The day after the night before – Match Report of the Year Winner Steve Brown

The Cannons is always an eagerly anticipated fixture and Nick Harvey decided to schedule the game after the awards dinner to give our boys a challenge. Thanks Nick!

Darjeeling had their ‘best’ side out since the beginning of time according to Ash Banerjee, but with 9 lads who had attended the dinner in the squad (Nick Lloyd & Dannie Rees hang your heads in shame), surely it couldn’t be all smooth sailing.

The annual dinner was an eventful night out and after many ales were sunk, I think we definitely have all found it in our hearts to forgive Gris for his wrong-doings…… haven’t we Nick?!                 

Many of the boys were in fine form with Chris Tebb only drinking pints of bitter as anything to the contrary ‘isn’t a real beer as it’s not dark and has bubbles in it!’ Hassan gave a vivid description to the type of classy attractive women he goes for, and how quality is more important than quantity. Another kick in the teeth comment as I was under the impression to truly encapsulate the Darjeeling spirit, you had to constantly go to Rock Bottom and panic pull average women when the pizza starts getting handed out. That’s mine and Jon’s excuse anyway lads.    

Israr seemed to be in a sticky situation with his date, as Badger’s lodger resembled a rucksack with him clinging on to her at every opportunity. He was pulling out some really sleazy chat up lines and dance moves that seemed to leave the lads puzzled. It is also still up for debate on to whether he actually knows Badger, or actually just lied his way in to the dinner to try and cock-block paying members.

Browny was forced up to do another rendition of Wonderwall, but his below average Liam Gallagher rendition was all forgotten when people actually realised what Julius’ was wearing. His ‘big guy’ upper body had looked borrowed from the set of Scarface, red chinos looking like they belonged to Alan Carr and trainers that would have been better suited to a One Direction music video.

A hugely anticipated question was finally answered by Steve Finnigan on what actually makes him ‘tick’. It was sad to see Greg Moses not there to truly pick his brains on his vague answers and to get into the ‘nitty gritty’ details on some pretty seedy responses.                                                                         Other highlights included seeing Gully pick up a bar bill at the end of the night.  He has to be the only person in the world who never carries cash on him, has no money on his card, but always seems to be blind drunk with a glass of mothers milk in his hand. He also lives on the palm and drives a Mercedes…..work that one out! He stooped to a new low when trying to get sloppy 2nds on a terrible looking girl that Jon had already dealt with. The thought of him dancing round in his tighty whities for an hour is still haunting me now.

Anyway…… on to the game:

The game looked certain for disaster when Julius was caught out being sick in the ICC car park in front of his very unimpressed wife and son. He was almost sick again when he caught Jason Brown eating what can only be described as the world’s largest portion of Burger King. Jason came to watch and immediately snuck in 2 lamb burgers, before polishing off his chips and diet coke. He then very sheepishly glanced around to make sure no-one was watching before pulling out what is rumoured to be a Double Whopper burger, and destroying it within seconds before anyone could notice…… Yes Jason, we saw you eat the third!

Darjeeling won the toss (about the only good thing they did all day) and surprisingly elected to bat! A drunken agreement the night before had meant that the 3 stooges (Browny, Jon & Olly) would all go in first as they are MATES with the skipper. As always Gully went back on his drunken words and demoted Olly to 5. Brown and Houghton, who were more bothered about telling everyone at the ground about the latest chapter in a book of average conquests, were to go out and open. What happened next could not have been predicted. Brown playing on for a second ball duck and Houghton nicking off for a golden duck. Top start!                                                                                             

Even funnier than the scorecard, was the fact that Jon had absolutely murdered it to the keeper but because Gully was umpiring, stood his ground and looked as innocent as Stuart Broad. Gully awkwardly raised his finger with the keeper bellowing ‘How dare you stand there for that!’ Tweedle Dum and Dee were out without troubling Chris Tebb’s mouse and to rub insult to injury Julius’ better half even got involved yelling ‘Guess which team was out on the piss last night’.

