More Turkey’s PLEASE – words by Nick "Ironman" Harvey

There’s a certain glow one feels when you arrive at the ground for the Darjeeling inter-club Christmas match and the smiles that greet you are both friendly and warm.  But, if you look closely you can detect a hint of something else. As a child you’d share that smile with your friend just as you agreed to bunk off school; as a teenager, before you were about to get laid; a smile that promises tomfoolery to come with a soupçon of vice……………….nice.

Stark differences were apparent on meeting the two skippers of the day.  The Southern hemisphere skipper, Greg Moses looked stoic and fit (now that he can bench press his own body weight); Gary (True Grit) Turner on the other hand appeared at best grim and at worst like death after five seconds in the microwave (now that his two day marathon drinking session was over).  Imagine therefore, Gary’s glee of learning that our little warm-up session was to be a 100 metre dash across the pitch at the team briefing………but did baulk at the idea? Did he fook! Gary, Turner……..True grit!

A week ago or so, I sent around a mail requesting some of the players’ vital statistics which, I’m sure mildly irritates people (I thank yee all for humouring me), but all bar one was duly returned with some interesting results.  For those of you with an occasional fetish for useless information – below a summary of the stats:

  • The average age of the squads was 37.5 years old
  • Average height, 180cm (5’10¾)
  • The average BMI, 29 – which, if the Darjeeling Cricket Club Christmas Club squad were a country
    would make us the fattest in the world bar Tonga & Micronesia (well, it is Christmas afterall……!)
  • Members below 6 feet lie about their height…….Julius, 5’11”? ………per-leeease…!
  • The average time we’ve ever run the 100m (from the sensible answers) is 14 seconds
  • Our allergies include; pineapple, alcohol, non-alcoholic drinks, virgins (not sure how he found out about that one – would have been fun testing it though), Jagermeister, 4x4s with baby-on-board stickers, pollen, pretentious ar*eholes, Palestinian Bankers, furry dice, penicillin, top quality spin bowlers and a couple of Darjeeling members! (no names of course!)
  • The average weight is 94kg (14 stone, 12lb in old money)

The reason for acquiring the statistics was not to set up a dating site (as was suggested) but to set a handicap for our 100 metre sprint across pitch (which I once again miscalculated).  So after the team briefing and sweepstake draw we had a little pre-warm up session with Ben Jones’ camp scissor step manoeuvre catching the eye.  We lined up in our selected rows with poor young slim Jason Stewart looking to make up 8.5 seconds to the high-handicappers.  The young and fit never stood a chance, J Dot cut the ribbon first, Dommett pulled a hamstring and despite my best efforts of pulling him back, I was pipped at the line by Johno (….the shame of it). Coco came up the rear.  We then sauntered off to the changing rooms muttering & cursing under our breath between gasps of air.

GT won the toss and elected to bat, opening with Cockcrusher (Coco) and the Beast (Badger).

It being Christmas and Darjeeling having a penchant for playing silly-buggers, all batsmen took a swig of good-ol-Jagermeister before striding out and for all bowlers (and returning batsmen), a jager-jelly was dished out by the umpire complete with freezer bag over their shoulder.

Neither stuck around for long despite Etienne’s purposeful drop off Coco’s skied leading edge (he was later heavily-fined).  This brought Juggernaut Mooney and the Dominator to the crease with Julius in particular smashing fours to all parts of the ground.  Chris, with a knackered hammy, was less enthusiastic between the wickets than his usual scampering-self.  Chris Bridle was half way out to the square to act as runner before (you’ll never guess) Badger came bounding on to act as Chris’ legs (apparently, he wanted to get in the game…!).  Chris was visibly distressed/amused (delete as appropriate).

All in all, the North had three retirements (as we were playing Taverners’ rules); Julius, Dommett & Me).  There was a couple of memorable moments that exemplified/tested the ‘spirit-of-the-game’  Firstly, Julius claiming and GT awarding five penalty runs after Gully’s delivery was hit by Chris on to his cap lying behind/near the stumps and secondly, me being recalled by Greg and others after being giving out by Coco LBW some way out of his crease. Indeed, the exuded body language of the South at half time as they strode off avoiding eye contact and the offering of water was akin to that of the Australian’s during the Bodyline series against Jardine’s England (well similar to that from that series that was on the telly anyway).

Rich Hallows, Lee Dawson and Julius (on his second innings) all chipped in, but the total of 158 after the North’s 22 overs always looked 30 runs short.  The South had three notable bowlers to speak of namely (Velvety) Etienne (3 overs, one wicket for 10 runs), Jason Stewart (3 overs for 14) and Jason (Breathless) Brown (3 overs, three for 14)….well bowled Gentlemen.

The Southern Hemisphere opened with (Sensitive) CD & Nathan (Caring) Cartright and for a while it looked they were making a game of it.  They scrapped and scrabbled about and were just 20 odd after 6 overs.  Chris Bridle (great to have you back in the squad by the way) forgot he was playing cricket as he chested one down from CD’s miscued drive (both umpires heard the distinct drumming sound of leather on ribcage).  CD eventually found himself (to be joining many others) in Badger’s famous hutch as Nathan fell to……err someone else…?
Potty, usually effective, failed to impress and one Mr. Nick Lloyd was less than impressed after being run out cheaply.  When cordially reminded of his duty to take his obligatory jager jelly whilst marching off, was heard to retort “well f**king bring it here then…!” (ooooo-oooo!).

