Matthewson wins Match single Handedly! Still no Sign of Averages!‏ – words by Gary Turner

We all thought that volunteering for a Saturday night game under the lights at the world famous ICC was a really cool idea! How wrong can the 11 sweaty betty’s  who braved the high humidity of the last day of August 2013 be?

The opposition , OMD , spookily playing in Black shirts , where at the ground early and practiced hard the skill of continuously dropping a white cricket ball. This practice would come to our rescue on more than one occasion as the evening progressed.

Ash , our stern but methodical skipper won the toss and as is the norm chose to bat and selected that well known optical duo , Dommett and Lloyd to open our batting. As in the morning game Mr.Wide kept the scoreboard ticking and our gallant openers ran several swift singles before Chris found the middle of his bat with a couple of crisp fours. Having run a three Nick decided it was too bloody hot and mistimed  a shot and was caught for 8, the partnership worth 30.  Enter the fray our nonsmoking  athlete , Greg Moses, who looked lean and mean. Greg started with a thunderous on drive , some said imperious , others regal , others didn’t like regal and then the conversation turned to the strange names of cigarettes in the UK in the 70,s , like number 10,s and number 6,s. Ash denied all knowledge of such vices using the fact that he was not raised in the UK as a defence! Flimsy stuff!

Chris ran his usual sharp ones and twos before also being caught off the bowling of Bin. He had in fact Bin and Gone!

Greg was seeing the ball well but spooned one off into the deep , we held our breath as the ball spiraled out of the inky black sky and breathed again as he was dropped! A dolly we all said!

Lawrence struck a few lusty blows before he was smartly stumped for 13 off the bowling of Qasim. Our run rate was about 7 an over and we all know that is never enough at the ICC.

Lee Dawson strode meaningfully to the crease wearing one of Badger’s Chiang Mai cast off shirts and we all agreed it fitted well!  Lee was quickly off the mark and as he does every year or so seemed to time the ball well AND ran regularly between the wickets. The runs started to come and then Greg spooned one off into the deep..(see previous part of the report!).

Skipper Ash was doing all sorts of calculations and reckoned we needed at least 179 to be sure of victory. This message was relayed to the middle. Lee hit an enormous 6 over long on and Greg hit  a smorgasbord of shots as our run rate started to climb. Greg then spooned one off into the deep (same chap , same story , same ending!). As per the skippers instructions and with precisely 179 on the board our innings came to an end with Greg having hit a fantastic 87 not out , surely he will be topping the batting averages? Who knows? Lee finished with a supportive 29 not out and Darjeeling where pretty confident that we had enough on the board.

After a Pattonesque  team talk out in the middle from Ash we set about our defence of the 179. Chris (the tyre) Tebb who was a late arrival at the ground due to having to call in a 3rd party outfit to change his puncture opened from the net end and started with something almost as rare as a Darjeeling set of averages , a maiden over! CD was given the honour of opening from the City end and bowled a good length to worry the opener and after 2 overs only 5 runs where on the board. Chris was relieved of duties after his second over and CD struck in his second so after 4 overs the OMD where behind the pace at 19 for 1.

David replaced Chris and got the ball to swing and seam with several oohs and aaahs from our nonsmoking  athlete who for some reason was static at first slip.

David bowled so well he was taken off by Ash ( a Darjeeling tradition???) who brought  himself on whilst CD finished his spell , sweaty but happy. Ash bowled a tight  first over and a generous second! I was allowed a couple from the City end and despite reading Mathewson’s  book on how to bowl Donkey Drops and take wickets , was not able to prize out the opener or the number 3 bat who by now looked comfortable and ready to accelerate the run chase.

Nick and Greg where introduced to “get us back on track” or so Ash thought. The runs however continued to flow (see earlier email from bowling guru Stu) until the opener literally gave up! Nick bowled , nothing happened , silence and the opener walked! Kaseem , out to Lloyd , fatigue! Strange but true. (it is recorded in the book as a stumping but clearly not true!).

Then the champagne moment of the whole evening. Stuart is at last called upon to bowl. His torture as a mere fielder over at least for a short while. He trundles (slightly slower than that but I don’t have a suitable phrase to suit that pace) , tosses the ball high into the night sky , down it comes and…. stumped! Eat your heart out Moses he thinks but does not say! In comes the next batsman , a left hander this time. A big swat to deep mid-wicket  and David takes a catch as coolly  as you like! 2 balls and 2 wickets to the bowling guru! The hat trick ball evades the batsman and the stumps but the 4 th ball is “spooned off into the deep , we held our breath as the ball spiraled out of the inky black sky and laughed as Greg dropped the ball and assisted it over the rope for a 4! Well most of us chuckled a bit , Stuie maybe not quite so much!

The game was almost won , Ash stated boldly that it was always his plan to bring Stuie on when the batsman where so desperate he would clear up and indeed another wicket fell to him and his figures of 2 overs 3 wickets for 7 runs will surely be recorded somewhere? Apparently not! The opposition innings closed on 159 for 6 so DCC won by 21 runs.

Nick had 2 for 35 off his 4 and CD 1 for 31 off his 4 and generally the bowling and fielding was tidy. The team spirit was excellent and the opposition remarked how sporting we all had been!! A very enjoyable evening was had by all and as I understand it evening games may become a more regular feature of our season to come. Bring it on I say!!!Image

Darjeeling CC v BCA Eagles – words by Nick "Iron Man" Harvey

DCC hosted BCA Eagles first game of the season at Sharjah this Friday.

Our punctuality was uncommonly good – with all Eleven players in attendance prior to the 2:00pm scheduled start – and not a hangover in sight (apart from Mo of course, but that’s par for the course) – as Chris Dommett recently remarked – I don’t think we’re drinking enough.

BCA Eagles started drifting in soon after 2:00pm.  I tossed with Shameem and after a re-throw was negotiated we managed to win/conjure the toss and inevitably put the Eagles into field. 

In an effort to out-fox and unsettle the opposition’s line and length we opened with Simon Fowler and the left-handed Noel Raymond (indeed, I actually put myself as skipper just so I could get Noel up the batting order!) 

Wides kept the score ticking along at seven an over, though the runs off the bat were less fluid.  By the seventh over, the padded up batsmen (Sackers & Jason) were starting to get fidgety and all were trying to will the score on….  Noel started to respond and in the 7th & 8th over hit three consecutive boundaries..

Talk in the stands centred on (as it usually does) sports and romance.  With Sackers revealing his destined meeting with a girl at the Durham Test Match (what better place to meet a girl?)

At drinks Darjeeling were 72 without loss and with Simon’s flowing run-scoring absent (as well as him being knackered) he retired hurt bringing Sackers to the crease.  Love it seems conquers all – but doesn’t help find the middle of the bat – and after a couple of overs, Paul miscued one to mid-wicket, bringing Jason Brown on with one of his seven bats (an additional two currently being tirelessly handcrafted).  Noel at ‘tother end started to spray the ball around with more abandon and began to pile on the runs including one over that went for 26 runs.   BCA Eagles offered a reasonable bowling attack (and highly enthusiastic appeals), with Shehab’s spinners topping the fair but slightly mediocre efforts.

