DCC v Dubai Mammoths – by Nathan Cartwright

Sat 26th @ ICC
A humid and a bit unpleasant but not that bad evening greeted DCC on Saturday for the match against the unusually named Dubai Mammoths.

Skipper for the day Ash duly won the toss or invoked the 1st rule and DCC went in to bat. Jono and Watto opening up for the home side on what can only be described as a bit of a sticky wicket. Watto later claiming it reminded him of an English pitch in March.

DCC started well enough, not so many off the middle but runs nonetheless until Watto was bowled by Anil for 15 off 13 deliveries, Darjeeling 1/32 in the 5th over.

Rhys next in to bat putting on a 56 in 8 overs with Jono before he departed caught for 30 off 34 deliveries, the highlight being a 6 over deep extra cover. Darjeeling 2/88 in the 13th.
Jono joined at the crease by Lloydy, the former looking like he wasn’t sure whether to call for oxygen or water. A mini assault ensued with the score quickly moving to 125 in the 17th before Jono was run out for a well compiled 62 off 40 odd balls.

A couple of tidy overs from the Mammoth’s kept the scoring down over the last 3, DCC ending up 3/143 off the allotted 20. Julius 10 not out off 13 balls and Lloydy 16 from 16.
There was some debate as to the legitimacy of this being a decent score, the camp split over the pitch conditions v’s it’s just not enough farking runs.

With the pitch holding up a bit Ash opened the bowling with Nathan Williams who bowled some tidy inswingers and had the batsmen in all sorts of trouble. At one stage boasting figures of 0/1 off 2 overs with the lone run being a wide (ending up with 0/24 from 4).

Shugy opening with spin from the other end, first ball had the opener back in the pavilion with Jono taking a sharp one handed catch in slips diving away to his right. Very un-Darjeeling like. Shugy also taking another in his next over with the other opener caught at point and ending with impressive figures of 2/13 off 4.
Shugy and Williams in tandem reducing the opposition to 2/4 in 4 overs. DCC were smelling blood and the run rate spiralling.

This bought the batting pair of Sunil (18 off 21) and Jawed (44 off 40) together, Sunil in particular playing some inventive shots, the inside edge, the outside edge, the French cut, all to effect. When Julius was bought on and dispatched for 6 straight back over his head Sunil had indeed shown us his full array, the latter surprising nobody more than himself.
At drinks the oppo 3/49 needing about a hundred from the last 10 and hadn’t shown much with the bat to this point. 3/49 quickly turned to 5/76, with a wicket to Reece (1/31 off 4) and probably the run out of the century pulled off by Krish and yours truly (not really but need to get a mention in my own report). Oppo 5/81 in the 15th and needing a shade over 10 an over.
From here things got interesting, Shadab and Saqlain smashing the ball to and over the fence with regularity. Rama bearing the brunt of this going for around 20 from his one over and Ash 1/19 off his two.
With the runs required quickly dwindling Saqlain was removed by a fantastic running and diving catch in the outfield by Reece (I think he took 2 good catches from memory), DCC given a sniff with Saqlain departing for 25 off 12 balls.
2 overs to go, 15 needed, Lloydy on to ball. First ball… got ‘im well bowled. The over eventually going for 9 runs leaving 6 to get from the last over.
Julius entrusted with the last over, the dangerous Shadab at the non strikers end, Mammoths 7/138 needing 6 to win.
Wicket first ball, 8/138 shadab still at non strkers end.
The remaining balls went something like, 2, wide, dot, wide, 1, 4 with Saqlain hitting the winning runs off the penultimate ball.
On the surface it may seem like DCC snatching defeat from the jaws of victory however I suspect the oppo reversed the batting order to keep us in it…
Saqlain man of the match for his 37 from 12 balls.

DCC v Standard Chartered Bank – by Julius Mooney

Given that Darjeeling Cricket Club seem to be as diverse as the Japanese Rugby team, and in honour of their superb victory over the Springboks last night, it only seems right to write this report as an ode to the Japs (apologise if the use of the word ’Jap’ is derogatory – my grandfather who fought in Burma for 3 years in WWII had far worse descriptions….anyway back to the match report)
Not since Pearl Harbour had the Darjeeling boys put out such a controlled tactical operation beginning with the ruthless (yet standard) toss win….yes you guessed it…..we were to bat first. Wattos San and Rhys San were due to open the batting, but Watto San was too busy finishing off his tempura and Sushi and Rhys San took a little longer than expected ’finishing’ off his last client….so Imperial leader Houghton San demoted them down the order. In stepped Last Samurai Potti San – who some could say looked a little ’spyish’ in his loyalty to the imperial Empire of Japan and Houghton San. Potti San soon confirmed suspicions, when he was run out for a brief 7 – Kamakazi in nature going for second. In stepped Rees San who started taking the attack to the boks, pushing them further out of their comfort zone, inching forward with every boundary. Sensing a spy in the midst Rees San was stumped for a solid 46 and showing his loyalty to the empire launched his bat in his ’follow through’ towards the square leg empire narrowly missing Potti San…..(the empire salutes you brave warrior).
Watto San energised by his prematch tempura and sushi added 20 more with our Imperial leader Houghtan San….before our leader was caught for a solid 36. Watto San soon followed – run out, despite the indigestion pushing right to the end.
The final 3 overs saw the very quick departures of Harry San committing Harakiri for being out for a duck, Mooney San, Rhys San, Rachitt San and Ram San (Ram San…I like that) contributing a mere 14 in the last 3.
The imperial empire finished the 20. 142 was the score to defend. A below par score, the boks fancied their chances, and given the empires recent performances in the field this could prove too small a score to defend. But game on…..
Mooney San and Ram San opened up the bowling keeping it very tight. Ram san got the breakthrough in his second over, Samurai style swing (ok low full toss on leg) middled to Potti San at square leg – who thought about dropping it, even parrying it up in the air to contemplate whether he wanted to be exposed as a spy….taking a fantastic catch….Mooney San bowled out – finishing his 4 overs for 20 runs. Ram San – 3 Overs, 1 wicket for 23. Rhys San and Rachitt San took over duties both bowling controlled line and length each ball building more and more pressure on the bocks. Rhys San – the pick of the bowlers picking up 3 for 21 of his 4 and Rachitt San a very noteworthy 2 for 17 of 3. Some extraordinary catching behind the timpers from Harry San and another great take in the deep by Potti San supporting the boys.
Rees San – bandana and all was given the nod for one quick over – and after nearly exploding like Mount Fuji at Brent San for a dropped catch picked up a quick wicket….The pressure overs were given to Rich San – (like his cousin in arms Rees San – Rich San donned the bandana of war…)and Brent San. Rich San kept it tight – well the bowling part – work behind the stumps was interesting to say the least – especially when his started doing what going only be described as a Polynesian mating ritual dance behind the stumps when backing up….Imperial leader – not impressed. Brent San – forgot to take off his Samurai war wig to bowl, but somehow it stayed on, and this was a good move as by this time they were running scared….Like Potti San – Brent San was of on the raider of Imperial Leader Houghton San prior to the game as a possible infiltrator – but like Potti San….they soon realised that the pull of the Imperial Empire of Japan Darjeeling was just too strong and loyalties soon moved.
Brent San, finishing off 2 for 20 of his 3 – again aided by some superb handling behind the sticks by Harry San.
Darjeeling had done it….pulled off the impossible and left the game favourites crying into their bunny chow. Superb military tactics in the field had led the way to a closely fought victory by just 11 runs.
The thirsty troops all retired to the Dojo (Kickers) where we all clinked glasses in celebration – Kanpai!!!