10am – I woke up with a sense of anticipation. Was it because it was Valentine’s Day? Or perhaps I thought England might surprise everyone by beating the Aussies at the MCG? Nope, it was the world renowned Master Chef cook off taking place in the afternoon at the Dubai International Marine Club. I rolled out of bed with a rather strange looking women next me, could it be that on V Day I had finally found the love of my life? I dragged myself downstairs to see the Aussies absolutely smashing England in the cricket much to Kym’s amusement. It was while I watched yet another embarrassing English performance in Australia that I pondered asking the all-important question to my date. ‘Did we meet in Societe or Rock Bottom?’ Alas love can wait another day. Now onto the cooking competition…
12pm – Darjeeling were skippered by Nick Harvey with a supporting cast of Kym Harris, Andrew ‘Chef’ Mathews and Jon Houghton. We decided to meet early in Barasti in order to discuss cooking tactics. How could Kym, Nick and I look busy while our very own Chef prepared the meal? The first order of the day was the make sure we didn’t call Andrew by his nickname, especially in front of our nemesis – The Loose Cannons. If he were to be asked what his profession is he would simply reply with ‘I’m a car salesman and left arm pie chucker’.
2pm – We arrived at the scene of Darjeeling’s biggest challenge yet and after seeing what foods we would have to use Chef quietly tapped Nick on the shoulder…’We’ll win this.’ It was on. Having agreed upon the batting order, our role was simply to give as much of the strike to Chef.
2.40pm – Chef took the lead cutting and marinating the steak with Nick ferociously chopping away while Kym and I stood by the BBQ discussing how to grill the perfect pepper (And asking Chef every two minutes if they were ready). To liven things up a bit I walked over to the Cannons’ cooking station and began recounting THAT infamous Sting night in Abu Dhabi, this obviously had an impact on Moxey’s concentration as he overcooked his steak. Darjeeling 1 Cannons 0. At this point my team mates called me back as I was tasked with the very important job of adding pepper onto our peppers, an easy task some might think but this was the make or break point of the competition so the pressure was on…As I tried applying the pepper disaster struck and I broke the shaker and covered our peppers with an entire bottle of corn pepper. Never has the caption of ‘You had one job’ applied more appropriately.
3.20pm – The meals were cooked and ready to be judged. As we eagerly awaited the results, the Judge came back out and announced that our very own Darjeeling Cricket Club had won and qualified for the Final! (Winning a brand new Weber BBQ in the process). We had finally extracted revenge on the Cannons for all those one sided games we have recently had against them. After taking a couple more parting shots at them we retired to the bar waiting for our 5.30pm final. Round 1 Man of the Match was Chef for a well-paced ton with invaluable contributions from Kym, Nick and I.
5.30pm – Pissed. The final began with some of Darjeeling’s team members looking a little worse for wear. The ‘secret’ ingredients for the final were a Lamb shank, sweet potato and various fruits. After a five minute board meeting where Nick made numerous suggestions to Chef about what we should make, we unanimously agreed we would listen to what Chef said and follow his orders. As I don’t remember much of the next 40 minutes I’ll cut to the result. We lost to a team of Emirati men & women as we had apparently added too much salt and garlic…If only I was tasked with adding pepper again…Net result – Chef got a first baller and the game was as good as done after that. His hotel will be getting a letter from me complaining about his excessive use of garlic!
6.15pm – A very enjoyable day with excellent support from Kym’s mum, Chef’s missus and non-other than Olly Higgens (When the F@%k are you back playing cricket?!). A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon with beverages, friends, laughs and pepper. As always thanks to Nick for organising it and Chef for winning us a free BBQ!
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, DCC made a terrific start with both Nathan and Jono scoring freely in the powerplay. With the loss of Nathan (for a breezy 30) and the field spread for the slower bowlers the scoring slowed slightly in the middle overs. Jono and Dannie picked up ones and twos until an over of 22 broke the shackles.
When Dannie was finally out ( his final score being 32 for 5), it was left to Jono and the middle order (Ben/Raj) to see DCC to a very competitive score of 174 of which Jono’s contribution was a fine 76.
