Darjeeling vs Blighty Ducks – van den Broek Esq.

Date: 11 March 2017

Venue: ICC Academy

On a glorious sunny day at the ICC, the eagerly awaited traditional monthly friendly against The Blighty Ducks produced a match winning performance by Darjeeling’s own Six-Machine, Carl ”Half-Giant” Fletcher, that will be remembered by all present for many years to come. After the humbling of Skyline CC up in Sharjah the week before, principally by Half-Giant, he was keen to keep reproducing his towering form and produce he did!

 

Carl

Like a pig in Duck Sh*t

Skipper A. “Double A” Banerjee kept to his tried and tested method of losing the toss and being asked to bat first under a blue, sunny sky, on what transpired to be a slow-ish track, which although yellowish and hard in hue, it was thought would require batsmen to work hard for their runs (oh how Half Giant make a mockery of that!). “Half-Giant” Fletcher and Jamie “Sneaky” Smibert opened the Darjeeling innings with watchful intent and looked solid from the start, safely negotiating The Ducks’ opening salvos by the oddly effective pairing of moonball off-spinner Clive and medium-quick Rob. Half-Giant Fletcher warmed up with a couple of scything blows to the leg-side boundary, which kept the scoring rate decent with Sneaky Smibert looking comfortable picking up singles and rotating the strike. Sneaky, however, with the intent of upping the scoring rate, nicked one to first slip, which he was rather surprised about and thus had to sneak off the pitch unbeknownst to his fellow team mates. Realising that Fletcher was standing on his own, with Sneaky having snuck off, Ollie ”van den” van den Broek walked in at 3 and, expecting a loosener, was surprised by a rather well-directed bouncer first up by Rob, which caused him to produce an Olympian style double-pike tuck, which summarily landed him on his backside (Tom Daly would’ve been distinctly unimpressed!). Half-Giant, on the other hand, tucked in to the Duck bowling of Clive and leg-spinner Allen by either charging down the pitch clubbing them over their heads or smoting the ball to the leg side with swivel pulls or flicks, keeping the run rate at a steady 6-7 an over. “Van den”, ridiculously thinking he could match his more illustrious partner, also charged down the track to Allen but only managed to successfully spoon the ball to long-off, thus ending a rather short and uninspired innings.

After Van den’s departure, in-stepped Carl “Conor – The Notorious” McGregor, fresh from dominating all opposition on the UFC circuit and wanting to now grapple with the more viscous and physical sport of cricket. With the atmosphere akin to his ring-side cage, The Notorious south-pawed his first ball for 4 with aplomb and then rope-a-doped a couple of singles around the pitch. Deep into the 5th over, Notorious decided to upper-cut a delivery to the off-side boundary but was undone by Allen’s “rear-naked choke” off-break and was forced to tap for submission. Notorious trudged off realising he had been outsmarted by the better f(l)ighter but was soon made aware of Floyd Mayweather’s announcement to end his retirement and fight Notorious for an estimated $100m fight in June this year, which cheered him up a bit.

This brought in Tom “Thumb” Mariadason and together with Half-Giant, with a fighting weight of 120kg himself, brought about a combined heavyweight batting partnership of 122.5kg with The Thumb just about reaching the height of Half Giant’s pad. Keeping bat and pad close together like forefinger and thumb, The Thumb looked good value. Unfortunately for The Thumb, he was out to his 3rd ball for 1 edging again, like his predecessor Notorious, to the keeper. Hard luck, mate!

Adam “Partially Blind” Benjamin, namesake of former 1998 Blind World Cup England Captain (http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1998-99/OTHERS+ICC/WC-BLIND/SQUADS/WC-BLIND_NOV1998_ENG-PROFILES.htmlNB. category B1 blind, thus partially blind, not fully blind), was next in to accompany The Half-Giant at the 12th over with only 74 on the board realising that they had to up the ante. Partially Blind (or PB for short), reminiscent of some of the West Indian greats with his relaxed, languid manner and resplendent in Oakley blackout glasses to maintain style and blind-ness, missed his first 6 balls whilst clearly being perplexed by not being able to hear the jingle of the ball as it was coming down the track. Realising this was a standard game of cricket without the audible assistance of bells, he was suddenly gifted with the power of sight and smacked one boundary and started rotating the strike beautifully to allow The Half-Giant to play his LARGE game.