With two overs to spare and Noel in the nineties, all prepared themselves for the standing ovation.  Noel’s umpteenth four brought him on to 99 and even Ben and Jacob started to take some notice of the cricket.  With a single needed, Noel decided that a top-edged square cut was the way forward and we all groaned as the catch was pouched at point.  Chris then joined Jason at the crease and added four runs (Jason finishing on 19*) to the total bring Darjeeling on to 171 for 3 off their 20 overs (a total which George – who umpired – believed to be a highly competitive one considering the speed of the outfield).  Noel collapsed on the turf and remained there until the start of the next innings.

Darjeeling opened their bowling attack with Josh (Water Tank) and Jacob (University).  Mr Smith making his intentions clear (and strengthening his hostile-fast-bowler reputation) by greeting the opening bat with a bouncer that ricocheted off his lid.  It was however, Jacob that was the more consistent of the two and was duly rewarded with his efforts in the second over with the batsmen forced to play on the up and yours truly was gifted a straight forward catch in the covers.  Jacob was to enjoy another wicket in his following over and Josh joined the party in his third over as a mistimed drive was caught at mid-on.

DCC looked to be cruising at this point but a resolved BCA partnership and an expensive over off the bowling of Ben took the BCA Eagles total just five short of ours (was) at the half way stage. 

The skipper believing we needed to tighten the scoring up brought himself on and proceeded to bowl two wides whilst  Jason was keeping things tidy (relatively) at the water tank end and surprised all with a couple of jaffers and was unfortunate to finish wicketless.  With no notice whatsoever, the skipper elected to get Crayton on to bowl after his DNB showing in our innings.  In retrospect, a few minutes to warm-up may have paid dividends as on his second (legitimate) ball – he pulled up with a strain in his chest/right tit  (he’s since been diagnosed with a torn under arm muscle and we all wish you a speedy recovery Crayton, Sharjah wont be the same without your electric-orange sportsgear!) .  Jason completed the over, revealing on his penultimate delivery that he (also) wouldn’t be able to continue (or words to that effect)

With last week’s bowling star Mohit on at the University end it was (overall) hard work in the field.  BCA Eagles were enjoying a lengthy partnership with a Left-Right hand combo, frequent fielding changes and the humidity were taking their toll.  Replacing the wounded Crayton and exhausted Jason I completed the bowling from the WT end – eventually, breaking the partnership with a full straight one.   By this stage the scoring had been restricted BCA Eagles had run out of steam and effective batters.  Ben came on to finish up and was unlucky not to get a wicket on his first ball – being dropped (by a tough chance) at slip – but was credited with a wicket on the last ball of the day.

We left the field jubilant, though not unexhausted.  Hands were shaken, backs per patted, Fowler mumbled something about the number of wides bowled and Sackers headed straight for the ice box and liquid refreshment.  Noel finishing the clear MOTM with his 99 off just 61 deliveries. 

Bevvies were consumed on the pitch and only Sackers, George, Chris & I reunited at Fibbers……..a slightly poor post-match gathering.

To overcome this bizarre non-drinking affliction Chris has suggested we have a pre-winter Brunch at the end of September to kick start the return to the ICC and set our priorities straight……….we have the Bahrainis coming on Friday and a reputation to uphold!

Darjeeling v Loose Cannons – words by Chef

It was a usual summers day in Sharjah with extreme heat, humidity and not much breeze, the perfect conditions to bat first. Nick Harvey (our fearless leader) lost the toss due to a poor rotation and elevation of the coin which forced Darjeeling to bowl first.

Josh (4-0-40-1) opened the bowling for Darjeeling and looked great from ball 2! Eventually claiming the dangerous wicket of the man who sent it back over his head first ball of the day for 6. Josh’s figures do not do him justice he bowled to the Cannons best batsman all day!
Greg Moses (2-0-17-0) opening from the road end bowled well and was unlucky not to take a wicket. When Greg was asked later in the day to bowl a second spell he refused claiming his sledges were more valuable from the field, or was it Gary’s sledges ? I’m not sure!

Nick Harvey (3-0-29-1) was next into the attack. By this point the batsman were seeing it well and it was a tough time to bowl but he bowled well.

Chris Ward (3-0-18-0) In his first game for the club bowled well, but was unlucky not to claim a wicket.
In need of a wicket Nick introduced Chef (3-0-15-2)into the attack (watch out Agar) the change of pace worked and the runs started to dry up, until Mohit (2-0-26-0) rolled the arm over.
Gary (2-0-17-1) was next into the attack. The batters found it hard to score runs until Nick moved Gary’s straight man on the fence to long off. The next ball went straight over Gary’s head, screaming catch it Gary turned around to find no fielder there. Gary to Chris Ward “straight means F@£&#?G straight”.
Chris Neal chimed in with 1-1-0-1, possibly underbowled!
Loose cannons finished there innings 164-6
The Austrialian duo of Pete Kesby & Chef Andrew opened the batting. The pair were far to intimidating for the U/19, 7ft, opening bowler, who looked like SHE was dressed for the beach rather than a game of cricket. the boys built a partnership of 80 of 7 overs. The first fifty coming from extras (50w-10nb-3b-1lb).
With the score on 80 Pete Kesby run himself out for 6.
Jason entered the crease, as we know he struggles with the short ball that comes on with pace, luckily it was slow and Jason was smashing the ball around. The bowler tried everything to put off Jason, including bowling shirtless and wearing his own sisters shorts. Chef wanted to be as far away from this as possible and departed for 25.
New to the crease was Chris Neal and was looking in great touch with the shot of the day, on the up, high elbow drive for four. Jason continued to bang em round. Special mention to the 7ft giant.  She almost saved one of Jason’s fours to long on but failed. Spectacular effort!
Chris Neal soon departed after making 17 and looking in good touch.
Greg came in to finish the game off with 5 overs to go and not many to get. Jason needed some shade and decided to hit two sixes and a four, Greg chipped in with 3 and it was finished in the 17 over.

Special mentions,
Chris Dommett, kept very well all day taking one catch and robbing Chef of his 3rd wicket!
Gary, for stopping a class drive that was a certain four with his foot…… Whilst umpiring!
Nick H, for setting the tone early in the field. Well backed up!

Brad Wis-sink-s Superkings with fine all-round effort – Words by Ash Banerjee

But opposition claim pyrrhic victory in unfolding match fee non-payment scandal

Boomeranging Darjeeling alumnus Brad Wissink shone with a fine all-round performance, helping his erstwhile club defeat ‘needle’ rivals Dubai Superkings in a tense last-over finish.

Wissink’s 50, 5-fer and two catches were instrumental in the win, which looked unlikely the night before when CD pulled out with a late-night email, leaving the already-depleted side a man short despite young Jake and Ben already having been conscripted to the cause.

The Chairman may have to send out an email to rouse long-absent members to show up and play in Brian’s farewell match next weekend, but I digress, so on to the events of the day.

By 1:45 pm, 9 men and the 2 boys were all present (your correspondent replacing the absent Restauranteur-Publican), trading the usual pre-match banter while Pete K. shook off the hassle of moving house and the rust of being away from the cricket for countless weeks with a good hit-in courtesy the enthusiastic nippers, who were looking forward to their outfield sprints.

