On a warm Saturday afternoon at the ICC, our very Nathan Cartwright sent his work (GAJ) XI into battle with the DCC boys, interestingly Nathan decided to captain his XI from the position of umpire, injured allegedly or just not wanting to endure the sledging and banter that would have been mandatory or for the cynics amongst us perhaps he wanted to exercise his influence in another manner.
Nonetheless the early arrival of our Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Dannie (ADHD for short) ensured that the local rules were enforced and DCC would bat first, GAJ apparently didn’t wish to contest this rule citing an extension of the rule – ‘let’s make sure the game lasts’.
ADHD clearly enthused about the prospect of discovering some form against the lesser opposition strapped on his pads before GT could contemplate his order, ADHD was joined by ‘he’s posh but not as posh as the real posh tom’ Tom and play got under way. GAJ opened up with left-arm spin, GT declaring this was ‘the one player he knew could bowl’, 23 runs flowed off the first over after a series of half-trackers and wide balls. The bowling at the other was equally as wayward but didn’t offer the same amount of gifts. So with DCC racing along at 15 an over of the first 5, GT decided it might make sense to give everyone at bat and enforce retirements at 50…. ADHD clearly not relishing the idea topped edged a sweep to short fine leg moments later to reduce DCC to 71-1 off 5.4 overs (ADHD 27 from 18).
Tom was joined in the middle by Blikkies who forgot to arrange his cap and in afrikaans barked out his displeasure and instructions to his better half as it was clearly her fault… she made amends immediately by sprinting off and resolving her oversight with the minimum of fuss.
Blikkies and Tom carried on taking the attack to the GAJ bowling attack and when drinks were taken after the 10th over, Tom was informed about the retirement rule smashed two sixes and trudged off disappointed he wasn’t going to fill his boots as much as he wished. Tom 53 (from 21). The debutant John Stamper adorning a complete virgin set of kit strode out to show his new team-mates that lawyers are about results and not time and money. Almost immediately Blikkies decided to check the cloud formation out and fell victim to the rare commodity of a ‘straight-one’ gone bowled for a fine 32 including a graceful straight-drive through long-off legs for 4 which had the purists purring in delight. DCC 150-2 after 11.
John was joined by Greg, slightly subdued by a Gris braii the day before and lacking his usual chipper. John was clearly not on a ‘legal-aid’ case as he took his time at the crease playing circumspectly at the variety of offerings, like it was a ‘working-lunch’ at a tapas bar where the wine wasn’t vintage and everything needed treating with suspicion. Greg was struggling to get going at the other end, as a result the run rate dropped. John suffering from a knee-complaint ran himself out the last ball of the 16th over for 21, DCC 170-3, hobbling off to the small claims court.
Greg was joined by Lee, who was served a waist high full toss on leg stump first up to help him remember what the game of cricket was and how the bat on ball thingy worked. A single followed of a very wide short one giving Greg the strike, he played at a very wide very short and very slow one…. who was the most surprised with what happened next remains unanswered, umpire Cartwright for someone playing at such a wide one, Greg reaching and hitting straight to backward point or backward point for taking the catch high to his right… the one known factor was Greg was gone for 6, 175-4.
Next to the crease was Dave Mariadason, who helped himself to an early boundary with a delightful pick-up over mid-wicket quickly followed by an all run 4. Lee and Dave continued to pick up 1’s, 2’s and the odd boundary, taking DCC to 217-4 after 21. Lee helped himself to 10 off the first 3 balls of the last over before Dave decided 2 down to long-on twice in a row was just a ridiculous concept and trotted back with the trickling throw hitting direct with Dave still well short of his ground, run out for 23. Rory came in for the last two balls and was run out last ball of the innings without facing, Lee 29*, DCC posting a respectable 230-6.
Before DCC took the field John referring to Section 10 sub section 6 article 3 of the UAE penal code declared he isn’t allowed to field with a bad knee and that the code allowed a replacement, Dan Mellor quickly donned his whites and with some regret this morning I expect took to the field.
GT opened the bowling with our 13 year old dynamo Rohan and Rory. Rohan bowled a fine spell of away swing beating the bat at will and Rory bowling a tight line and length. Both openers completed a 4 over spell conceding just 2 boundaries between them, but remained wicketless, Rohan was unlucky as ADHD missed 2 stumpings in as many balls before throwing down the gloves and walking off to ice his pinky. Enter Dan Mellor upgraded from fielder to assume the responsibility of the gloves. GAJ’s opener Aftab had found hitting the ball of the square extremely difficult and as result collapsed under the pressure and retired hurt. So after 8 overs GAJ we 42-1. (Rohan 4-0-15-0, Rory 4-0-21-0). With the light fading and concerns over getting the game completed by Christmas, GT threw the ball to our very own midnight runner Rich ‘Dexy” Hallowes, whose first ball was spooned high to cover where Tom ran round to take a good catch. 42-2. GT brought himself on at the other end and bowled with his usual cunning and guile. Dexy disappointingly without the usual pink cravat caused mayhem in his 2nd over striking again with his first ball bowling the batsman with the old fashioned straight one and then the tip and shy approach of their batsman causing a run out of the last ball to see GAJ slide to 61-4.
GT brought out his ‘special’ delivery in his next over the disguised double bouncer which almost brought the 5th wicket. Dan ‘Teflon’ Mellor had remember how to use the gloves by now and was doing some smart work behind the stumps which almost brought a couple of stumpings and run out chances were coming thick and fast, but Lee and Tom’s radars were clearly set to friendly fire mode. Some of this innings was far from memorable, especially since the author of this piece was busy recalling Lincolnshire’s over 50’s squad with our guest umpire Colin Walters at square leg.
The skipper was not to finish without snaring a victim, another straight one proving too good to reduce GAJ to 81-6 off 16. Blikkies appeared from the partial football ground end and bowled as fast as he could in the half light (2-0-7-0). GT after completing his spell 4-0-18-1 handed over the baton to Dave the destroyer, who after bowling some wayward nantie Hayward deliveries decided to resort to the straight ones, 2 in 2 both bowled. 87-7. In Blikkies 2nd over another suicidal single to a now concentrating Lee saw the score move to 93-8. The destroyer added another bowled in his second over completing a fine spell of 2-0-7-3 (97-9). So after 19 overs GAJ needed 134 runs to win off 3 overs, with the sun setting fast Dexy returned and 2nd ball fired one down the leg side, the batsman swung with all his mite, making a fine contact, unfortunately not with the ball but with Dan’s head, the 12th man forced to leave the field blood streaming down his face and with only one eye open, to make matters worse he bled all over Johns virgin whites. At this point GAJ decided to call it a day and finished 97-9, Dexy 3.2-0-18-2.
Dan retired to the Rashid hospital and the rest of the team retired to the Ryder Cup, Premier League football and Saffer rugby safe in the knowledge the winning feeling had returned.