Andrew Kirk, managed to better his previous Darjeeling batting effort (by facing a ball) and just made it to double figures
but was dismissed before reaching twenty.

The winner of the sprint, Mr. Breathless Brown was next to the crease and from the minute he took his jelly and guard, looked purposeful and determined to make his twenty and retire.  Joined by Ben Jones, the big guns had definitely arrived. In reply, True Grit whipped out his cock-crushing secret-weapon and Ms. Caroline Toussaint was thrown the ball. Twenty minutes later, both Big Guns were back in the paddock, both falling victim to Coco’s charms in spectacular fashion.  Firstly, Ben, playing forward was bowled with Coco getting the best of his length and secondly, Jason, honey-trapped in as he smashed Coco (Jason’s length, definitely shorter than Bens’) in to the deep only to pick our Richard Hallows with laser-point-accuracy.  Both J Dot and Richard wore the same “WTF??” expression (both in total disbelief…..for different reasons).  But in the end Mr. Brown had to go and take his goodbye jaeger-bomb.

Next in was the South’s skipper, Mr Greg Moses who’d been swaggering around all day with his chin raised more above horizontal than Agmal’s arm is bent.  He marched to the crease and took very little time in stamping his authority on the game with True Grit falling prey to a very brief but very brutal onslaught (with Greg’s 20 coming in just 7 balls).  The North lost 22 runs in that over and the tide had tipped.  In short, the South’s tail didn’t merely wag but beat the North’s bowlers to all corners.  Etienne, too finding the middle made his retirement runs thereby, bringing Kymbo & Gully (10 & 11) to the crease.
True Grit looked deep into his arsenal and brought Coco back into the attack with Badger chirping away to Gully about being dismissed by the fairer sex.  Gully’s reply was to play a beautiful slog sweep off one knee from a Miss Toussaint full toss that looked to be heading straight to the awaiting Badger at deep backward square leg.  There are two-sides to every story and I think it’s only fair to share both.
Badger:                                                     “…it flew well over my head and miles over the boundary”
The Entire Southern Hemisphere:         “…it went through your hands mate”
Personally, I believe Badger.

That shot did, however, make the run chase far simpler with both Gully and Kym finding the boundary fence.  With two and a half overs to go Gully was dismissed (for the second time that over) which brought back Mr. Moses and the game was all but lost.  There was a bit of hand-bagging round the boundary and on the pitch over bowlers and batsmen not used (I felt …….it was just the right amount of animosity) as the last few deliveries were bowled.  But with the winning runs hit hands were firmly shaken and bums warmly slapped as we headed off to the changing room to read out the book and the fines.
Sugee won AED 400 on the sweepstake for pulling out Breathless Brown and I wish I could remember more about the fines (duly punished Vodka and yet more Jager shots) of which some were brilliant.  Afterwards, I think all bar two or three then headed to the Els club for dinner and the promise of AED10 drinks.  A great session was had including a revival of obscure Darjeeling XI’s – this time we had the Psychologists’ XI (as, in those of need of seeing one).   I believe it was Ben Jones that picked up on a running theme, i.e. that the majority were South African (and all agreed most were decent players….!).   Perhaps, a new question to be added to the membership questionnaire?

DCC Xmas
Before the festivities really got going.

On a personal note, congratulations to the South (again) on winning the match and thank you to everyone for being such a good sport and making it such a memorable day (and night).

Christmas Match 2014 – words by Nick Harvey

The People have spoken! – the overwhelming choice for the Christmas match has been to stoke up a bit of Hemispherical rivalry….
So on Saturday 27th December post-festivities, the Men of the North led by Mr Gary (True Grit) Turner will take the field
against the Shandy-drinking Bed-Wetting Southern Softies with Greg (Moistly) Moses trying to keep the bitch-slapping
and the cat-calling at bay.
We’ll be playing a 20 over (more if we can) Taverners Rules* Match (at the ICC Academy)
Batsmen retire on 20 – can come back at the end
Must use a minimum of 10 Bowlers, bowling a maximum of 3 each.
Please be there before 1:00pm for our pre-match “Warm-up” session.  Please do not worry, this is not going to be too stressful
or arduous – just a little exercise to loosen the muscles and get the blood flowing.
That said, by simply turning up – you’re all automatically, signing a disclaimer agreeing that the club (or me) will be in no way responsible for any injuries, sickness, disorders, pregnancies, rashes, diseases, scars or mental deficiencies that come about from our little ‘warm-up’ session ☺
THE NORTH                                               THE SOUTH
1       Badger (Beast)                                 1       Nathan (Caring) Cartright
2       GT (True Grit)*                                  2       (Gay) Gully
3       Johno (Hard-on) Houghton             3       (Nice) Nick Lloyd
4       Nick (Harder) Harvey                       4       (Sensitive) CD Kotze
5       Sugee (Monster)                              5       Ben (Jolly good) Jones
6       Richard (Well-Hard) Hallows            6       Kym (Harmless) Harris
7       Julius (Juggernaut) Mooney            7       Etienne (Velvety) Visser
8       Jason (Steaming) Stewart               8       Jason (Breathless) Brown
9       Chris (Braveheart) Bridle                 9       Ian (Potty-trained) Potgieter
10      Chris (Dominant) Dommett           10      Andrew (Kind-hearted) Kirk
11      Lee (Deadly) Dawson                    11      Greg (Moistly) Moses
12      (Cock-Crusher) Coco                    12      Brad (Wiggly) Wissink
13      Olly (He-Man) Higgens