Match Manager Nick Harvey had appointed Noel the Skipper of the Day by then and was frantically calling the oppo to inquire if they were likely to show up anytime soon. The Superkings dribbled in over time from their previous match in Al Quoz and a spot of lunch thereafter, meanwhile the toss was negotiated over the phone and won, and the 2 pm match finally got off to an unusually tardy start at 2:38 with the Club batting first (of course!).

Not without incident though – despite having been informed via email, the Superkings’ Nasir claimed no knowledge of the match fees they owed us, and for a while the game was in jeopardy as negotiations played out. Finally a verbal IOU was tendered and accepted and the Club’s men heaved a sigh of relief as they repaired to the grandstand with cool beverages in hand to help alleviate the heat and humidity.

The oppo took to the field in richly diverse multi-coloured kit, all set to bowl with one of our Dukes generously supplied by Nick, and we opened with The Domminator and the by-now in-form Pete Kes-bashky as the Raymond Family settled in with the scorebook to further the boys’ cricketing education while Nick and Pete ‘The Pilot’ Foley headed in to umpire in shorts.

Shoaib Akhtar-like, Tipu steamed in from the Water Tank End, chucked it in and moved it out, snaring Chris nicking behind in the first over, the Club’s innings off to a less-than-ideal start. But in strode the Man of the Day, and Brad and Pete K. then set about smearing the bowling to all parts, hitting 4s and the odd 6 and running good 3s, putting on a major partnership (okay, I forgot to pick up the scorebook!) and coming in at drinks early after 8 overs with the scoreboard reading 70-odd/1 (I think), with steam emanating visibly from their faces in the 43-degree weather with near-50% humidity.

So good were our Aussies that an Ashes call-up might be imminent as the worst Oz side in living memory is about to take up arms against the old enemy.

Brad was out shortly after the drinks break, bowled off the bat for a fine 52 with two 6s and a few 4s, whereupon Mohit, promoted up the order, proceeded to the wicket. Several expansive but fruitless shots and a couple of nurdles later, Mo was back for 2, with fears of a Darjeeling slide beginning to take root in the grandstand where the usual lubricated banter was somewhat sub-par because the batting on display had been stellar and appreciated vocally.

Nick ‘The Harvester’ Harvey was in at 5, and continued the carnage with a fine 43 off 15 balls, while Pete K. got to his 50 as well before being caught behind off the back of the bat looking to paddle-sweep. By then the score was looking quite good, the Club going at 8 an over through the post-drinks sub-session as Andy at 6, then Pete F. at 7 contributed rapid single-digit cameos while Nick blazed away.

Meanwhile the Superkings looked like Superchuckers with 3 being called for bent elbows, including a bloke who seemed to bowl out of a virtual handbag in the crook of his right arm and another who managed to chuck down leggies!

Noel and yours truly were in for the last two overs, the Club ending up with a respectable, par-ish 174/7 off 20, the nippers still scoring only with pen and paper back in the hutch.

Armed with the DSK-supplied Pakistani 5-1/2 oz. ‘Bouncer’ in hand, we opened with Nick from the Water Tank End and Jake from the University End, and the SKs got off to a decent start with Shehzad looking dangerous, carting well-timed straight hits for 6s off Nick and pulling some short stuff from Jake for 4s through square leg while the other bloke struggled against Nick’s off-stump-and-away line and against Jake after he sorted his line and length.

But the SKs hadn’t accounted for the keen-ness of our Aviator Petes (both playing after a while, but you couldn’t tell) – first Purser Pete dashing in lightning-quick to effect a fine run-out with a direct hit from short mid-wicket, then Pilot Pete snaffling a good catch at slip off Nick (albeit on the second attempt after some turbulence), the SKs 30-odd for 2 after 5 overs, palpably off the pace of the chase and looking distinctly not-so-Super.

Noel was in his usual ‘inventive skipper’ mode, shuffling the bowling around, placing good fields and rallying the troops vocally in the field, consequently the opposition batsmen never quite settled despite their odd hits for 4 and 6 off length balls.  At drinks after 10 we were well in control having kept the oppo to 70-odd for 4, and with around 100 needed off the back 10 and the spinners beginning to weave their webs of deceit and chicanery, Mo the standout spinner. Meanwhile the sprinklers came on during the break, the outfield was watered well, and the lads contemplated a turn at Swanny’s Sprinkler Dance before wiser counsel prevailed.

After the break it all went a bit farcical when one of the umpires looked to replace the ball without consultation, claiming “the batsmen think it’s too heavy.” We weren’t having any of that and the game continued with the aforementioned ‘Bouncer.’

Before and after the break wickets fell regularly with Brad getting a couple, your scribe, Pete K. and Mo getting one apiece, then The Sinkanator getting a few more for a well-deserved 5-fer as Darjeeling caught well in the ring and in the deep with two catches apiece for Chris (’keeping), Noel, Brad, AT and one for Nick. A few did go down though, as they normally do, so if anyone’s beginning to get excited about our catching standards, don’t. Special mentions for Ben and Jake who fielded as well as they always do, chasing hard with their young legs and quicksilver feet, getting down to the ball rapidly, and keeping likely 2s to just singles as they threw in hard as well.

All this while, batsmen of motley attire kept coming in and going out as we found ourselves in a somewhat surreal Friday afternoon Sharjah production of Yousuf and the Amazing Technicolour Team Code. In this red-ball game meant to be played in whites, we saw shirts that were green, lime green, dark green, orange-and-blue and navy blue, lime-green and dark green helmets, and even a set of orange pads which appeared twice!

With 14 needed and the last man in, it was only fitting that the Man o’ the Day, He Who Could Do No Wrong While Selling His Flat in The Marina For a Tidy Profit, Brad bowled the last over. Two off the first ball, an arrow-straight 4 down the ground bisecting the boundary-riders off the second, then a wicket off the 3rd, well caught by a tumbling Noely at short extra cover and we were home by 8 runs with 3 balls to spare!

Flush with chilled-to-within-an-inch-of-their-lives tinnies (’twas a bumper crop this afternoon, please bring plenty next week for Brian’s farewell match), the Club’s men and boys settled down for the customary Reading of the Scorebook.

Brad’s 50 and 5/23 off 4
were the highlight, well supported by Pete K’s 50, Nick’s 43, and contributions all around. The Club’s faithful carried on sipping whilst those with evening commitments left relatively early. Net, a fine close-run last-over win against needle opponents who still owe us match fees.

Next up, Brian’s farewell intra-club game next weekend (please be available, we’ll play 12-a-side if necessary) – plenty of amber fluids and Tea with seasonal, suitably appropriate grub on offer, then on to the IV for further carnage to help ease the lad back into the milder climes of Sussex. Then, the Midsummer Madness fixture against the Loose Cannons as the temperature and humidity escalate further for the Mad Dogs and Englishmen to keep continuing their pursuit of a fine game on a green field. 