In reply Omnicom were never really in with a shout. Dave and Rich opened the bowling and both picked up early wickets. All the bowlers were backed up well in the field with some excellent ground fielding and an enthusiastic keeper who picked up a couple of stumpings.
With Gully and myself brought on to relieve the openers, the required rate continued to climb with wickets falling at regular intervals. There were a few lusty blows which never threatened the Darjeeling win and Raj mopped up with 4 wickets. He narrowly missed out on a hatrick with a fine display of controlled, accurate bowling.
The game was finished in style with an excellent diving catch from Jamie and we were able to enjoy a slightly earlier beverage due to finishing the bout within the distance.
Another enjoyable victory. A lovely way to spend a beautiful afternoon .
Greetings all from your jolly tall safa
As I sat very early indeed at the Icc admiring its brilliant facilities my wife mentioned to me that it was already 13h10 and the game is starting at 13h30 (according to my brilliant email reading) I started feeling a little drop of sweat brewing on my forehead… Had I got it all wrong are we playing at the 7s??? I did a quick 100m dash to the reception which resulted in me almost rupturing my spleen and had a quick chat with the receptionist ( and I did not swear I promise ) and he took 1 look at me and said yes Darjeeling are playing at 2pm, well I was relieved.
Now onto cricket, Captain Mike Tyson (Jono) still rushing with adrenalin from his 12 rounds in the ring with a lad the night before LOST the toss and we were put into field. Greg Moses opened the attack and bowled with some fire and aggression and was unlucky not to take a wicket but finished with 3-0-11. From the other end Viv had a go and bowled with the slightest amount of aggression and was quite polite in complimenting the batsmen on how he has the ability to play such unorthodox cricket strokes… ( well thats how I remembered it at least ) 4-1-28 good catch from Krish at covers. Blikkies then came into the attack with the drip still attached from the hospital and bowled a tight first over then the fever from his ebola took charge in the second and he fetched a straight drive 6 finishing with 2-0-15. Kesby the aussie spin destroyer bowled with some fine turn and restricted the hackers ending with 4-2-26, Sir Ash bowled a fine spell bamboozeling the batsmen ripping through them with brilliant figures of 3.5-3-27. Krish had the luck of the Irish with him and as they say s#%t takes wickets and he proceeded to take 2 quick wickets off full tosses and one which went down leg and got hit straight to Kesby at short fine leg however wickets are wickets. So the Hackers aka hard hitters were restricted by good bowling and brilliant fielding ( as there were only 2 drop catches which I think is a new record for DCC, jolly good show lads ) for a mere 128 all out in the 19th over.
Captain Jono Tyson opened the batting with a rather pale looking Blikkies, the fever got the better of him and he perished without troubling the scorers and just made it off the pitch where he rolled over and proceeded to almost cough up a lung ( get well soon mate ). In came Greg Moses who got a peach of a nut and got bowled for a uncharacteristic 6. Brad came in at 4 and batted around captain Jono who batted wonderfully and they put on a decent partnership until Jono took revenge on Brad for running him out when he was 16 years old hitting it onto the bowlers foot which hit the stumps at the other end running Brad out for a hard fought 15. Jono however began to re-enact his previous night and started to slap the bowlers to all corners of the ground. Chris at square leg called a no ball as Hitters “spinner” chucked one which resulted in their Captain dropping his lip and walking off the field. We needed a diplomatic person here to save the day and none so other than the Cool headed Tall safa Viv to offer his skills at square leg and so the game continued. Jamie batting with some fine timing of the ball ticked the score board over until Jono decided to get bowled with a fine knock of 81 thus bringing Kirky to the crease who eased the last 3 runs needed off 2 balls. Jamie finishing on 11 not out. DCC winning by 7 wickets. Some shook hands afterwards most went sulking off but we had a good laugh in the change rooms with some beverages and ended up at the Els club for a few pints!
Ps… beware of the hand dryer in the ICC changeroom its the spawn of Satan….
Viv ( the polite bowler )