See if you can spot the Beatles songs – a beer to the person who gets all 45!
The day before yesterday saw an experienced DCC side taking on a strong Abu Dhabi team who had booked in a wisely-timed fixture after a hard day’s night at the Annual Awards Night. The day trippers had made it to the ICC well before the bad boys from the night before had arrived at the ground, a worrying sign of things to come.
On a “bordering blustery day” there were even signs of rain before a shout of here comes the sun reverberated around the outfield as play commenced. Don’t ask me why but the dark glasses-wearing Dexy, looking a little weary, volunteered his services to open the batting with Harry, even though Ash had already told the story of how Dexy had been banned from further drinking after a red wine altercation the previous evening. After a rousing speech by skipper Brown, ‘don’t let me down’ being the take home message, the pair strode out to the middle with the players back in the cheap seats shouting ‘you know what to do.’ After a glorious shot from Harry in the early overs, upper-cutting their quickie for four, the scoring rate started to slow down to a snail’s pace, due to some incredibly accurate bowling from the ADCC openers.
Dexy was eventually the first man out, adjudged caught behind from a lifting delivery that was athletically snaffled by the chirpy wicket keeper. Had the DRS been accepted by both captains the decision would have been overturned as it appeared to nick off a nipple rather than the inside edge, leaving the not guilty Dexy to berate the umpiring of Racchitt and offering to show him the bruise later! In went, Callum, some new DCC young blood on debut, whose first ball was a sharp bouncer that the Aussie decided to rebuff with his shoulder in true Steve Waugh style. However, this show of manliness was his only act of defiance as he was soon out LBW to the accurate inswingers of the ADCC captain. Harvey was in next as the score slowly trickled along, Harry nudging and nurdling it around to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
The ADCC opening pair had bowled themselves out, and although the score was in the region of 40-2 the Darjeeling side, and especially the beautiful dreamer and birthday boy Cookie, thought that we can work it out and start flying towards a respectable total. This optimism, however, was short-lived as Harvey quickly departed, bringing captain Brown to the crease just as the Abu Dhabi bowlers were getting better and better, their 1st change pair not afraid to dig it in, leaving Harry searchin’ and with no reply. He seemed sure to fall, but now and then was able to rotate the strike and gradually push the score up towards 70 for 3. He was later heard in the bar saying that ‘all things must pass and that all I’ve got to do is see off the openers and then I’ll be on my way.’ In hindsight this may have been wishful thinking. Brown eventually broke up the minor partnership, after playing a few lusty strokes. He was caught out by a slower ball from the ever impressive Wilkinson, with every little thing going right for the fast bowler.
This brought Etienne to the crease, and in spite of all the danger, he and Harry were able to push the score towards the illusive hundred mark. After smashing a couple of meaty sixes that went long, long, long, the impressive South African departed bringing Racchitt to the wicket. He who said to himself that these bowlers ‘don’t bother me’ as he milked runs all around the ground. However, this was to be the end of the counter attack as he fell, followed quickly by Cook, hooking his second ball straight to deep square leg, as he trudged off thinking ‘I should have known better.’ Some final over scampering between the wickets, with shouts of ‘run for your life,’ ‘get back’ and ‘wait’ being heard all around the ground, left the innings at a below par 127 for 9 from 25 overs. After a Lombardi-esque speech from Brown at the halfway stage, ‘all together now’ being the take home message, the Darjeeling outfit knew that only an imperious bowling performance would leave them with anything to show from this match.
The ball was thrown straight to all-rounder and ADCC old boy, Etienne, for the opening over. The South African started with a tight first couple of overs, followed by a slightly looser set of twelve from new boy, Peacock, before the experienced Harvey was brought into the attack. However, although there were ferocious deliveries that kept the ADCC batsmen on their toes, they were able to accumulate runs at a canter and had quickly amassed 65 for the loss of only one wicket, massively helped by some shoddy fielding and some ‘come and get it’ bowling. Krish, Cookie and Racchitt all came into the attack, bowling some expert deliveries, Cookie especially landing a few balls on a matchbox, but the off-colour DCC side had very little to offer a far superior ADCC team.
Ash charged in to chance his arm and at least grab a couple of consolation wickets but not even his right arm mediums could help in this cause. The boundaries were coming here, there and everywhere and it wasn’t long before we were finally put out of our misery, the Darjeeling side glad all over.
Onwards to the next fixtures, a much improved all round performance needed to get back to winning ways. I’m sure it won’t be long!