Darjeeling CC v Fly Dubai – words by Chris Tebb

Last Friday the honed, bronzed gladiators of the Darjeeling cricket club took to the verdant, green field at Sharjah English School to take on the hastily put-together team of Fly Dubai. Amidst the traditional pre-match warm-up of chain smoking and beverage guzzling; skipper Andrew Tideswell Esquire duly tossed the coin, with a skill refined only by repeated practice, the call of the opposing skip was sadly, for them, incorrect and the frequent flyers were banished to 20 overs of torture by direct sunlight and a level of humidity approaching stifling levels. 

Opening the batting for the Tea-Leaves were those paragons of batting skill and technique, Messers Dommett and Scholtz. These fine gentleman proceeded to treat the expectant crowd to 10 overs of batting that would be politely called traditional, amassing the total of 72 runs prior to the drinks break; of these 72 runs the soon to be departing Brian Scholtz in his noble quest to obtain a DCC ton prior to leaving for less sunnier climes contributed 44 off a mere 36 balls having woken up after 22 deliveries. Our resident wicketkeeper, sporting the new look of glistening in the humid conditions – Robert Pattinson will be jealous – contributed a more stately 17 from 25 deliveries. Alas, the old adage of drinks breaks bringing wickets proved true, firstly on the delivery after the resumption Brian (44/37) departed sending a ball stratospherically high, only to see the fielder underneath cling on; thus “The Scorer” sauntered to the crease, having handed the iPad into the (in)capable hands of the Badger. Until the first wicket, The Scorer had compiled a full wagon wheel of the innings but upon returning to the pavilion found that the apparently devious scoring app had been too much for the stand-in; however now we return to the action.

Having seen his opening partner dismissed Chris D then decided that obviously two new batsman were needed at the crease and departed four balls later for 18(29 balls). Joining Chris T at the crease was the indomitable Julius Mooney, the pair tried to hasten the scoring rate but a combination of picking out fielders with regular monotony and that after every run Chris T proved that his fitness levels were not up to even DCC standards, scoring was still difficult to come by. 72-0 quickly became 82-3 with Julius departing for 7(12 balls) and 87-4 with Josh Smith adding 3 off 6 deliveries. Struggling with both heat and timing Chris T having been joined at the crease by the skipper tried to use up as few balls of possible by going on the attack, mainly to get out of the heat and also to hit boundaries so he wouldn’t have to run. Despite only facing 2 dot balls the elusive boundaries would not come and The Scorer returned to his hutch stumped for 10 off 13 balls (100-5) in the 17th over.

If ever the tail needed to wag for DCC it was now, however when Andy perished looping a catch back to the bowler (5/10) even 120 looked a long way off. Fortunately the dynamic duo of Ash Banerjee and David were equally to the task, David becoming only the 3rd DCC batsman to hit a boundary in the innings and Ash sacrificing his average off the last ball for an possibly vital second run (6/9). Dave was left last man standing with a commendable 10 off 7 deliveries; however despite reassurance at the innings break that the psychological barrier of 6 an over required the final total of 120/7 was well below par.

The Fly Dubai innings began with Julius steaming in at the Water Tank End wearing his flamboyant, blue deck shoes and promptly disappearing twice to the boundary. The first a silky leg glance from the opening bat, the second a violent but perfectly executed cover drive, thereafter line and length were reacquainted and the subsequent 10 deliveries of his spell produced a miserly 2 runs and a bye (2-0-11-0).   From the Road End, left arm quick Josh bounded in like a gazelle for his first delivery only to be let down by his new, very white boots producing a Bambi on Ice moment that Robin Cousins would be proud of; understandably cautious the rhythm deserted Josh and his first (and only) over went for 16. To try and shore things up David was introduced and met with the respect that he deserves with a single boundary the only blot on the copy book in his first over; however the scoreboard pressure of 6 an over was blown out of the water as the first four overs went for 34. For some reason, and not a tactical masterstroke by any measure, Andy had relinquished on field captain’s duties to Brian, who duly replaced Julius with himself. What followed was a master class in pace bowling only blighted by a fine uppercut for four through third-man to produce figures of 2-0-7-0. Having been watchful to David’s first over; the more powerful opening bat decided to free his arms and plunder two sixes and a four from the 6th over to leave David nursing figures of 2-0-25-0.

Thus the end of the pace attack, leaving the spinners with 13 overs to take 10 wickets and defend 63 runs; leading wicket taker Stuart M was introduced to the attack and feasted upon by the opening batsman as if they were at a Friday Brunch having not eaten all week, the first of his two overs going for 13 including a four and a six. From the Water Tank end Ash was introduced and demonstrated a rare example of control having been chastised first ball for 6 and picked up the powerful opener for 43 caught and then stumped in a wonderful demonstration of fielding by wicket keeper Chris D. The departure of one opening released the shackles of the other, until now he had been more Jonathan Trott than Chris Gayle but now facing the Badger he found his mojo with 2 straight 6’s in an over costing 16 (2-0-29-0). Ash continued looking to add to the first wicket in his previous over, but instead committed the cardinal sin of a front foot no ball by a spinner not once but twice! Another 6 for the opening off the last, left Ash with figures of 2-0-19-1. Then the captaincy masterstroke, resuming after the drinks break Gibbon Human showed the wile and the guile to oust the number 3 caught in the deep by Josh, a wicket maiden denied by the opening with a sneaky double off the final ball of the over. Taking on the mantle from the Water Tank end was the irrepressible Mo, who open arriving on time was asked if he had a new driver, unfortunately Mo was in a hurry to get the game over and done with and went for 11 including giving the opener his well-earned and chanceless 50. Thus the demon deliveries of the Ape Man returned to snaffle more wickets and try and force Mo to have another bowl. After trapping the number 4 LBW with his 2nd delivery he produced a wide first up to the opposing skipper, decked in half a tube of sunblock, before forcing a scoop into orbit by the batsman that eventually found its way to the safe hands of the scorer. Was the batting collapse on?

Emphatically, no. As the scoreboard said the scores were level, the quiet one of the opposition came in and duly played a tentative forward defense first up, before playing a majestic straight drive well over the boundary rope for a match winning 6. Fly Dubai winning by 6 wickets in the 14th over. The final boundary count was 9 fours and 7 sixes compared to DCC’s 7 and 1. Gibbon finishing with respectable figures of 2-0-9-3. So vanquished by a superior foe on the day, the team retired to drown their sorrows and be entertained of tales of a less reputable nature by the “injured” Greg Moses. Well there is always next week………………

