutely stone wall LBW turned down by – in the words of Captain Turner himself – ‘cheating fuc$%@£&king C%^un$ts’ or words to that effect and Israr chipping in by telling the umpire ‘It’s because of people like you that Pakistanis have such a bad reputation’ NB: It could well have been slightly more X-rated than that. Soon after, Gully made the first breakthrough with an equally outrageous LBW decision – bowling around the wicket to a right hander, hitting his thigh pad and the umpire raising his finger. Gully finishing up 3-0-23-1 and Israr a very economical 4-0-16-0 unfortunate not to take a wicket. Opposition now behind the required rate at 39-1 after 7 overs.

Captain Turner strategically or perhaps through no other choice took the pace off the ball by introducing Brownie and the LOL who kept things tight before Brownie and Dannie both got hit for 13 and 18 in their last overs bringing the opposition back into the game approx. 100-1 in 14 overs. Perhaps unsurprisingly the Darjeeling fielders did not help matters with catches being shelled by Andrew Laing and twice by Houghton, sshh sshhh sshhh. Houghton however received good support from his team mates Brownie and Dannie who abused him for the next few overs with Captain Turner removing Houghton from the boundary and bringing him in the circle. The abuse obviously got to Houghton as when the ball was hit to long off he turned to throw back some abuse of his own to his ‘team mates’ at long on and deep midwicket which meant he was not following the game and failed to back up the throw from the boundary…The opposition stealing an extra single.
Brownie 4-0-23-0 and Dannie 2-0-22-0.

With the game now finely balanced and the opposition requiring 59 from the last 6 overs with 9 wickets in hand on came the star of the show Captain Turner who blew away the opposition batsmen with flight, pace, drift and guile (allegedly) taking wickets regularly including a hat trick maiden over. Captain Turner 4-1-22-5 was supported by Houghton from the other end conceding just 9 from his 3 overs at the death quieting his critics and backing up his captains decision to introduce him into the attack. Darjeeling winning comfortably by 20ish runs.

Good contributions by Brownie and Brandon with the bat with good catches by Brandon and Brownie however the Man of the Match undoubtedly belonging to Captain Turner for his 5 wicket haul. Beverages were had, banter exchanged and another enjoyable weekend of debauchery and cricket.

Darjeeling CC vs. Fly Dubai CC, SES, Fri Nov 29th – words by Ash Banerjee

Captain’s Log, Stardate 29.11.2013 (Gregorian)

These are the voyages of the cricketship Darjeeling, with its mission to boldly go where no cricket club has gone before…

It was one of those rare days when the crew assembled early. By 1 pm, 9 of 11 were present, with Mo having recused himself due to a family emergency but Julius’ mate Liam co-opted as a replacement and waiting for a runabout to SES to dock with the club’s enterprise.

Liam had sent the most endearing introductory email to the club: “Julius, if you’re looking for a low-scoring pie-chucker who can’t catch, then I’m your man,” so he was in like Flynn. 

All ready for battle we were, except our opponents flydubai, an avian species, were missing from the designated zone of battle. Over banter it was agreed that tardiness was unacceptable given the time of genuflection had moved up to 12:15, and the toss would need to be negotiated favourably.

By 13:30 the opponents were still scarce and it was agreed that Darjeeling would definitely have the opening salvo; Officers Laing and Ward were instructed to suit up for battle so we could engage soon after the oppo eventually arrived.

Around 13:40 the opponents began straggling in, and the skipper negotiated and agreed first dibs for the ship, while urging the opponents to hail the rest of their crew on all available frequencies and summon them to the Neutral Zone in order for the skirmish to conclude before the early sunset. 

Meanwhile Liam’s runabout had still not materialised, the despatchers of Dubai Taxis off-form as usual, while flydubai were true to form, arriving late as their aircraft usually do.

Finally at 14:00 both sides maneuvered themselves onto the battle zone, the avians opening with the phazers of Asim and Praveen while Officers Laing and Ward defended with shields at 100%.

Defend they did, and how! The plan was for Andy to turn the strike over while Wardy, in his first proper batting outing for the club, used his youth, muscle and the benefit of coming in off the night shift to give the bowling a tap. But the best-laid plans of mice and men… Wardy, proficient in the art and science of fighting fires, refused to set the SES alight and decided to bat himself gently into form over an extended live net. Andy, trying to compensate under instructions from Julius (umpiring) and get the ball off the square, was drawn into unnaturally expansive but generally unfruitful shot-play. Both missed more than hit, the oppo kept dropping dollies, and after 10 overs, half-way into the battle, the good ship found itself at a sedate 45/0 with just a solitary 4 off an overthrow, while the storm-troopers Pretorius, Brown (J) and Ul Haq were champing at the bit in the grandstand.