Nick Lloyd then came and went for 6 before stooge number 3; Higgens strolled in to get some pride back for his mates. He had recently lit a cigarette so snuck in a couple of pulls before passing it on and strolling out. He lasted 2 balls for 4, with his cigarette still not finished by the time he trudged off.  After all last night’s air blowing, the 3 stooges managed to muster up 5 balls between them for 4 runs. Solid contributions!

Dannie and Israr started a mini revival, but when Dannie got cleaned up by one of his new best mates, the score was 44-5. If ever you needed a captain’s innings, now was the time. Enter captain clueless – Mark Gullickson…… The last member of the group who met earlier before the dinner to get lashed and was desperate to help his 3 idiot mates out. Gully did them proud by helping himself to a 4 ball duck….. Cherry on the cake!

Newly crowned all-rounder of the year Nick Harvey joined Israr and finally there was something to cheer about. A 50+ partnership that at least gave us something to bowl at and not get even more embarrassed than we already had. Israr departing for a well-made 34 and Nick making 41.

Tebb and Banerjee were next and with Bradders making sure Moxey had one over left, the mini battle could commence. The battle was delayed slightly as Dannie Rees’ & Julius’ wives caught Moxey’s eye and he was half way off the field to try and help himself before being warned about his gentlemanly conduct! They didn’t hang around and left Julius stranded at the other end (not that he was going to make a difference) with Darjeeling finishing 146ao.

Cameron ‘the Judas’ Coles was to open the batting for The Cannons and went on to his highest ever career score. Every time he represented Darjeeling, he was more bothered about clocking up miles on his fitness watch and doing laps round the field after departing for single figures. Could be worse I suppose; at least he didn’t proposition any of our dates or girlfriends.

Gully’s masterstroke bowling changes were not working to say the least and with Darjeeling lacklustre in the field, it was looking like a slow painful death. None of Darjeeling’s bowlers hit their straps and only a solitary run out (which wasn’t even out) was the only success to be had. Credit has to go to Dannie Rees for conning the umpire with a very enthusiastic and convincing appeal. His enthusiasm wasn’t rubbing off on the rest of the hungover bunch and he kept muttering little digs under his breath such as ‘I can’t wait to play for the cannons more often’ and ‘if there were 11 of me playing, we would win every week’. Maybe he’s been listening to Jason Brown too much!

The Cannons eased their way to a 9 wicket victory and the only highlight after that was Dannie Rees trying to pull Steve Finnigan’s ex bird in the polo club. I guess he’s trying to follow in the steps of Tim Moxey so The Cannons will finally welcome him in.

 

 

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January 11th, ICC… DCC vs Ericsson X1 (we won!) words by Gully

Typical Saturday at the ICC… the standard offenders supporting hangovers from hell (and some with blue tongues), but there was something out of kilter… it was somewhat overcast and a shower expected… With the batting order and bowling line-up established the previous night,  the self nominated skipper Gully thought he would try one on the Ericsson X1 Captain and enforce the DCC rules that we simply bat first. Even with a coin in hand, reluctantly supplied by Smokebomb Tom, assuming the offer would be laughed off, the Ericsson skipper accepted our generous terms of engagement. Pad up boys.  

With Dommett a reluctant starter, looking like death warmed up with a serious case of man-flu, we had 10 there….. 

There was but one flaw in this well designed plan that was heavily discussed the previous night, and that was the Oasis back-up singer Brownie, who was a key component in said plan, was still leaving wherever it was he had ended up during the early hours of the morning.  

With the plan in complete disarray, Dommett dying in the change rooms… the decision was made. Sporting a new haircut, some might even call his new fringe ‘curtains’… Andrew ‘Special Agent Gibbs’ Laing opened with Old Man Jonno and J.Brown duly advised he can probably put his pads back in his bag today 😉

After a few sighters the Old Man started creaming them with some seriously nice cricket shots, Special Agent Gibbs was knocking them around and rotating the strike well. Old Man rocketed to 50 off bugger all before going for a well made 55 off 33. Chris ‘The Silent Assasin’ Neal strode in… not sure what sort of banter was had, but it seems Special Agent Gibbs had had enough and gave one back to the bowler and was out a few balls later for 22 of 20, which is better than a run a ball! 😉 DCC were still tracking on at a healthy 10 an over at 2/88 off 9. 