Blikkies Blitzes ABB (and his bat!) words by Chris Dommett

On a weekend when the Springboks swept all aside at the Dubai Rugby 7s our very own Blitzbokke stole the show against ABB at the ICC CA.
There was a nip in the air and a hint of dew on the ground as the usual motley assortment of Darjeeling players drifted into the ground. Captain Banerjee announced to all that in a dramatic change from the usual tactics, he had won the toss and decided to field! He claimed to have spotted a little something in the pitch suggesting early movement, although a more convincing argument might have been that it would be cooler bowling first.
Anyway, after awarding a new club shirt to debutant Ethan Holmes we trudged reluctantly onto the pitch only for some sharp eyed cove to spot that the sight screens were set for a white ball. With no sign of activity from the ground staff an executive decision was made to try to fix the problem ourselves, ignoring young Ethan’s assertion that black screens shouldn’t pose a problem for the batsmen as we had no quick bowling. Greg offered him a look of disdain before clambering to the top of the screen to mend the pulley system which was jammed.
Finally, we got down to play with Greg opening up from the stadium end and Ethan standing where a keeper normally would for a bowler of Badger’s pace. By the end of the over he was nursing a couple of bruised hands and standing within chatting distance of the slips, commenting to Ash that it felt weird to be standing so far back. Welcome to big boys cricket young man
Etienne opened up from the other (unnamed) end, keeping it tight and getting a bit of swing and the score trickled along in singles, edges and wides until Etienne struck in his second over. A back of a length ball tempted the opener into a wild slog which Brad eventually caught coming in from mid off. He struck again in similar fashion in his next over, with Brad again pouching a skier (or skyer?), to have ABB struggling at 28 for 2 with only their no.3 batsman Syed Hussain looking capable of taking on the Darjeeling bowling.
After dropping a tough slip chance off Greg, Blikkies took over from the stadium end, picking up a wicket in his second over with a catch by the Dominator at midwicket.
Drinks were taken with ABB struggling at 58 for 3 after 10, but the fourth wicket partnership between Syed and Nidhin accelerated the rate towards respectability at 9 an over. A couple of late run outs left ABB with a sub-par total of 154 for 5, although given Darjeeling’s recent batting troubles it was by no means a given. Bowling figures were generally respectable, with Greg 4 overs, 0 for 20, Etienne 2 for 23, and Blikkies 1 for 24. Andrew Morris went for 15 in his first over before Captain Banerjee ruthlessly removed him from the attack, and both Brad and Shuggie going for 9 an over without a wicket.
So the chase began, or in the case of Brad, the leisurely amble. Blikkies decided to attack from the start (no change there then), whacking anything pitched up back past the bowler, and pulling anything short over mid wicket. So ferocious was his hitting that one shot saw his bat split in half lengthways, with one half nearly copping the square leg umpire. With Brad hitting just 2 fours the big unit was required to run far too many twos for his liking, with the pitch looking in danger at one point of being repainted with yesterday’s Snickers.
The result was never in doubt as the openers cantered (cross between a gallop – Blikks, and a walk – Brad) to the target in the 18th over, with Bliikies going to a brutal ton with a baseball shot which hit the academy on the full. 103 not out off just 69 balls, ably supported by Brad with a more conservative 37 at exactly a run a ball, and a 10 wicket win for the good guys for a change.
Back in the changing room the usual banter ensued with Elsabe promising Bliks rather more than just a massage as a reward for his ton, and a new bat for Christmas. Reverend Moses called for silence, and asked everyone to ponder the Thought For Today – the lost art of fingering… This was duly discussed, with thoughts ranging from the best techniques to how the decline in this practice is probably responsible for the world’s population problem. Ethan wisely refused the offer of a cold beverage as his Dad was waiting for him, and left with Greg’s encouragement to keep practicing the fingering to keep him busy for the next week.
A good performance all round and surely the dawn of a fresh winning streak for the mighty Darjeeling. Bring on Standard Chartered!!