Meanwhile, Liam’s runabout had yet to arrive at its point of departure.

Finally the first wicket fell to cynical cheers in the 11th over, Andy lbw to Ilyas for 18, and in walked Brandon and promptly moved the score along rapidly with a triplet of 2s, then a 3 and a 4, bringing the game to life and the grandstand out of its beveragey torpor.

Meanwhile, Liam’s runabout was finally en route, with its occupant (newly arrived in Dubai) clueless about where his destination lay.

After 14 overs the skipper exercised prerogative and beamed Wardy back from the holodeck, retired for 28 in the larger interests of the team’s endeavour.  The virtual teddies departed the virtual pram briskly, and it needed a Yoda-esque “Sublimate your individual needs you must, to the team’s overall interests” chat to get Wardy on-side again.

Jason replaced Wardy and carted it around briefly before falling for 7 to an outrageously unlikely catch, much like Brandon for a well-made 27 in the previous over. Then Izzy walked in and set upon the bowling, cracking a quick 30 not out with four 6s, while Julius was quickly in and out for 1, and Etienne smote a quick 14 (including a pulled 6 over square-leg) before being run out, the Abu Dhabi lads doing the business.

Meanwhile, Liam’s runabout, despite the pilot being instructed precisely (Exit 64, etc.) in Urdu by Ground Control, had still not managed to deliver Major Tom.

Neil, borrowed jock-strap and all, with a quick 3-ball 6 (1×4) in the last over saw the club to a sub-par 144/5 after 20, the consensus being we were about 25 short.

——Commercial break——

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Given the sub-par total, the skipper fished out a Dukes newie, proclaimed “I’ve defended a paltry 90 at The Sevens so we could pull this off if we bowl and field well and keep our heads” and rallied the ship’s complement for a concerted defence.

Meanwhile, Liam’s runabout was still en route but the avians were kind enough to offer up 13-year-old Anas to field for us, and he was promptly hidden at fine leg.

The avians opened with Adnan and the redoubtable Azeem, with the former skying one to safe-as-houses Gibby at mid-on in Izzy’s first over as we celebrated the early breakthrough.

But #3 Rashid proved resolute and Azeem opportunistic against Izzy and Wardy, both swinging the Dukes ball well at pace, then against Jules and Etienne, and at the 10-over drinks break it was 67/1 with the game still in the balance, Darjeeling having bowled and fielded really well (Jason outstanding in the covers), the field in good voice in support of the bowlers.

Meanwhile, Liam’s runabout had somehow managed to find an unknown wormhole and ended up in Romulan space on the wrong side of E-311 somewhere remote in the Sharjah constellation, so he was instructed by Julius to head back, money down the drain, unfortunately.

The skipper then brought himself on to bowl the 11th from the Uni End with Neil bowling the 12th from the Tank End and removing Rashid for 29. Not too many ensued, then Azeem was well caught at long on against the setting sun by Izzy off Ash in the 13th and it was game on.

Neil got rid of #4 Aslam in the 14th but unfortunately Tanmay at #5 took 3 consecutive 6s off the rest of his over to swing the balance and it was going to be uphill from there on.

With the game still in the balance in the 16th, Izzy ran out Tanmay at the bowler’s end, but the non-striker Rizwan had made his ground at the wicky’s end, the umpires didn’t know the rules (effing numpty-fied Daleks they were!), our concerted appeal and subsequent polite discussion with the umpires and batsmen ending up fruitless and Tanmay refusing to go, proving conclusively that he wasn’t avian at all, but a Kling-on.

With Ash finishing his spell after the 17th, the fast men Izzy and Wardy bowled well briskly in the fading light as retribution for the wrong decision on the run-out, but the avians got away in the penultimate over, winning by 5 wickets with the Kling-on Tanmay 42*.

The bowling figures: Izzy 4-1-21-1, Wardy 3-0-29-0, Etienne 3-0-24-0, Julius 3-0-25-0, Ash 4-0-11-1, Neil 2-0-29-2.

So a pyrrhic victory for the old enemy, but we will fight and win another day. The reading of the book followed, over a few cold ones on the turf, the usual piss-taking and banter, then eventual departures.