Wonderwall finally got his pads on and wandered out to the middle… or was that just his whites walking all by themselves (yes there is a strange smell in that kit bag!) The Silent Assasin was pushing them around for 1’s and 2’s with ease, the odd 4 and not a dot ball in sight… while Wonderwall was batting about as well as he did on the Rockie’s dancefloor the night before…. Missing a lot outside off. For what can only be descibed as the worst  9 ever seen at the ICC, off 14 balls, he was stumped, but with Old Man umpiring he had already been worded up to fire him if the chance arose. 

Smokebomb Tom confidently jogged out to the middle, having had zero impact on any scoresheet for sometime, wishing to make a statement. After pushing a few 2’s around, he cracked a smoking 6 ‘he got all of that one’… trying to do it again, Smokebomb Tom kept trying to give himself more and more room (apparently he was so far outside off stump he was on the second wicket) and got bowled for a quick 15 off 10 balls. All the while The Silent Assasin was compiling a solid innings, we just didn’t know it yet! 4/140 in the 16th. 

Feeling weird, with these things on his legs, apparently they are called pads, Gully waddled out for a bit of a hit, knowing J.Brown was on the boundary praying for his early demise.  Like a typical skipper, Gully hogged the strike with some 2’s and the obligatory single or a 3 on the last ball of the over…  With his lungs exploding and a reappearance of The Vomminator immanent due to far too much running, Special Agent Gibbs made a team decision and fired him LBW for 12 off 8… The bruise on his upper thigh clearly showing where the ball was going! DCC now a bit wobbly at 5/154 in the 18th. 

J.Brown was out in the middle before Special Agent Gibbs had even raised his finger and was asking for leg stump…. After his sterling innings the week before, the Ericsson mob had actually worked him out and bowled full and straight. J.Brown attempting to pull half volleys and yorkers off the back foot achieving 5, yes FIVE, dot balls in a row in the 18th and 19th over… but it was time for The Silent Assasin to remind us he was actually out there and spanked 22 off his last 9 balls giving a some respectability to a now above par score and leaving J.Brown with 2 balls to face in the last over and leaving himself at the non-strikers end stranded at 47 not out (well played mate!). 

Finally getting off the mark J.Brown pulled a half volley for 2, then on the last ball sort of did it again before being run out on his 2nd run ambling at a pace proving he is ‘faster’ than he looks….  Innings eneded at 6/182. 

With respect Chris ‘deathbed’ Dommett offered to keep, truth be known his logic was so that he didn’t have to run around… 

With no sign of the sun in these overcast conditions, we got straight out there to bowl. With Etienne, the nicest Safa around, bending his back and bowling some tight lines to the Ericsson gun bats. Bowled his first three well, but without luck 0/17…  Gully at the other end was bowling a mixed bag of completely unplayable, and full fodder for four… not wanting to destroy his average and strike rate, he dragged himself after being smashed for a straight 6 in his 2nd over throwing the ball to Dave Mariadason who had been warming up his shoulder since 2.30pm reminding Gully he wants a bowl…. 

Dave’s very tight spell of 1/17 off his three helped keep the pressure on Ericsson and included a great ankle height catch at mid-on by the Old Man. The drizzle had set in at the ICC now, no downpour, just contstant drizzle… The English in the side didn’t even notice really, just a standard Saturday for them (Di I mention 5-0 and now 1-0 in the one-dayers?? hahaha). 

There were tunes on the football pitches next to us, some school sports thing…. Gully, Old Man and Wonderwall were all dancing  as if still at Rockies. 

At the other end, Gully brought on J.Brown to take the pace off the ball and make it hard to score… in doing so J.Brown got spanked to deeeeeeeeep mid-on where Lame took a great catch, one we were still talking about at 2am later that night. A few balls later J.Brown promptly tore another heart muscle (only a matter of time)  … not sure which appendage was damaged this time, but Old Man Jonno came in to finish his over. They came out alright, so he was offered another one, which he took with glee. (I don’t really want to talk about Glee too much, but Wonderwall did have a few auditions later that evening at McG’s!!!)  