Golden Oldies outshine DCC – words by Julius Mooney

Saturday the 8th November saw a rare opportunity for the mighty DCC to play their first game in the Dubai International Cricket stadium, against a travelling “Over 50’s” Touring 11.
DCC were in high hopes and full of energy prior to the game with a decent bowling and batting side out for the day. Amazingly there didn’t seem to be a hangover in site, not surprising as Jono and Gully were not available – could be some debate that Dave Rees migraine was a hangover left over from the KP Gala dinner a couple of nights before…but more on that later.  Photos were taken and given the venue our captain for the day decided to be the gentleman and allow the opposition to bat first (not that he was given much of a choice).
Darjeeling took to the 25,000 seater stadium to a stunned silence – shock – the stadium was empty….I personally blame the committee for this…..I had a call from the Sports City that 20,000 supporters were queuing outside the stadium the next day to watch up play….somehow they got the wrong date!!
Mooney opened up the bowling and snatched the first wicket of the game on his 5th ball, actually a rubbish ball that the batsman cut to the fielder of the day – Mr Smibert.  Saint Jame Grisdale opened from the other dessert end – James bowled a tight spell but finished wicket less after his 3. The on field captain Harvey opted for a little more variety and brought on first changes Banerjee and himself. Nick was very unlucky not to snare a wicket in his first over – a top edge (ok maybe not that lucky it was a rank full toss) just evaded Mitchell in the covers. Banerjee looked sharp from the start with his first ball bamboozling the oppo batsman…Harvey deservedly got a wicket in his 3rd over thanks to a superb bit of keeping from Domminator. Ash finished off wicketless which was unlucky as he bowled pretty well all day (6 overs for 28). (Nick – 4 overs 1 for 18)
Rees then came to the mark post drinks – despite a broken finger and not shutting up about his hero KP who broke his finger – he bowled a pretty tight six overs – but as is so often the case in cricket his worse ball of the day was his first wicket…a sharp catch from Dommett behind the stumps…Dannie bowled his next victim and finished with very respectable figures of 6 over – 2 wickets – for 18 runs. From the other despite a pretty haphazard first over Mitchell completed 3 over for 13 runs. Mooney came back on for a second spell and snared his second wicket – removing (yes removing) the middle stump much to the delight of his 15 month old son sitting in the “crowds” – ok he had no idea what was going on. Mooney finished up with 5 over 3 maidens, 2 for 10….To finish up proceedings Potti came on for a quick cameo and Grisdale finished up bowling spin and snared a beauty -Nick said “we need to let them get a few more runs on the board so we actually can bat for a bit” Famous last words.
For once the fielding from DCC was very good and there were a lot of acrobatics in the field – most notably Smibert with a sublime direct hit run out. However Extras were the second top scorer with 36 (11 byes, 4 Leg byes and a disgraceful 21 wides)
After a Dubai Sports City lunch – actually not too bad – the crowd in the stadium doubled with the arrival of the Grisdale clan….and Darjeeling were in full confidence that despite a slow and low wicket we would have no issues knocking off the 143 required to win.
De Bonville and Smibert opened up and looked classy, driving beautifully and running well between the wickets…DeBonville then got a little complacent and tried to drill one out of the stadium only to be stumped with a ball going down leg for 7. Not to worry surely…we still had some very good batsman to come. Potti was in next but was bowled for 5. Brown and Dommett were soon back in the padock after been triggered LBW….They were not happy about these decisions……..Smibert too was stumped soon after – achieving a second top score of 19.
Saint James was the only man who produced the goods for us…scoring a St James style fifty….Harvey kept him company for a little but was soon triggered LBW for 7, Banerjee was next in and played some lovely strokes for his 9 (that almost sounds like an Oxymoron) – Ash was very quick to point out in the changing room that he made a 50 partnership with Gris….sadly the end of Ash came about, bamboozled by a double bouncing long hop….
Mooney came in next at 9, and quickly saw Grisdale retired for 50 (rubbish rule) – With the new man Dannie Dave Rees (My bat cost 400 pounds chat) and Mooney out in the middle there was a little hope, however hope was diminished when Dannie was bowled first ball….Moony being the genius he is then ran out poor Mitchell for 1. However all was not lost, Grisdale was allowed back in…with about 26 needed of 4 could DCC change their losing streak and finally win won….? That was answered 2 balls later when Mooney was stupidly lured into a Badger style sky ball only to be stumped. Darjeeling had lost by 26 runs…
All in all a great day out at the stadium and one I am sure we will always remember. Maybe some debatable umpiring decisions and certainly a dreadful deck were in play…but that as they say is Cricket!

Dubai’s First 24-hour Cricket Marathon to Take Place at ICC Cricket Academy

Darjeeling Cricket Club to host event in support of Médecins Sans Frontières in memory of club member who passed away
Dubai, UAE – 10 November, 2015: A 24-hour cricket marathon will take place later this month, at the International Cricket Council’s Cricket Academy (ICC CA) in Dubai Sports City, in support of non-governmental medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Dubai’s longest ever game of cricket will be organized by Darjeeling CC – the UAE’s oldest cricket club, established in 1969 – in memory of long-standing former club member Simon Fowler, who passed away suddenly earlier this year.
The event will take place from 12 noon on Thursday, 20th November, until noon on Friday the 21st, with several consecutive matches being played continuously over a 24-hour period. It will be first time a 24-hour cricketing marathon has ever been held in the UAE. The match is being supported by the ICC CA, and the Els Club, among others.
Mohamed Bali, Executive Director of MSF in the UAE, said: “The success of our work in this region and across the world, relies on the support we receive from individual supporters. Serving two purposes, this game of cricket will not only honour and remember the life of a committed, generous cricket lover and MSF supporter, but it will also ensure that in his memory MSF can continue to make a difference to the lives of people less fortunate across the Middle East. This is a great initiative and we thank Darjeeling for their support.”
The cricket marathon will conclude with a match between Darjeeling and a Dubai Celebrity XI from 8am – 12noon on Friday, 21st November. The Celebrity XI, which will include members of the UAE national team, high profile local business figures and media celebrities will be captained by local broadcaster and cricket fanatic Tom Urquhart. The final match will take place alongside a brunch and auction, where sporting memorabilia and more will be offered in support of MSF – a cause Simon Fowler dedicated much of his time to.
“I am delighted to be taking part in this event,” said celebrity team captain Tom Urquhart. “Cricket is a passion of mine and a sport that brings people together from across the cultural landscape in the UAE. What better reason for a record breaking game of cricket, than to remember a dedicated member of the local cricket community and a person committed to giving. It will be a great occasion and I hope the community comes out to support it.”
The family-friendly event will also feature:
· A live DJ on both days
· Suburban Voodoo and guests live from 9 pm on Thu 20th
· Raffle with great prizes
· Bouncy castle
· Car wash competition
· A silent auction
· Live auction of sports memorabilia
· Awards Ceremonies after every match
Chris Dommett, Club Captain of Darjeeling CC, said “We play at the ICC Academy every week and are grateful to them for allowing us to stage the event here. Simon was a much-liked member of our club, a wonderful cricketer and a great guy, and we couldn’t think of a better way to honour him. This is just the sort of thing he’d most want.”
Anyone wishing to support the event in any way, should head to the Darjeeling Facebook page, website or tweet mentioning the handle @Darjeelingcc.