Darjeeling v Dry Docks – words by Chris Dommett

Amid feverish anticipation and much mystery surrounding the identity of two “Guest” players for Darjeeling, Friday 7th June dawned hot and humid with no sign of rain. Dry Docks World (DDW) have regularly beaten us over the last couple of years, and hopes were high that Nick had unearthed a couple of talented ringers (a la Dougie G) to again give us a better chance of revenge. Breath was baited as we waited to see who turned up.
First mystery Guest turned out to be prolific run accumulator and some time stumper, Brad Wissink, back in Dubai to complete a market moving property deal, thus finally ridding himself of the mortgage I did for him 5 years ago. We waited for the second guest, and waited, and waited. Nick finally admitted it was Grisdale J, back with special approval from the Chairman, but as he failed to appear his place was taken by David’s young son Rahan.
Nick finally lost the toss and we took the field with Greg Moses opening up from the water tank end. After his first ball castling of the chirpy but slow moving keeper last week, hopes were high for a repeat, but Greg’s loosener this time was smeared back past him for 4. 8 off the first over, but a pulled intercostal muscle meant Greg had to retire to slip, and proceeded to distract the keeper with a discussion on the rupturing of various internal organs.
Julius started off from the road end with a plumb LBW appeal turned down amid gasps of disbelief and howls of “I say old chap, that can’t be right”, or words to that effect. Julius calmly accepted the decision and got his revenge a couple of overs later by clean bowling the guy. Overall, an excellent spell of 3 overs 1 for 26, which might have been 1 for 20 if the batsman hadn’t taken Greg up on his challenge to prove he was strong enough to hit a straight 6.
Brian replaced Greg, and bowled a hostile and effective spell for figures of 4 overs, 1 for 29.
The turning point of the match came when Nick pulled the masterstroke of introducing the spin of Steve Brown, Ash B and Neil Colbeck. From a position of 79 for 1 after 10, and 100 after 12, Darjeeling managed to restrict DDW to a sub-par score of 144 for 7 after their 20 overs. Stevie finished with figures of 4 overs, 2 for 25, Ash 4 overs, 2 for 23, and Neil 3 overs, 2 for 20.
However, the real star for Darjeeling was the catching and fielding which was undoubtedly the best for many a year. Stevie took 3 catches, Brian 2, including a spectacular effort on the boundary, and even Julius swooped like a gazelle to take a fine running catch at deep mid-wicket. The other wicket was a stumping by yours truly.
Set 145 to win, Darjeeling opened with the returning Brad and Brian, and they weathered some fast and hostile bowling from the DDW openers. Brad smashed his way to a belligerent 7 off 18 balls before being well caught down the leg side, but Brian was in fine and fluent form and kept the run rate well under control.
Nick came and went for 4, bringing Stevie B to the crease. He kept Brian company until they paused for drinks mysteriously after only 8 overs. Returning refreshed, the pair milked and slashed the bowling to all parts until Brian was stumped by a couple of yards for an excellent 62 (42 balls). At that point only about 25 were needed from 4 overs, but the wheels started to come off. First I was bowled for 2, then Neil departed for a duck.
That placed to burden of winning the match squarely on Stevie’s shoulders, and he responded by hitting 18 off the 18th over. So, 3 needed for victory with two overs left, Julius facing. A couple of dots and then the clatter of stumps as he was cleaned up off an inside edge. David strolled to the crease and swung and missed the next 3 deliveries. A very rare wicket maiden, and still 3 to win.
Two balls later the match was ours with Stevie ending up on a fine 45 not out from just 30 balls.
All in all, a great performance from Darjeeling, and special thanks to David’s two lads for filling in so well.
The after match pleasantries were completed, and so to bed. Or in my case an evening of White Collar Boxing. Bizarre concept!

Darjeeling v Awali Taverners at the ICC GCA – words by Stephen Brown

An early start was in store for Darjeeling, but incredibly managed to get all 11 men there before the opposition. The usual stench of stale alcohol and cigarettes filled the changing room, with Julius being the only exception as he now only drinks water and smokes an electronic liquid tube! Nick Harvey then tried to cure hangovers by opening a boiling hot bottle of Jäegermeister, and Gary Turner  was put in charge of dishing it round the lads and demanding you take a “man’s swig” of the devils juice.
Noel, who looked like some kind of cartoon puppet when he walked in with his youngest son’s white shirt on, was again given the honour of leading the troops. He won the toss, elected to bat and made his first masterstroke of the day by announcing Badger would accompany Brown at the top of the order and stride out at number 1!
After months of anticipation, Badger took the first ball of the day and got an almighty roar from the crowd as he nicked one through the gully for a welcomed boundary. Darjeeling got off to a flyer with a breezy 20 by Brown, and a short cameo from Chris N, before been cleaned up by a full toss. There was confusion on whether or not it was a no-ball, but it is very difficult to argue when you lose your off stump, and have to walk past it on your way to the changing rooms.
Darjeeling then consolidated with Anthony working the ball around and Badger “the anchor” still playing and missing every other ball. When Anthony departed the last ball before drinks, Badger was to walk off to a standing ovation for his 45 ball 29*. However, everyone’s hopes turned to despair when he decided he’d had enough and wanted to retire. Rumours were spreading that fitness may have had a part to play, but it was later confirmed that he was getting the shakes as he’d not had a Benson & Hedges for at least an hour! A new record that will take some beating.
Julius and Gary were to take the crease after drinks and their innings couldn’t have been more different. Gary played a fluid run a ball 27, with a little help from the keeper, who dropped the worst catch I think weI will ever see. Julius or Julia as he was known on the electronic scoreboard was under pressure from ball 1. Myself and Jonno (who had dragged himself out of bed to watch) had told him to stop being so selfish and to “crowd please” for once in his life. With this seed now planted, he scratched and prodded his way around for what seemed like 3 days! Messages were being sent via walkie talkie for him to kick his stumps over, and although he tried as hard as he could to get out, the fielders just couldn’t help us out. His mammoth stay was eventually ended by a sharp grab at slip and Teddy departed for a prolonged 11. This turned out to be a blessing for Darjeeling as this brought MOM Nick Harvey to the crease and he blazed his way to a 25 ball 50. A real impetus that was needed, and he and Noel upped the run rate in the latter stages to set the visitors a tricky 217.
The visitors got off to a flyer with Julius and Josh bowling a real mixed bag. Both got unlucky, beating the edge on numerous occasions, but boundaries were leaked and the visitors were above the rate in the first 5/6 overs. Julius then struck twice in two balls (the 2nd being a debatable LBW decision by stand in umpire Jonno) which turned the game back in our favour.
Noel was rotating the bowlers well and Chris N and Chris “the scorer” Tebb put a squeeze on, going at under 6 an over. For those wondering why Chris T is nicknamed the scorer, you won’t believe it until you’ve seen the book. He was either a very lonely young man, not quite good enough to make the senior side, or enjoyed picking up 20 quid every Saturday. No matter the reason, his multi-coloured scorebook and his performance on the electronic scoreboard was a very close runner up to Nick Harvey for MOM! Not many enjoy the luxury of scoring, and his efforts were well appreciated by all and in particular Badger who was attached to an oxygen machine in the dressing room and unable to score after his 13 over stay at the crease.
With the run rate now climbing, who better to take advantage of the conditions than Gary and Badger. Their opener Charles was the only player who could still take the game away from us and when Gary had him caught at short extra cover by Anthony who was fantastic in the field, Badgers eyes lightened up on the arrival of “the rabbits”. I can’t finish talking about Gary without mentioning his maiden over! Only the 2nd of the day, but his was the only one that counted as he was bowling at someone who could hold a bat. The other maiden being bowled at Badger earlier in the day with 6 plays and misses infuriating the opposition skipper.
Badger gladly helped himself to a couple of wickets, and MOM Nick Harvey bowled a tight spell to back his batting up and also chipped in with a wicket. Josh at this point was in the captains ear ensuring Noel he was warmed up and ready for another chuck. Noel contemplated this, but with the run rate now at 28 runs an over, he just couldn’t be risked! Instead, the skipper went for experience and threw the ball to Simon Fowler who’s trusty dobbers earned himself a wicket and made a win now impossible for the visitors.
There was still some action to be played as Julius was on a hat trick from earlier. He charged down the hill and bowled his quickest delivery of the day (clocked at 48mph) but the shuffly Guy Parker safely dealt with it. Julius was to grab another wicket with the penultimate delivery of the game and was the pick of the bowlers with figures of   4-0-25-3. The opposition finishing 47 runs short, and a convincing win for Darjeeling.
A game played in superb spirits, and the Bahraini lads were extremely accommodating after the game allowing us to drink all their beverages. Shirt presentations were carried out by Nick Harvey and by the time the 5th bottle had gone down, it was nailed on that we will be visiting Bahrain in the near future for a rematch.