What can only be compared to some of the worst pies we have seen from a Badger or a Gary Turner… Old Man tossed up what would have to be the slowest thing we have every seen… by the time it bounced for the second time (the author had induced poetic licence rights at this point) half of the team were rolling on the ground laughing, it then finally hit the poor batsmens pads, who was soo confised about what was going on, he asked everyone if he was really actually out… one of the finest pieces of cricket one will ever see. Old Man was duly dragged for taking a wicket with such tripe and finished with 1/12 off his 9 balls. 

Wonderwall bowled an uneventful over as the drizzle was really having an effect on the wicket, with Smokebomb Tom thrown the ball, he promptly threw it back to Gully as he slipped on the bowling crease while taking his first step to step out his run up! (didn’t want to hurt his ankle) It was now beginning to look a little like Dancing on Ice from both ends…  

Gully took the ball and almost did his knee in his delivery stride with both front and back feet slipping all over the joint…. Thinking a 1-step run up from around the wicket (where there was still some grass) might work out, he got pounded, figures could have been slightly different if Lame had not grassed a sitter at deep mid-wicket! 

Various discussions were going on, Ericsson were 3/80 of 12 and the game was basically already won… no-one in rubbers wanted anything to do with trying to bowl, so the bowling selections were based on who had spikes.  

Wonderwall promptly pushed Special Agent Gibbs to the ground and ripped his spikes off him to ensure he could bowl out his spell, and due to the ball resembling a cake of soap at a Dannie Rees/Chris Ward shower-a-thon, he went seam up. 

The Silent Assassin, while a reluctant bowler today, had no choice, he was wearing spikes! Ripped a wicket out of his first over, one of the full straight ones at the stumps… amazing game this cricket. 

At the other end Wonderwall came to life, with energy, zest and chat, steaming in getting a sharp one up a bit and gloved to the Domminator, while trying not to walk, that noise was heard in Sharjah… on your bike son! 

Ericsson reeling at 5/111 off 16 

The Silent Assassin ripped another one out , again one of those weird full straight ones at the stumps, interesting strategy indeed, it might even catch on.  

With the outfield wet, the ball a cake of soap, and the pitch like an ice tarmac, the game was becoming a bit of a farse and runs were being milked reasonbly easy but wickets kept falling regularly. 

Wonderwall’s turn again…. Seam up and another one of those straight ones, bowled. 7/125 in the 18th.  

A few balls later one went about 25 story’s high about 4-5 meteres short of mid-off, with no call of ‘mine’ coming from a certain fast runner at mid-wicket whose name we wont mention, Gully had to call it and run from backward square leg, but only getting a a few finger tips to it, running past J.(it wasn’t my fault) Brown enroute. Thus prompting what can only be viewed as ‘angry fast bowler eyes’ from Wonderwall, sorry mate. 

Making up for it quickly, Wonderwall picked up his third as The Silent Assasin took a solid catch (he doesn’t say much, but he couldn’t keep out of the game!)  Liam Gallagher finished with 3/15 of his four overs, well played, Ericsson now 8/126 off 18. 

The Silent Assassins’ last over included the 2nd funniest play of the day…. In any form a cricket it should have been a single to deep mid-wicket… somehow Lame turned it into a mix between Dancing on Ice and a Ronaldo dive in the penalty box as he legs went up in the air and somehow the ball over the boundary for 4. Again… 10 fella’s rolling on the wet grass pissing themselves laughing. 

Chris finished with 2/33 of his 3, a bit touched up in his last, now 8/141 off 19. 

One over left, the only other man with spikes is our friendliest Safa Etienne… in these conditions it was a hiding to nothing, with everyone really just wanting to get off the pitch a grab a beverage. 

Hit for 9 off his last, with the game well and truly over around 45 minutes prior, Etienne finished his 4 with 0/26 and did deserve a wicket or two. 

Again, the game was played in a good spirit, good banter with everyone fair game. Thanks again for Domminator to man-up and keep, much appreciated. 

MOM for me was Old Man Jonno, not for his rubbish wicket, but it was a quality knock, that’s his 4th 50 in his last 6 innings. 