DCC vs Brandy Invitation XI (Part 2) – Words by Gary Turner‏

After a quick intake of H2O we took the field as a unit. No need for Churchillian urgings I thought , a good total on the board and a team packed with experienced bowlers so no worries. Of course Greg Moses then says that due to a chronic fractured Eye lash he would rather not bowl! Did you know that Greg is part Saffer and part British? His eye lashes obviously come from North Wales! Then up pops the other demon mix of Sunderland and Cape Town, Jim the Vicar Grisdale. His injuries involved at least something visible in terms of a Rugby fall whilst training. However the bruising had reached a part of his anatomy that led to me declining any further inspection , “I believe you Jim, I am sure it is all black and blue as well” I retorted , backing away rapidly. Still no worries , I have the Dad and Son team of the Mariadason;s to be my demon strike bowlers and what a fantastic job they did! Dave  opened up from the top end and had the ball swinging in like a boomerang , whilst young Rohan bowled a great line and length running in from the Academy end.

Dave struck twice in his second over and then Rohan bowled a peach that swung and moved off the pitch with his first ball of his second over. In walked the aforementioned  Damien Brandy with his celebrity side teetering at 12 for 3. At this point in proceedings we are very fortunate in having several “specialist” slip fielders in our club. Apparently Ram , our new recruit is also one. However when Damien Brandy flashed at Rohan’s  5th delivery of his second over it was only  me who was at first slip and although the ball thudded into my outstretched right palm , it also thudded out again!! Never mind I thought , it won’t  be long before he has gone! Doh!

Dave bowled superbly for his 4-0-2-18 and was well backed up by young Rohan who finished with figures of 4-0-18-1. Take a bow that family!!

Debutant Ram was given the chance to show off his all-rounders  skills and soon learned that bowling at the ICC is not always so easy. Especially when the reprieved Mr. Brandy decides he quite likes the length! Damian just basically tried to hit virtually every ball into space , and very nearly succeeded! Ross came on and bowled a tidy first over before Damien took a fancy to him as well , supported by Dan , the Darjeeling man who was also playing some shots. Ram came off slightly bruised with figures of 2-0-29-0 and Ross finished with 3-0-24-0

So the match entered what can in “clicheville”  be called “the Crucial Phase” . Paul Shenks was brought into the firing line and 6 balls later the Brandy X1 where 12 runs nearer our total!  I decided I could not hide anymore and brought myself on from the top end  , 6 balls later and another 13 had been plundered including a massive 6 that cleared the gardens behind me! Paul  gamefully   continued,  and all playing saw Damian go into overdrive and score a further 18 runs and all of a sudden we were  deep in the Mulligatawny as my Indian friends often say!!

At the start of my second over I was in 3 or 4 minds in terms of what sort of ball to bowl to Damien who loomed very large at the other end of the wicket. So I bowled a wide. Obviously I had a bit of chat with their umpire , words like “harsh” and “really” where uttered! So next ball I lobbed one up and fully expected it to be dispatched for 6…… he missed it and it hit his back leg in front of middle and leg , everyone screamed  and my mate the umpire triggered Mr. Golden Bollocks Brandy back to the pavilion!! Relief and high 5,s all around in the DCC camp!

Jim bravely hobbled in off a couple of paces for the next over going for only 5 and Dave M took a great catch in the deep to get rid of Dan before the next batsman was bowled by a specialty  skuttle ball that never got above 2 inches  after pitching, you know the sort of ball Stuie used to bowl all the time!

Jim then completed proceedings by being smashed for 19 off the last over by Posh Toms  brother! He did not enjoy that at all but DCC had won by 25 runs or so. Jim finished with 2 overs for 26 and for me a flattering 3 overs 3 for 25.

The match was played in a great spirit , no dissent to the umpire (well just a little) and everyone in the DCC team played a part and contributed. It is why we are the greatest cricket club in the world , but then I may be biased!!!

DCC vs Brandy Invitation XI (PART 1) – Words by Gary Turner

As the Darjeeling faithful started to arrive at the ICC there was more than a few moans and groans about how long it takes for a Dubai summer to end and an Arab winter to begin! Too long was the conclusion and indeed it was very hot and sticky.

Our opponents for the day included several “ex” Darjeeling” wallahs “ and even our new member Dan was roped in , presumably because of his ability to stop a flaying cricket bat with his eye. Because of this familiarity with the opposition it was  decided that  DCC rule number 1 could not be invoked and instead a proper “Toss” took place out in the middle. Damian Brandy called incorrectly and I duly skipped back to our dressing room with the great news that the opposition had been duly inserted!