Darjeeling v BCA Eagles – Words by G Moses

On what can only be described as a balmy day, the likes of which we are unlikely to see again until November, DCC took on relative newcomers to the Dubai cricket scene, BCA Eagles, at the Sharjah English School Oval on Friday.
Our skipper for the day, N. Raymond, won the toss and in decidedly un-DCC fashion, chose to have a bat. He and B.Scholtz strode out purposefully and put on a fluent 33 run stand before Brian played an elite spoon to cover, out on 12 after looking in good touch.
G. Moses walked out to the middle, visibly struggling with the disappointment of finding out midweek that he’s ‘not as good as he thinks he is’. Nonetheless, the two put on the partnership of the day before N. Raymond played all round a straight one from Adil, out on 53 with the score on 128 after 14 overs.
J. Mooney esq. joined the fray shortly before G.Moses was adjudged out leg before by B. Scholtz* to one that had the keeper cart wheeling towards fine leg, also for 53.
A. Bavcevich (AKA B. Tony) came out and was soon sitting back in the stands having scored a brief but classy 2. 139 for 4 after 16.
In walked N. Harvey, who in a batting display reminiscent of Zabeel Park days, scored a fine 34 not out, ably assisted by C. Dommett (9 not out including a 4 off the last ball of the innings) after J. Mooney had gotten out for a well-played 19.
DCC 205-5 after 25. Respectable.
With the young B. Raymond in the team, there was talk of potential nepotism, however that was quickly quelled as N. Raymond tossed the new cherry to his mate D. Mariadason instead of his young protégé.
The decision was justified by a tight spell, with D. Mariadason returning figures of 3-8-1, in tandem with N. Harvey, who toiled through the University-end trough for a return of 3-15-0. It was already clear by this stage that the BCA Eagles were not the mighty opponents we had feared.
J. Mooney, arguably the pick of the bowlers, replaced D. Mariadason from the water tank-end, taking wickets in his first and third overs, finishing with 3-8-2, effectively ending any impetus the Eagles had managed to generate.
G. Turner came on next, going wicket less in his first, much to the dismay of all present. 3-14-1.
G. Moses, B. Raymond and B. Scholtz (the latter bowling spin, in what could best be described as a metaphorical middle finger to the Eagles) each picked up a scalp, at varying rates of economy (read: G. Moses was expensive).
Last mention of the bowling must be reserved for one ‘Hash’ Banerjee, who, amongst figures of 4-14-2, managed the unthinkable; a maiden over at SES, which was duly greeted with much joy and elation. In light of this astonishing feat, ‘Hash’ must be recognised as the day’s best bowler. Sorry Jules, no hard feelings.
After 25 overs, BCA Eagles ended with 128-9, testament to the health and wealth of DCC’s multi-pronged bowling attack.
The game was played in good spirits and future fixtures against the Eagles will be welcomed. Special mention must be made of the grace with which G. Turner accepted the ‘not out’ leg before decision against his bowling.
SES continues to be a happy hunting ground for us, and despite a friendly warning from a man wearing pyjama’s, cigarettes were smoked and scoops were savoured into the dusk hour, a most fitting end to what must go down as my most-enjoyed match at SES.
Afterwards, Brian, Hash, Chris and I went to the IV to get pissed.
*Mention must be made of a bet between B. Scholtz and G. Moses on end-of-season batting averages, and one can only assume Scholtz’s decision was in the interest of damage control. Fair play to him.

Darjeeling v Fly Dubai – Words by Noel Raymond

Friday 3rd May 2013, the scene was set for another “Titanic” encounter between Darjeeling CC vs Fly Dubai. Literally, Darjeeling CC, in recent games between the 2 clubs, had hit an “Iceberg” called Azeem (opposition skipper) who had bludgeoned our attacks, irrespective of who bowled, to all parts of the ground.Prior to the start, a most un-darjeeling thing, was a pre-match warm up in the nets for 5 of us, just checking first-gamer David Mariadason could really bowl as he claimed and giving the boys an early work out. After near complete exhaustion, having the honor of DCC Skipper, I proceeded to the toss at 1.30pm. A good omen for DCC, with a stand-in Fly Dubai skipper, with no sign of The Iceberg (Azeem). Won the toss, and batted, as we do. Fly Dubai’s offer to play 25 overs, was unceremoniously dumped by Sackers citing, that it, ‘would be eating into drinking time’! ……So 20 overs it was.
To Open the DCC innings Our Dependable Chris Dommett, accompanied with a tactical move to give Sackers quality time to score some runs, after succumbing to un-Sackers like shot at ICC last game I saw. Our  tails up, with 9 opposition taking the field,  and no sign of the Iceberg (Azeem). Great first over, 17 off, mostly wides, with some glorious cover drives from both Chris & Sackers. Both openers exuding confidence, kept good pace, scoring 7 an over until an un-Sackers-like shot missing a full toss, bowled, for 29 graceful runs. 1-57 after 8. I joined Chris, and at drinks DCC were 73 for 1 off 10. A plea went out to the boys at drinks to up the run rate to 10 off the back 10 overs, as the Iceberg Azeem had turned up with the other missing player after 3 overs, so DCC were in for a fight.
Chris ‘The Dominator’ took up the gauntlet and continued to bludgeon the bowlers, consistently picking out the deep fielders on the boundary for 1’s, with a smidegeon of boundaries thrown in between. Run rate increased consistently between us, until I mis-judged a drive to a slower ball, caught at cover for 37. 17 overs DCC 2-144 going at 8.5 an over. In walks Brian “The Great Leslie” Scholtz, who also plundered the bowlers with some beautiful shots to the boundary fielders for 1’s, while Chris “The Dominator’, found the gaps with boundaries more consistently and pushed the run rate to 8.7. DCC 174 for 2 off 20 overs. Chris “The Dominator’ unbeaten on 70 and extremely bright red from an exhausting but terrific team innings, along with Brian “The Great Leslie’ unbeaten on 7.
Sackers 29
Chris 70 NO
Noel 37
Brian 7 NO
DCC 174-2 off 20 overs
DCC taking the field, with a tactical move to reserve Brian & CD, when the Iceberg surfaced in the batting.
Young Jacob thrown the challenge to cement his good new ball spells. After 2 wides to start, he showed good line and length to consistently beat the bat with some good out-swing bowling, 2 runs (wides) off the 1st over. David (1st Gamer) Mariadason, thrown the new ball challenge, and successfully continued the Darjeeling tradition of taking a wicket in their first game. Batsmen bowled playing on after David’s inswinger nipped in. Well done David. David & Jacob bowled well together in tandem, Jacob trapping the other opener LBW with a full toss, and given out by the Iceberg (Azeem), who was impressed with his ability to out-swing the new ball against the breeze. GREAT encouragement from Brian ‘The Great Leslie’ on the cow-corner boundary, really lifted young Jacobs spirits.
Jacob 4 overs 1-22.
David 3 overs 1-25
Enter CD ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ Kotze, to bowl in tandem with Brian ‘The Great Leslie’ Scholtz,  with the Fly Dubai best batsmen occupying the crease. Both CD & Brian, bowled an inspiring line and length and made it very difficult for the opposition batsmen to score, ably supported with some great fielding…..Sackers excepted, who taunted the bastmen to run 2’s against his powerful arm, and they gratefully obliged, easily making their ground on several occasions, much to poor Brian’s bowling stats. CD trapped a batsmen LBW, and got another batsmen out caught Brian on the boundary. Brian was very unlucky not to pick up a wicket and bowled a great tight spell in the middle overs when it mattered. The Icebreg Azeem realising the game was swinging DCC’s way. tried to up the anti, but again CD outfoxed him and had Chris The Dominator pluck out a catch at point, and take it on the second grab on his way to the ground. The Iceberg threat melting away.
CD 4 overs 3-28
Brian 4 overs 0-19
Mohit & Ben were introduced and bowled a good line & length, keeping the batsmen below the run rate. Ben unluckily missing the stumps on several occassions with in-swingers, picked up a wicket caught Brian on the boundary. The final over of the match, Ben gave DCC a real scare, going for 3 sixes in a row from the opposition who finished just short on 167 for 6 in 20 overs.
Mohit 2 overs 0-18
Ben 2 overs 1-30
Anthony 1 ‘forgetable’ over 0-20
Nathan great keeping effort, against a variety of bowlers.There was a lot of deliberation about the bowling figures, as it also seemed to contain wides/byes/anything else,…… but that’s whats in the book !!
GREAT team effort from the all the boys, with outstanding contributions from Chris on the batting front and CD on the bowling front. Our fielding & positioning was great, often frustrating the opposition.
History created with DCC victorious over Fly Dubai.
DCC 174-2 off 20 overs
Fly Dubai 167-6 off 20 overs.
The Titanic sailed safely to the Irish Village for a couple of quick rounds enjoyed by the boys (old & young ones) to celebrate the break through occassion.
Well done ALL !!