Excellent turn out to McG’s after the game with Lame now becoming one of our ‘mates’ for being much more fun than Julius…  Special Agent Gibbs not wanting to go to the pub, but staying until he was almost falling over, Tom smokebombing BADLY and Gully babysitting Wonderwall and Old Man again. 

Over and out….. 

The New Season opener – words by C. Tebb

So a new year dawned for the Darjeeling Cricket Club with a new year of hope and expectation against a new opponent; yet the traditions remain, meeting Gully with beer in hand for example. The troops summoned by Captain Moses for a 1400 start, mustered around 1315 at Oval number 2 at the ICC and greeted each other with exciting tales on New Year adventures whilst awaiting the opposition. Greg insisted that they were well aware of the revised start time and instead tried to distract everyone with the new uniform for 2014. The less said about that the better, but there were some new definitions of tightie whities in that changing room.

Being organised this year for the averages and aided by modern information technology, Chris “Statto” Tebb arranged the soldiers up against the wall of the score box in order to be each shot several times (with a camera). Mugshots duly taken, Gully somehow escaping by refusing to put his kit on until absolutely necessary, talk turned to the soon to be over Ashes series; 30 seconds later the pros and cons of the Super 15 Rugby were being debated at much greater lengths. Time check 1355 Zulu and no enemy action in sight. 

Thankfully at 1405, some oppposition appeared; their captain duly explained that when they were told 1400 start they thought 1430 and also that they got lost on their way to the ICC. Oh well, 1430 start time – no plan survives contact with the enemy; as their captain explained that the only car missing was lost and contained 5 of their players in it. Hmm with the ICC staff sceptical that all the overs would be complete before role call, Captain Moses negotiated a DCC bat based on, “the Darjeeling rule” of the oppposition not being there for the toss and well, we always bat first.

The non-appearance of the last members of the oppostion’s squad brought some diquiet to the ranks, there were murmurs of, “Well maybe we should get started and just field first.” Captain Moses stamped out the dissention and finally the remaining squad of players arrived and play began at 1450 (sic) with Private Cartwright and Sergeant Houghton striding to the wicket. 

So began the cricket, finally! The opening pair eager to get on with started scratchily with Private Cartwright perfecting the air shot and Sgt Houghton content to collect singles. In the third over after finally getting bat on ball three times for 6 runs, Pvt Cartwright nicked one to a delighted keeper (FOW 12-1, 3.2) Recruit Pretorious joined the Sarge in the middle and carried on where his sadly departed comrade left off. Sensing a NCO’s example was needed, Sgt Houghton flicked the switch from accumulate to pinch hit and went from 5 off 6 to 33 off 16 very quickly (5x4s 1×6). Alas, like at the Battle of Hastings, seeing the opposition in retreat and giving chase Sgt Houghtong duly edged to the keeper chasing a wide one and perished (FOW 47-2, 5.6). Enter Sergeant-Major Brown who promptly announced him self with some silky shots to all parts of the boundaries; this must have woken up Recruit Pretorius who decided that the opposition Grenadier #1 must be punished for poor technique and started bashing the poor man over the ropes for two straight 6s. The new found confidence aided by his own corp of photographers spurred on the young gun and two further boundaries were plundered before the karma of making the Sgt-Major run three, ensured that Recruit Pretorius advanced down the wicket only to be stumped for 33 off 19. (FOW 98-3, 9.4) The halfway mark was reached with the Tea Leaves 100-3 with Sgt Major Brown joined by Corporal “Punishment” Al Huq. What follows will remind those old enough, Brigadier Turner maybe, of the Battle of the Somme; pure carnage. After seeing themselves in in the 11th over (2 scored), slaughter began in earnest. The 50 partnership coming up in just 37 deliveries (JB 19(16) – IAH 29(21)); unfortunately for the opposition Grenadier #2 came onto bowl to whom Cpl Punishment decided was fair game, 50 for GI Joe off just 28 deliveries (4x4s, 4x6s). Deciding that Grenadier #3 was more to his liking the Sarnt Major moved to his 50 (36b, 5x4s 1×6) with an agricultural shot over long on. The 100 partnership followed at the end of the 19th over and with sniper-like precision and clinicalism(?) a whopping 25 runs were plundered from the last over. (Not the most off a single over in the match but this innings). Sgt Major Brown fininshing on 60* off 41 balls with 7x4s and 1×6 and Corporal Al Huq 76* off 35 balls with 5x4s and 6x6s. Darjeeling finishing on 224-3 off their 20 overs in a rapid 80 minutes. 

