A few words from our Club Captain

Fine Gentlemen of Darjeeling,

On this, the seven and twentieth day of October, I wish for a few minutes of your valuable time to share your thoughts with a select number of Darjeeling men that shall over the next few days be carrying the Darjeeling Coat of Arms to far off lands to do battle in our name.

….tis unprecedented that we have two simultaneous venturing parties both on noble missions to nations o’er seas (and they both begin with the letter ‘B’)

Whilst many of the more cynical membership will dismiss these brave heroes of simply ‘going off on a Jolly’ allow me dispel some of those myths and consider what these courageous soldiers will be up against.

Let us consider the virgins facing their first crusade to alien lands.  This evening, whilst you’re safe in secure watering-holes sipping away at your second mug of ale – these daring neophytes shall encounter the prospect of a pint-sized initiation ceremony of toxic liquor to be consumed in the face of cheering peer-pressure, no mean feat….what brave souls….

Fine gentlefolk like Sir Benjamin Jones, Noble Watto and Earl Isra of Haq will be further tested, forced and strong-armed into further tests of his ale strength throughout this primary eve..

And pray, tomorrow reflect upon these Men of Steel whilst you arise from a gentle slumber.  As you dress carefree, these knackered warriors of Darjeeling shall be strapping on their body armour, testing their swords of willow whilst whispering incantations to protect them from the cruel intentions of their enemy……

…and as you’re scratching your backside, calling for your dutiful wives to break your morning fast, these Crusaders will be there on the field of battle, striving to see their aging, rotund opponents raining down leather missiles of speeds between 35 & 60 mph……..sometimes, slower….

And at lunch tomorrow, when you fine folk are at sat in luxurious dining palaces calling for refills of effervescent Italian wine, ponder fearless Men like Sir Nathan Cartwright, Viscount Higgins & Marquis Jonathan bravely swigging down their fifth Red-Bull tainted Jägermeister…….all in the name of valour…..

Aha! I hear you cry – more evidence that this nonsense is a jolly!  Poppycock and codswallop I say!

All battle-hardened tourists will tell you, the sole purpose for the intake of this Jäger-fuelled poison is to punish the faults on the field of battle and to hone and focus their fighting performance …….though, this purpose, I confess at times does induce further errs……tis a show of will and fortitude.

And take a moment please to consider the audacious spirit of our Banner-Carriers venturing East to the land of Siam, brave men like Sir Nathan Williams and Earl Isra guided by our former comrade Lord Kesby, struggling through exotic hovels and dangerous folk of the Orient.  They face the perils of sly hawkers and traders, tempting and peddling their vice; luring them into Eastern dens of inequities – what focus and resolve these men must demonstrate whilst they negotiate their evening route in the land of Sukumvit.

What perils these bold souls must confront!  Beautiful sorceresses, dressed in colourful silks with tempting glances…yet armed with hidden male appendages and smooth, hairless armpits of an irresistible nature….(to some)… All of this to be managed with obligatory alcoholic stimulants.

….and Gentlemen, tomorrow late at night whilst you rest of soft mattresses and blankets of down, snoring carefree against your soft-skinned other-halves, veteran athletes like Stuart Matthewson will be proudly carrying the flag of Darjeeling in darkened drinking taverns.  Swigging, singing his heart out, on his fourth pack of Benson & Hedges, this warrior doesn’t sleep…..all for the Glory of Club!

Pray, sympathise for the soul for Saint Christopher of Dommett – cast adrift for 3 months in Kuwait with no battle (drink) practice…..how will he fair to the peer-pressure of his fellow ale-guzzlers with blood so pure and clean?….….pretty piss-poor most likely…..What Heart the Man posseth!

Such sacrifice these men go through….. honourable kinsmen like Julius of the Mooney Clan, away from his family, all alone and exposed to the dangers of the East.  I can perceive him now, on the battleground, wrestling intoxication and testing his anger-management classes on deceitful riders of the tuk-tuk… such resolve…..

What a tribulation our Greenhorn Captain Sugeesha must tackle.  Picture a Saturday morning in a quiet Soy off Sukumvit – what challenges must he defy to arouse his “battle” affected men in the morn…?  sleep-deprived, toxin-induced, men awol – how will he muster the strength to rally the troops/herd the cats/plait the fog???  Whoever, led the merry tour to Chiang Mai in 2009 may have some words of wisdom for our rookie-crusade-leader…for he confronts this mammoth task..