This match also marked the return to the fold of Ian P who had been lost in the wilderness for some time on some breeding programme and with his opening  partner Brad Wissink they strode manfully to the crease to face the eclectic mix that made up the Brandy X1. It is fair to say that both of our openers took full advantage of some indifferent bowling but several of the bowlers where also capable of actually pitching one up AND on the stumps so some care was needed. After 5 overs we had reached 52 , with Ian dealing mainly in “thumps” of increasing violence around the park. Extras also contributed to the score with wide’s  and “beamer” no balls aplenty!

After 10 overs drinks where taken and Ian announced that as he would also be keeping wicket it was time for a younger and fitter man to take over the batting duties from him. Well he said part of that anyway and he retired for a well-played  41 and the evergreen Greg Moses took his place.

You may not be aware that there is a lot of “history” and “previous” as the Londoners say between Greg and Brad. They have shared many things , literally apparently and they also love to make the other party run when batting together!! Each claims that he is the leader in all this but regardless an all run 4 , several run 3,s and more than a few 2,s took its toll on Greg and he top edged a catch when looking well set for 31. Oh Brad did chuckle!!!

The reformed Vicar of Dibley , formerly known  as” Big Bad”  Jim Grisdale took over from Greg and in his usual style smashed both bowlers for big 6,s and a disputed number of 4,s ( I was distracted whilst scoring!) before Brad laughed no more as he took a full bunger on his toe and was out LBW for an enterprising 68  and thus entered  Ramesh , making his debut for DCC

Jim meanwhile was being beaten for pace by the returning Damian Brandy for a rapid 27 , Paul Shenk came and went , another victim of a rejuvenated Brandy leaving David and Ramesh to finish off our innings at 192 for 4 with Ram on 8 and David on 2.

As skipper I thought we should have reached 200 but also felt that this would be good enough to secure a comfortable victory. But did I mention a rejuvenated Damien Brandy…. I will shortly in Part 2 of this saga!!

Arch Rivals – words by James Grisdale

As one of the most anticipated games on the DCC calendar – DCC took on the formidable Loose Cannons on a balmy Saturday afternoon at the picturesque ICC grounds!
To relieve the tension surrounding this battle we will jump straight into the happenings of that fine afternoon!
Ash “Trigger” Banerjee * won the toss and the first shot across the bow was delivered, DCC would bat!
Tom “The Gun” De Bonville and Dannie “Golden gloves” Rees would be the first to cross swords, the game got off to a flyer with “Golden gloves” leaving a few and watching a few go past the bat at the other end “The Gun” wreaked havoc against the Cannons  dispatching a the ball at will as if it was fodder?!
Fast forward to over #3 and good bye “Golden gloves” triggered by the “trigger” plumb in front beat for pace all ends up!
Step in Greg “Needles” Moses and the partnership of the day ensued, “The Gun” carried on bludgeoning the hapless cannons to all corners of the ground with “Needles” uncharacteristically being overshadowed?!  After much of the same “The Gun” to the relief of the cannons was bowled trying to put another one into the school, 78 off a hand full of balls and a partnership of 96 leaving the score on a healthy 136/2.
The departure of “The Gun” brought to the crease Nick “Tardy“ Lloyd – the back of “The Gun” seemed to inject (See what I did their?)  some life into “Needles” and boundaries started to flow again.
“Tardy” then chipped one to mid-wicket and had to return to the hutch for a conservative 6….
Israr “No Surname” and “Needles” trotted along for the remaining overs getting DCC well over the 200 mark until Israr “Consistent” missed a straight one. Richard “medium pace” Logan saw off the last couple to give DCC an impressive total of 240!
“Needles” ending up on a very well-orchestrated 83 off 48* (Rather slow considering the depth/quality of batting still to come).
After a short interval DCC took the field with “Medium pace” getting the first over from the pavilion end with the wind at his back and down the hill, whilst James “F@#king brisk” Grisdale started from the school end up the hill into the wind….
The first few overs set the precedence for the Loose Cannons innings with “Medium pace” (now striving with the wind at his back) taking the top 3 wickets all cleaned up impressively! At the other end where immense pressure was being applied “F@#king brisk” ended up with 0-27-3…. Respectively!
With the Loose cannons reeling at 3-36 off 6 “The trigger” rolled out a double change with “No surname” and Nick “Up the duff” Harvey taking aim, both failed to make any inroads with “No surname” finishing up on 0-22-2 and “Up the duff” obviously struggling up the hill into the wind finishing on 0-23-2…
Bring on the spinners and good bye “Golden gloves” reputation as a wicket keeper …
“Trigger” bowled well and probably would have picked up a few more if it wasn’t for “Golden gloves” behind the wicket – 1-25-3
Neil “Rocky” Colbeck bowled a lot better than his figures suggest, again this can solely be attributed to “Golden gloves” – 2-37-3
Mark “Silver fox” Gully chipped in with his boomerangs and picked up a wicket a piece with “Tardy” to bring the innings to an end and a good old fashioned spanking to boot, with the loose cannons finishing up just short on 191-8…
Great day had by all and “The gun” “Needles” and “Medium Pace” having very good showings….
Everyone retired to watch the springboks annihilate the All blacks as expected and all was right in the world once again!!!
NB – Congrats to “Up the duff” on the news of a 3rd baby Harvey due! Well done Nick!!!