Darjeeling v Wombats – Saturday 4 May – words by B Scholtz

Ash was nominated as the match day commander and promptly put his name forward for the General Custer award for tactical miscalculations, as he agreed to a 25 over game, lost the toss, and then when we finally thought he had a grip on the situation, discovered that the man he had nominated, Andre Fourie was not aware of his selection.
Battle plans were drawn up and frantic text messages were sent, Darjeeling would start with 10!
Much like the calamity in the changing rooms before the match started the first 13 overs were a brutal experience as catches went down, Nick nearly caught a blinder, Lee couldn’t catch a cold and Ash was keeping the air space above the UAE occupied with aerial missiles that refused to land on the pitch or inside the boundary ropes. Lee bowled an interesting over and the only breakthroughs were provided by Barry, bowling a straighter one than his previous delivery and getting an LBW and Etienne bowling their skipper.
Wombats 130 for 2 off 13.
George ‘The Chairman’ Appleton saved us from having to endure this torture with 10 men as he had emergency whites in his car and having done his stint in the heat was replaced by Chris “the Captain” Dommett who had raced over from the cinema! Top commitment!
With the reassuring presence of the previous days MVP, (where is the match report Noel ‘do we still write match reports’ Raymond!)
After the drinks break Darjeeling can claim a moral victory as we bowled a lot tighter, Nick got 3 wickets and catches were held, Gary took a stepler after the Wombats number 3 had holed out on 99 and we only went for 115 off the 12 overs taking 5 wickets. Would have been 6 but Lee dropped another one! Etienne finished with 2 wickets, Badger got 1, ‘pick of the bowlers’ Brian got none but as he only went at 6 an over when everyone else went at 10 plus he gets the accolade!
Darjeeling would require 246 off 25 to win.
With fielding done, the lads lower down the order tucked into a few beverages of the amber variety clearly confident in the match either being over before they would have to bat or terminated early as Wombats had the task of bowling 25 overs in an hour and 15!
The open 3 overs safely reassured Gary that eviction was probably going to happen before the match could be decided and tucked into another Fosters! Lee and Sackers opened the batting and set about the score with vigor. 1 of the first, 6 off the second, 2 off the third, solid test match cricket, but not great chasing 246 at 10 an over! Lee finished off his great day out by getting a duck off his 10th ball. Score 10 for 1! Brian joined Sackers at the crease as Simon was trying his best to instill some energy in the Wombats fielders to ‘quickly’ get into position as we didn’t have much time. Brian and Sackers accelerated the score putting on a quick 50 before Sackers got castled quite literally as he feel over during the dismissal. 60 for 2. Barry joined Brian and they made a quick 20 before Brian got himself out with the score on 80 after 10. Barry batted well after that and apparently hitting a huge 6, before he too was stumped and Darjeeling were struggling at 100 for 4. Enter Chris and Etienne who moved the score serenely without any issues to 120 for 4 at the drinks break after 14.
Now if anyone had quickly jumped on the internet, typed in Duckworth Lewis calculator and gone to the following link,, this responsibility does fall firmly with the captain, we could have calculated we were only 9 runs short, D/L is strange!
As no one knew D/L was even this easy to calculate the blame cannot be completely put on Ash’s shoulders and with eviction playing a role in shot selection. Chris holed out, Etienne got caught behind and when Ash joined Nick at the crease the game was teetering towards an abrupt conclusion, as the ground staff had arrived and were starting to turn the sightscreens black. To speed up the process Ash got bowled first ball and with Badger and Gary running around the changing room trying to pad up. With no batsmen appearing the game was concluded in the 17.3 over with Darjeeling 130 for 6.
In step another quick D/L calculation to concluded that Darjeeling lost by 47 runs!