So please Fine Folk of Darjeeling, on Saturday morning, sitting with you mug of hot ale, do not envy these touring Combatants – for they must face a final onslaught.  By now, battle-weary, bleary-eyed, stoned, drunk, nauseous, broke, anguished with many nursing injuries (borne from age, fitness-lack of, weight and drunken falls)…..consider of the herculean effort to once again don their battle-dress, shake off nights’ misdemeanours and sharpen their nerves whilst gagging on their first bomb of Jäger……

All this! and for why?

Why do these noble men of Darjeeling Cricket Club (est. 1969 – year of the Summer of Love, Moon-landing, the Manson murders and the birth year of Catherine Zeta-Jones) suffer so?

To fight for the honour (we will fight on the field, on the square and in the bar..)  to represent our shield, our banner and our colours, to bring forth glory and reputation to our historic club.

What warriors these men and Touring Gentlefolk are.  

Darjeeling Tourists. We Salute You!

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DSL match 3: Darjeeling v Titans @ Dubai 7s – words by Mr. T. Kimber

I will start by saying, what a game of cricket this was!!

 Jono again lost the toss and Titans decided they would have a bat.  We didn’t start as we would have hoped with the ball and Titans built and impressive opening partnership of 127 off just 12.5 overs, latching onto anything short or wide off the seamers Viv (3-0-31-0) and Blikkies (3-022-0).  Shuggie (5-0-57-0) was brought on to try and stem the flow of runs, but was met with some brutal striking, both openers managing to clear the ropes regularly and by some distance.

Viv was switched ends to try and break the partnership and duly nicked off Titans chunky opener, however the umpire somehow didn’t see or hear the nick and KFC’s favourite customer for the past 10 years, decided he was going nowhere and refused to walk. Poor form indeed.  The onslaught of clean hitting continued and Titans found the boundary on a worryingly regular occasion.  The more flighted bowling of Jono (5-0-44-0) and Rhys (4-0-38-1) seemed to slow the scoring rate slightly and eventually Rhys broke the opening partnership in the 13th over, having the tiring KFC enthusiast caught nonchalantly one handed in the deep by Israr for 73 off just 40 balls.  He wasn’t a fan of running but he certainly struck the ball cleanly. 

Titans had set themselves a very good platform and with what looked like their best batsman coming out at 3, were in for an imposing total.  Again they built another good partnership of 80+ rotating the strike well between left and right handers and seeming to find the boundary at will.  The hitting was relentless and Mike (3-0-27-0) and Israr (2-0-28-0) did a decent job at the death when the batsman were looking to hit every ball for 6.  Darjeeling stuck at it and managed to effect a couple of run outs to keep the scoring to as few as was possible.  Titans eventually finishing on 248 for 4.  The pitch was flat and the outfield was quick, but it would take a serious effort to chase down ten an over from ball one.

 The Darjeeling innings began with openers Rhys and Blikkies, the Titans opening bowlers began with tight lines and both openers possibly looked to over hit the ball and struggled for timing, understandable given the imposing total they faced. Blikkies was out for 5 in the third over, which brought Tom to the crease with a licence to get on with it and utilise the power play.  After some tight early bowling Tom was greeted with wide long hop first ball, which was duly dispatched to the extra cover boundary.  That seemed to ignite the innings, with Tom and Rhys looking to make the most of the fielding restrictions in the first 8 overs, they punished pretty much everything, ending the power-play on 78. 

Game on. 

Still needing to score at 10 an over the partnership continued to grow, running well between the wicket and punishing anything loose. It was quickly realised that Titans had one real threat with the ball, the left arm spinner, it was important to milk him whilst trying to score heavily off what ever was dished up at the other end, which we did nicely.  Rhys was eventually out for 40 off 32 in the 12th over with the score on 107.  Ben strode out at 4 and continued where Rhys left off, putting pressure on the fielders in the deep and turning ones into two regularly.  When Tom  finally departed, stumped for 65 off 37 with the score on 137 in the 16th over there was still plenty to do. 