A Bloody End – Words by Lee Dawson

On a warm Saturday afternoon at the ICC, our very Nathan Cartwright sent his work (GAJ) XI into battle with the DCC boys, interestingly Nathan decided to captain his XI from the position of umpire, injured allegedly or just not wanting to endure the sledging and banter that would have been mandatory or for the cynics amongst us perhaps he wanted to exercise his influence in another manner.
Nonetheless the early arrival of our Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Dannie (ADHD for short) ensured that the local rules were enforced and DCC would bat first, GAJ apparently didn’t wish to contest this rule citing an extension of the rule – ‘let’s make sure the game lasts’.
ADHD clearly enthused about the prospect of discovering some form against the lesser opposition strapped on his pads before GT could contemplate his order, ADHD was joined by ‘he’s posh but not as posh as the real posh tom’ Tom and play got under way. GAJ opened up with left-arm spin, GT declaring this was ‘the one player he knew could bowl’, 23 runs flowed off the first over after a series of half-trackers and wide balls. The bowling at the other was equally as wayward but didn’t offer the same amount of gifts. So with DCC racing along at 15 an over of the first 5, GT decided it might make sense to give everyone at bat and enforce retirements at 50…. ADHD clearly not relishing the idea topped edged a sweep to short fine leg moments later to reduce DCC to 71-1 off 5.4 overs (ADHD 27 from 18).
Tom was joined in the middle by Blikkies who forgot to arrange his cap and in afrikaans barked out his displeasure and instructions to his better half as it was clearly her fault… she made amends immediately by sprinting off and resolving her oversight with the minimum of fuss.
Blikkies and Tom carried on taking the attack to the GAJ bowling attack and when drinks were taken after the 10th over, Tom was informed about the retirement rule smashed two sixes and trudged off disappointed he wasn’t going to fill his boots as much as he wished. Tom 53 (from 21). The debutant John Stamper adorning a complete virgin set of kit strode out to show his new team-mates that lawyers are about results and not time and money. Almost immediately Blikkies decided to check the cloud formation out and fell victim to the rare commodity of a ‘straight-one’ gone bowled for a fine 32 including a graceful straight-drive through long-off legs for 4 which had the purists purring in delight. DCC 150-2 after 11.
John was joined by Greg, slightly subdued by a Gris braii the day before and lacking his usual chipper. John was clearly not on a ‘legal-aid’ case as he took his time at the crease playing circumspectly at the variety of offerings, like it was a ‘working-lunch’ at a tapas bar where the wine wasn’t vintage and everything needed treating with suspicion. Greg was struggling to get going at the other end, as a result the run rate dropped. John suffering from a knee-complaint ran himself out the last ball of the 16th over for 21, DCC 170-3, hobbling off to the small claims court.
Greg was joined by Lee, who was served a waist high full toss on leg stump first up to help him remember what the game of cricket was and how the bat on ball thingy worked. A single followed of a very wide short one giving Greg the strike, he played at a very wide very short and very slow one…. who was the most surprised with what happened next remains unanswered, umpire Cartwright for someone playing at such a wide one, Greg reaching and hitting straight to backward point or backward point for taking the catch high to his right… the one known factor was Greg was gone for 6, 175-4.
Next to the crease was Dave Mariadason, who helped himself to an early boundary with a delightful pick-up over mid-wicket quickly followed by an all run 4. Lee and Dave continued to pick up 1’s, 2’s and the odd boundary, taking DCC to 217-4 after 21. Lee helped himself to 10 off the first 3 balls of the last over before Dave decided 2 down to long-on twice in a row was just a ridiculous concept and trotted back with the trickling throw hitting direct with Dave still well short of his ground, run out for 23. Rory came in for the last two balls and was run out last ball of the innings without facing, Lee 29*, DCC posting a respectable 230-6.
Before DCC took the field John referring to Section 10 sub section 6 article 3 of the UAE penal code declared he isn’t allowed to field with a bad knee and that the code allowed a replacement, Dan Mellor quickly donned his whites and with some regret this morning I expect took to the field.
GT opened the bowling with our 13 year old dynamo Rohan and Rory. Rohan bowled a fine spell of away swing beating the bat at will and Rory bowling a tight line and length. Both openers completed a 4 over spell conceding just 2 boundaries between them, but remained wicketless, Rohan was unlucky as ADHD missed 2 stumpings in as many balls before throwing down the gloves and walking off to ice his pinky. Enter Dan Mellor upgraded from fielder to assume the responsibility of the gloves. GAJ’s opener Aftab had found hitting the ball of the square extremely difficult and as result collapsed under the pressure and retired hurt. So after 8 overs GAJ we 42-1. (Rohan 4-0-15-0, Rory 4-0-21-0). With the light fading and concerns over getting the game completed by Christmas, GT threw the ball to our very own midnight runner Rich ‘Dexy” Hallowes, whose first ball was spooned high to cover where Tom ran round to take a good catch. 42-2. GT brought himself on at the other end and bowled with his usual cunning and guile. Dexy disappointingly without the usual pink cravat caused mayhem in his 2nd over striking again with his first ball bowling the batsman with the old fashioned straight one and then the tip and shy approach of their batsman causing a run out of the last ball to see GAJ slide to 61-4.
GT brought out his ‘special’ delivery in his next over the disguised double bouncer which almost brought the 5th wicket. Dan ‘Teflon’ Mellor had remember how to use the gloves by now and was doing some smart work behind the stumps which almost brought a couple of stumpings and run out chances were coming thick and fast, but Lee and Tom’s radars were clearly set to friendly fire mode. Some of this innings was far from memorable, especially since the author of this piece was busy recalling Lincolnshire’s over 50’s squad with our guest umpire Colin Walters at square leg.
The skipper was not to finish without snaring a victim, another straight one proving too good to reduce GAJ to 81-6 off 16. Blikkies appeared from the partial football ground end and bowled as fast as he could in the half light (2-0-7-0). GT after completing his spell 4-0-18-1 handed over the baton to Dave the destroyer, who after bowling some wayward nantie Hayward deliveries decided to resort to the straight ones, 2 in 2 both bowled. 87-7. In Blikkies 2nd over another suicidal single to a now concentrating Lee saw the score move to 93-8. The destroyer added another bowled in his second over completing a fine spell of 2-0-7-3 (97-9). So after 19 overs GAJ needed 134 runs to win off 3 overs, with the sun setting fast Dexy returned and 2nd ball fired one down the leg side, the batsman swung with all his mite, making a fine contact, unfortunately not with the ball but with Dan’s head, the 12th man forced to leave the field blood streaming down his face and with only one eye open, to make matters worse he bled all over Johns virgin whites. At this point GAJ decided to call it a day and finished 97-9, Dexy 3.2-0-18-2.
Dan retired to the Rashid hospital and the rest of the team retired to the Ryder Cup, Premier League football and Saffer rugby safe in the knowledge the winning feeling had returned.