Match Report – Darjeeling CC v Wombats

On a drizzly Saturday reminiscent of ‘St. George’s Day’ in 2008 when grey skies and rain greeted the 43rd US President, Darjeeling CC was due to begin their Two Match T20 series against The Wombats (recent winners of the pre-Chiang Mai Sixes Tournament).  On arrival to the ground, the GCA appeared deserted – the teams however, (most of which arrived early) were camped out in the Changing rooms warming their hands round post match bevies.   Familiar faces of Greg Moses, Neil Colbeck, Sackers and Steve Brown greeted me whilst Brian languished horizontally on the benches deigning to offer an outstretched arm.  (Ash was around busying himself with the ground staff – of which I discovered he refers to as ‘curators’)   Early discussions surrounded Friday’s performance of DCC – with particular reference to dropped catches, Brian’s scruffy half century and the enigma of what made certain Darjeelingites ‘tick’
Next to join ‘the party’ was Matt Escritt looking healthy and ready for action followed by Gibby & Son along with (yet another) trimmed beard style and tails of bitter Canadian winters and thermal underwear.  Bringing up the rear, the unmistakable figure of Lee Dawson.
Further mention should be given at this stage to the weather and pitch conditions.  There was spitting rain – rain I might add you would welcome in England for your Saturday league cricket – let’s say median British weather conditions. Rain that was however, keeping the covers on.  A 2:30pm start was announced – at 2:20pm the toss was lost and Darjeeling was put into field.  At 2:30pm the covers were sliding off and Lew was limbering up.  At approximately 2:33pm the covers were sliding back on.
When polite enquiries were made (whatever polite is for what the fuck is going on with the covers’) – we were informed that the ‘Australian’ pitch was due to be used and as this was heavily clay-based it might be too slippery for us and could cause injury (which is ground staff/curator speak for “there’s a spot of rain in the air and we don’t your spiky feet touching our pristine square”).  A further pitch inspection was agreed at 3:00pm and we also heralded the arrival of one Mr Dommett looking a wee hungover and donning a simple Nokia to replace his vodka-damaged smart phone.
DCC sauntered back to what Americans call the ‘locker room’ and the lids to the Eskies once again opened.  A new shower turned our interests to indoor cricket and an impromptu game of French cricket began. We learned that you cannot be out for a Golden Duck and that Steve Brown is a little too ‘passionate’ in the froggy form of the game.  We then stretched the indoor pitch to the toilets and found Ash’s batting forte is definitely with indoor tennis ball cricket after he sent deliveries pinging around the alcoves of the changing rooms.
At 3:00pm it was announced the game was cancelled and some took this as a cue to leave whilst a few of the keener/more optimistic/more deluded members (myself included) hung around in the hope some cricket could be negotiated.  Interests however, turned to talk – with that master orator, Greg Moses delivering a 3 o’clock bombshell – i.e. that he had zero sympathy with anyone killed by a dog or a snake*
We even tested the theory of how to repel such a snake attack and agreed it would be possible (and forgivable)if the victim was drugged or asleep.  Discussion then switched to further unlikely “Animal Death Matches”  A Staffordshire Terrier v a Red Kangaroo, A Badger versus a Wolverine, a Gorilla against a Bull and Tag team between a Tasmanian Devil and Staff (Terrier) versus a Monitor Lizard / Komodo Dragon and Panda.  We also concluded that a Great White Shark would beat a Polar Bear (in water) – unless, the Polar Bear was defending her young and lastly, that a Grizzly Bear was just about the hardest beast out there (out of water).
Now this may sound like drivel to any TMS (Test Match Special) followers – but let me tell you Aggers, Blowers and Bumble – it beats discussions about the demise of test cricket cheesecakes any day!
To further prevent the onset of ennui, Greg entertained us with a Sydney Harbour Bridgesque climb up the GCA
and avowed it to be “one of the finest views in cricket”.  After getting further updates on the current affairs on the world of darts (and hearing that Sackers has forked out AED1,200 for a ringside – or should I say “oche-side seat”  at the Dubai Duty Free Masters) it was time to leave. I would welcome any further addendum from any of the more hardcore DCC’ers who remained.
*On further probing, the parameters of this bold declaration were agreed – the snake would have to be of the constrictor type (i.e. a python or Boa and not a poisons viper) and that we’d be talking about a sole dog and not a pack dog attack.

Darjeeling v National Bank of Fujairah – words by Gary Turner

Whilst the majority of the Darjeeling crew , including the  current and immediate past Chairman’ where continuing the team building and bonding exercise that is commonly known as the Chaing Mai Sixes, it was left to the hardy few to brave the largest shamal seen in the UAE for many a year and take on the unknown entity known as the National Bank of Fujairah.
Greg Moses had managed to pull together a team of has beens , never will be’s and some still thinking they might be’s! Plus a ringer from London called Bruno who is a lover not a fighter!
Skipper for the day , Gary , selected because Greg did not want the stress, walked towards the square like a man who understands bad weather and duly won the toss and elected to bat. So far so good!
With no Simon Fowler to select it was obvious that Noel, the ever ready, and Ben were the obvious choices to open up for DCC. There is something impressive about Noel strolling to the wicket. A combination of pugnacious short arse Aussie and knowing that no matter how bad those first balls are he will block and say in a loud voice “NO” means reassurance!
At the other end , Ben , a man who has been sent to Darjeeling because his partner was worried he was drinking too much! WOW! Grisdale will meet you soon MR. BEN!, The bowling was average and the two boys went on their merry way , Noel striking the ball magnificently behind square and Ben pulling anything short for 4.
Noel got bored and missed a straight one for a well worked 35 and Greg , chilled as ever strolled to the wicket looking like a white and slightly tall Viv Richards. He didn’t have any smoke on him but you can use your imagination!
Ben continued to strike the ball well until on 47 a Darjeeling umpire gave an LBW! Yes! No name no pack drill as they used to say and he shall remain anonymous ….. Lee! Apparently as plumb as Jack Mc Plumb living in Plumbville!
Enter Anthony who had described himself earlier as doing a bit of both to the skipper!! Grisdale will soon meet you MR. Anthony!!!
Anthony and Greg plundered the runs off the 9 bowlers used before the former was caught on 47, a great knock if you forget the many dropped catches the bankers had spilled!
Bruno the cockney geezer came and went and it was left to Greg , 51, not out and Steve Blandford to bring us to a creditable 216 for 4 in our 25 overs.
By now the wind and sand storm was at a level that even well hard northeners , from England at least where beginning to blink! Greg, as usual, and a worthy position for a Saffer, was asked to toil up the hill, into the gale, and at pace.2 out of three was not bad as he plopped the ball on a length enough times to cause the somewhat Kamikaze openers some trouble. Etienne came down the hill and struck early with a wicket in his second over. Greg meanwhile toiled up the slope but after 3 overs was given a well earned rest to be replaced by Both Ways Anthony! Of course this skippers decision led to a wicket with Anthony clean bowling the other opener.
There is a time in a match when a decisive decision has to be made, this was not it so CD was brought on to replace Etienne who finished with very creditable figures of 4 overs 1 for 14.
CD , as you all know is an enigma. So much talent, so few wickets! But not today…… Amidst the wides and the full tosses he bowled some Jaffas and finished with 3 for 33 off his four overs before pleading with the skipper to be taken off because his wallet , still strapped to his body was giving him back ache!
Anthony, whose 2 overs gave him figures of 1 for 19 was replaced at the up hill end by Steve Blandford who these days bowls robbers mask eroding as spin.Needless to say he provided the champagne moment when a batsman tried to smash him through mid wicket and was deceived by the lack of quality of the ball and skied in towards a gently snoozing Mo. screams of catch it woke our Grocer of note and he sprinted in and took the catch at knee height ! Fantastic cricket?
Skipper GT replaced CD and duly confirmed the golden arm theory with a wicket off his 4th ball, well caught behind by the ever ready Noel. Steve finished with 2 for 33 off his 5 and GT a creditable 3 for 23 off his 3.4 overs.
All together a good performance in very difficult climatic conditions.
Please note that all names used in the production of this document  are factual and will not protect the innocent!