Darjeeling continued to score at a decent rate with everyone coming in doing their job.  Watto (5 off 5) and Ben (33 off 23) fell in quick succession in the search of quick runs.  That lead to the arrival of Israr (37 off 17) and Shuggie (21 off 10) they built a brilliant partnership of over fifty in quick time, finding the boundary on a regular occasion.  Israr taking the 20th over for 21 was the turning point, suddenly we 48 off the last 5 overs.  Darjeeling continued to plunder the bowling, even the loss of regular wickets could not slow the run rate, as every man who came in contributed.  Following the run out of Olli Jennings it was left to the Viv and the skipper to see us home, needing just 3 off the final over.  Jono flicked the 3rd ball of the over to the boundary and that was that.  Darjeeling had chased down 249 to win. 

What a ridiculous game of cricket, spare a thought for the Titans opener who carried his bat for 105 not out, never nice to score a hundred and your team lose.  Not that we care too much, we won. 

Link to the scorecard: https://www.crichq.com/#matches/439675/1st_innings

 

Darjeeling v Abu Dhabi Gentlemen – words by Thomas Mariadason

Darjeeling C.C VS Abu Dhabi Gentlemen

 Darjeeling traveled to Emirates Palace to meet the Abu Dhabi Gents. The scenery was jaw dropping to the vast majority of players and it took a little time to let it sink in that we were playing a game of cricket in a palace next to the beach.

David was appointed captain and had a tough job on his hands having 3 leg spinners and 3 off spinners in the team. The leggies included Joe, George and Thomas and the off spinners included Umer, Aryan and Ollie.

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Toss time came around ,after relaxing under the trees, and David lost it. Darjeeling were bowling first! David gave himself the first over and kept it tidy, only giving 3 runs away. Munish was given the second over and went for 11. David bowled 3 overs with figures of 0-11 and Munish was taken off after his second over went for 29. George came on and gave a left handed batsman nightmares after bowling consistent googlies in his overs and finished on figures of 1-38 after 5.

Shehan came on and was getting some surprising bounce and pace off the wicket after telling David that he bowled medium pace. Shehan rattled the batsmen with the shorter delivery and Kai took some very good catches going low to his right. Shehan ended up with figures of 2-23 off 5. Meanwhile in the field Jaco Smith ,who was due for surgery in a couple of weeks, was throwing himself around the ground and stopping every run he could, deserving the name Jonty. Joe then came on and bowled a good spell, picking up the wicket of Sheraz who was looking dangerous on 43. Joe finished his spell of 4 overs for 2-25. Thomas then came on and bowled a tidy spell of 2-16 off 3 and had Sheraz swinging his bat so hard that David was worried that the bat would go further than the ball. Aryan was given the ball and went the distance, ending up on figures of 0-38 off 2. Umer came on for the last over and was given some punishment,going for 14. The Abu Dhabi Gents ended up on a total of 202, setting Darjeeling 203 to win.

Umer and Jaco opened up for Darjeeling. Umer looked like he was ready to rumble having hit his first ball for 4, unfortunately Umer was only able to get 20 after being bowled. Jaco didn’t trouble the scorers after playing on a delivery.

Ollie came in at 3 and never really got going and only managing 9 before being bowled. Shehan was in at 4 and looked good, hitting three 4’s and a 6, however he could only manage 25. George was next in and played a very solid front foot defence first up but he held out playing a reverse sweep and being caught. for 2. Munish was next in and managed 10, hitting a lot of singles from miss-hits before being bowled. David came in and managed 4 not out. Thomas then came in and watchfully played his first ball for a dot, then he flicked a ball of his hip down to fine leg and it was quoted ‘the shot of the day’ from the keeper, however Thomas was stumped off the bowling of Etienne, expecting it to come a lot faster than it did. Aryan came in for the last 3 balls of the match and played a nice cut shot for 2. Darjeeling finished their innings off with 80. 

 The Abu Dhabi Gentlemen were definitely the better team on the day.

 

Wombats v Darjeeling, Dubai 7’s night game. Scribed by Sir Thomas Kimber

Darjeeling lost the toss and were asked to field, in what turned out to be tough catching conditions. Opening bowlers JP (5-0-27-0) and Brent (3-0-34-1) used the humid conditions to significantly swing the new ball.  

JP bowling a tight opening spell, giving little away.  At the other end Brent struggled to control the swing and subsequently bowled a lot of wides. However, in between the wides were some absolute beauties and was unlucky to have a nick behind put down before making the breakthrough. LBW.  