Vinimus. Vidimus 11 Indians unleash. We did not conquer. – Jamie Smibert

On a stinking warm afternoon at the college…
Raring to go minus Badger of whom we had no knowledge.
Stimulated by some inspiring talk from Ash…
attempting to rouse those still feeling the lash.
There was a suggestion to limit them to 120…
Looking back did way say, “let them score plenty?”
Greg’s first over was expensively uncanny…
As Sheldon dropped one I would have left for my Granny.
The flow of runs didn’t stop there…
As the powerplay alone sent us into despair.
The oppo were giving it an almighty heave…
As we were constantly on the retrieve.
The Hass circled below many a high ball…
With results that never cease to enthrall.
At least Jamie got both hands to his drop…
Only for his shoulder to hit the ground and out did it pop.
The specialist fielder-Dommett arrived in his place…
For him to snare one to set the pace.
For you fans of Coco one must mention her also…
Striding in flaunting her much loved torso.
She attempted to set the game on fire…
But turned out to be just as dire.
The hemorrhaging of runs was unrelenting…
As we all looked on with anger fermenting.
Ash dished up tosh duly dispatched to the crowd…
As the Indians on the ropes got ever so loud.
The Hass stormed in to stem the flow…
Or was it Usain…I’ll never quite know.
They ploughed on to reach 258…
Leaving us requiring one hell of a rate.

Da Johburg Ou – Nail biter words by Brandon Pretorius

We arrived to see da opponents warming up for da better part of an hour. Activities that would put most of us ous on our knees hay.
We where surprised to see no babelasses (hangovers) in da changing rooms. Our kaptein Nick had choosen to use da bat first and sent in da Dominator and Mnr Julius. Finking Mnr Julius would use dis rare opportunity with da bat, he got out cheaply caught behind for 1 walking after a wide where to be given. Da usual LBW shouts we are all remembering was in da match as well. I then walked in to support da Dominator. Getting a lucky 20 I was to be getting caught. Dis sent in da much awaited comeback from Rannie Dees. Getting dropped on da ous first ball… And den getting bowled fird ball was not the BIG standard we ous are all knowing of dis guy. Den da new guy Sheldon walked on to bring da run rate up scoring a vinnige 24 to help da Dominator dat was red in da face. Mnr Visser came in scoring 9 den getting bowled, playing around a straight one. Da kaptein and da Dominator got us to 138 after running 3 vinnige 2s in da last over with kaptein ending on 7 n.o and a mighty performance from da Dominator 64 n.o.
Having to dafend 138 we where having to bowl very very well. We stared wif Mnr Visser and Mnr Julius. Visser started offf well but den der where a few wides da next over from Julius going for 14. Da first breakfrew was from Vissier in his second over. Rohan den came on to replace Julius, starting offf wif a few wides da ou came right in his second over. Da new guy Sheldon took a fantastic catch stading at silly point off Rohans bowling after getting into da ous head bringing SA cricket sledges to Dubai.Da batsman stood der wif no belief of what happened.Rohans bowling figures ended off on 1-20 in 4. Da running between da wickets where to be very very poor giving us 2 run outs. Der kaptein was one of da ous getting run out which mad him very very angry so he frew his bat almost hitting Daves little man. Ash bowled well keeping it tight as a tiger getting 1 wicket for 21 in 4. Mnr Visser came back and got another wicket ending his spell on 2-29 in 4. Having no more bowling peoples because kapteins back was not leka we where forced to bring on Rannie Dees. Dis ou was going for a few but Dave was keeping it tight like a tiger winning us da game in da last over by hitting da ous stumps. Rannies figures where 1-24 in 3 and Daves 3-12 in 3.2
Dis getting us da win by 5 runs!
Im sure da Dominators face is still red, what a innings.