Given just 80 minutes to try and bowl their 20 overs, Darjeeling’s platoon of likely lads took to the field, with Captain Moses expressing that Dajeeling expects that every man should do his duty and give no quarter bowling, fielding or sledging. Cpl Punishment given no respite by the ever-demanding Captain opened up from the School end and after the obligatory initial wide, the Ericsson opener declared, “Game on, old chap,” and carted the Cpl over the long off sightscreen for 6 first ball! From the Academy end Captain Moses took it upon himself to go where the eagles dare and despite the obligatory ealy wide (comedy moment when Brigadier Turner started begging the oppostion umpire to behave, after giving a swing and a miss, wide of Cpl Al Huq in the first over) bowled a wonderful line and length giving away nothing. Captain Moses gunned down a very tidy looking opened in his 2nd over, squaring him up a beauty and taking an edge through to Recruit Pretorius. (FOW 24-1) Consensus was that the Umpire would not have given it, had the opener not started walking before stopping and waiting for the signal. Form the other end Cpl Al Huq was victim to some wild slashing and deliberate stroke play yet the benficiary of the “Ian Bell scoop to Cover” to pick up his first wicket of the season, (FOW 27-2) and finishing with 1-31 off 4. Captain Moses, inspired by his own pre-battle address, caused no end of problems to the batsman and after a personal duel with the number 4 yorked him with the 2nd slower ball in succession. Cpt Moses finishing with 2-13 off 4 including a maiden.

In to the attack Cadet Flight Sergeant Tebb (CCF RAF) from the school end and after a few balls of getting the radar correctly aligned, delivered a ball of good length and line, with a hint of away movement to pick up his first wicket of the season. (FOW 48-4). Warrant Officer 2nd Class Gullickson was introduced from the Academy End and soon picked up where he had left off from last year, showing all the tykes how to bowl swing properly. After taking a full bloodied drive to the midsection Flt Sgt Tebb was withdrawn as his run-up was taking too long and light was receding quickly, 2-0-15-1. WO2 Gully continued to tease and trouble that batsman, but as is nearly always the case when we bowl, the batsman just were not good enough to edge it. It was at this point that the oppostion decided that they were going to enjoy batting at the ICC rather trying to chase an ever increasing run rate. Brigadier Turner into the attack and with no back up from his field alternated bewteen being shown respect and being shown no respect, youngsters these days, eh? After Warrant Gully finally picked up his deserved wicket (3-0-3-1) he was retired to allow the Grand Rear Admiral Banerjee to announce himself on the game; which he duly did. Last years, alleged, leading wicket taker starting with a double wicket maiden, including an oppostion Umpire giving an LBW!! The Brigadier was again let down in field with a dropped catch, no names (the author) this drop seem to trigger some new thought process in the opener’s mind. To around this point he had sedately acquired 40 or so runs but in the last 4 overs overcame his shell sock and unleashed a brutal counter attack. 8 and 12 off Brigadier Turner’s last two overs and after bowling his penultimate over, to the oppostion player most resembling a Badger, conceding just 5; the last over was something spectacular in the rapidly fading light. First ball – long off, WO2 Gully runs to his left, just over him; SIX. 2nd ball – long off, WO2 runs to the right, just just over him; SIX. Third – long off, WO2 runs in, just short; SINGLE. 4th to the tailender, SINGLE. Fifth ball – straight, straight, straight and on to the roof of the ICC; SIX. Last ball – long off – way over him; SIX. 26 off the last over; opener suddenly finishes on 97* and Grand High Rear Admiral goes from 2-1-5-2 to 3-1-31-2. Tea Leaves still win by 76 runs! Mention in dispatches for Private First Class de Boinville who got pad rash and then fielded.