From there on Wombats built a couple of decent partnerships, but never really got away from us, with Ash (4-0-31-0) and Krish (5-0-28-2) bowling tight lines, giving very little away. Krish in particular was excellent in changing pace which made it difficult for the batsman to get him away to the boundary. 

Towards the end of the innings, when Wombats really looked to increase the scoring rate, they were halted by the taking of regular loss of wickets, Joe (5-0-44-3) and Dexy (3-0-32-1) held their nerve to ensure Wombats did not make it past the 200 mark, finishing on 198 for 5 off their 25 overs. 

Darjeeling were assisted by some good fielding in the ring, Brent’s direct hit run out from point being the stand out moment in the field.  The less said about some of the efforts in the deep the better and in all honesty there were a fair few of them, but as I mentioned at the beginning conditions were tough, it was dark for a start.

 Tom (10) and JP (28 of 20) opened the batting for Darjeeling.  Tom looked in sublime form, timing the ball nicely until recieving what can only be described as a tricky straight delivery, which he duly played all around to be bowled. Not ideal.  Krish (6) came out to join JP at 3 and proceeded to deposit is second ball over the ropes for 6.  However, in trying to do the same to his third delivery he was bowled.

Possibly a touch on the rash side. This brought Dexy to the crease, who unfortunately also got one of those tricky straight ones and was bowled for a duck. This brought Jaco (16) to the crease, again we were unable to build a partnership as JP was undone by a slower ball.  Which brought skipper for the evening Pottie (8) to the wicket, who was undone by what looked like wombats best bowler and was bowled trying to up the scoring rate. Ash came to the crease and built our first meaningful partnership with Jaco, both playing some glorious strokes. Jaco was eventually out LBW for a well made 16. 

Brent strode the wicket full of meaning and promise, something he certainly fulfilled, during an innings filled with cultured strokes and brutal striking, including a couple of big sixes.  Again, he and Ash built a decent partnership, before Ash decided to protect his average and retire for a well compiled 23 off 32.  Brent also decided he would protect his average and retired after making 28 off 24.  Which allowed Chris (3), Kai (4 not out) and Joe (2 not out) to get some time in the middle.  Darjeeling ended up on 143 from our 25 overs. 

 An enjoyable evening had by all, despite the loss, Wombats were simply too strong on the day.

 

DCC v Six Pistols – words by O. Higgens

On what was hopefully one of the few remaining sweltering days of the summer, DCC took on a pretty tame looking punk cover band, the Six Pistols (who then turned out to actually be covering the Dubai Exiles). Skipper Ash won the toss and DCC subsequently padded up; the boys looking forward to watching a few strokes from the shade.

Etienne and Rach got proceedings underway with Rach scoring 7 (8) before snicking off to a surprisingly good take from the ‘keeper. Colin joined Etienne and built a solid partnership against what seemed to be a decent opening bowling pair who bowled out the first 8 overs for 38-1. 

Etienne then found the turbo as the 1st and 2nd change bowlers came on and proceeded to begin stroking boundaries at a rate of knots, finishing Caught and Bowled (to another one handed take) with 61 from 40 balls (3x4s, 5x6s). At this point, Higgens joined for a rusty 13 (16 including one boundary) as Colin was going through the gears (finishing on 57 being run out off the last ball of the innings (6x4s). Kirky chipped in with 6 off 4 as the innings closed on 157 for 4 down. 20 to 30 runs short of what was believed to be par in 20 overs.

As Darjeeling took to the field, Kirky’s overwhelmingly energetic Swans support had translated into some serious banter from mid on, however, unfortunately, DCC couldn’t replicate the energy with the ball and the Six Pistols moved quickly to 40-0 off 4 overs with good balls being produced by both Rohan (2-0-25-0) and Etienne (2-0-20-0) but the bad ones being taken full advantage of with the field up.

With the start of the innings highlighting that the Six Pistols seemed to only possess one batsman (Hassan aka Hussey-wanabe), the middle period showed a good combination from DCC of experience and youth with Ash (3-0-19-0), Thomas (4-0-21-1) and Aryan (3-0-33-0) compiling some decent pressure as the pace came off the ball (and the batsman’s wind up grew).

Unfortunately, a dramatic Darjeeling come back wasn’t to be and we were indeed shown to be 20-30 shy of a par target with Six Pistols (Dubai Exiles) winning by 9 wickets in the 19th.