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. Beers were had, banter exchanged and another enjoyable weekend of debauchery and cricket.

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