At this point in time, the report must turn towards an innings of such magnificence, the written word cannot do it justice. In short, Half-Giant plundered and battered the opposition bowling with such ferocity and power that I am sure will have mentally scarred the opposition bowlers for quite some time. A humble man of few words, the Half-Giant very much lets his bat (or bats after splitting one in half during his mammoth innings) do the talking, smashing the ball to all parts of the ground for 154 brutal runs, which included some outrageous sixes and one particular strike nearly taking out a fielder on the neighbouring pitch as well as depositing several balls on top of the changing room’s roof. There are several key facts and figures of note from this terrific knock…of Darjeeling’s total of 189, the Half-Giant hit 154 of them (for the statisticians out there, that is an incredible 81.5% of the team’s total) in only 62 balls, hitting 12 6’s and 12 4’s. From getting to his century to 150, he managed to do that in an astonishing 10 balls! Indeed, with Darjeeling on only 74 after 10 overs, the Half Giant-Partially Blind partnership proved an unstoppable combination, which would go on to yield 115 runs, ultimately taking the game out of sight (no pun intended PB). An awesome feat and quite outstanding knock by the Half-Giant, ably supported by Partially Blind. Bravo and hats off all round! With the team reaching a total of 189, it was felt that this was a more than decent total and one which Darjeeling knew they could defend well with a strong bowling line-up.

Apropos…Double A decided to open the bowling with Israr ‘The Academic’ and with the inspired choice of Badger “Badger” Badger at the other end. The Academic bowled tight lines to which the opening oppo batsmen had no answer and was unlucky not to add a wicket to his ever-increasing list of post-nominals. Badger, on the other hand, with his penchant for bowling beautifully flighted China(wo)men, beguiled the batsmen into playing rash shots by either spooning the ball into the air to the Darjeeling fielders or dancing down the pitch and missing the ball altogether, being expertly stumped by part-time keeper Digby “Dirty” Fraser’s filthily effective glovework. Indeed, Badger ripped through the cream of the Ducks’ batting line-up, ending up with splendid bowling figures of 4-13 of his 4 overs and was unlucky not to get his Michelle if it wasn’t for a couple of dropped half-chances in the slips. Double A also deserves a mention at this point for his masterful manipulation of the field as skipper, which assisted in getting at least two Duck wickets. Indeed, Double A will tell you that his captaincy is inspired via the power of Jazz, which he will gleefully tell you about over a couple of G&Ts…a thoroughly enjoyable chat if I say so myself!

The opening Darjeeling salvo immediately quelled any chances of the Ducks staging a successful run chase as they were reduced to 37/4 after 8 overs once The Academic and Badger had finished their respective spells. The first change bowlers of The Thumb and Notorious supported the opening pair well with The Thumb bowling especially well ending with match figures of 2-15 off his 4 overs, which included a medley of leggies; googlies and flippers. Most impressive for someone of such youth!

Richard “Dexy” H and Double A wrapped the innings up as second change bowlers, whilst being very well supported in the field via run outs through a Partially-Blind / Dirty combo, which left The Ducks all out for 95 runs, thus providing Darjeeling with a rather dominating win of 94 runs.

So, a thoroughly enjoyable game was had by all, which included a gargantuan individual score, full of clobbered sixes, by Darjeeling’s Half-Giant; plenty of wickets by Badger and The Thumb and agile fielding by all to keep the Darjeeling boys as happy as a gaggle of Larry’s. Added to that, an enjoyable post-match drinks session was had with the Ducks to discuss the day’s play, which is what the game of cricket is all about. The hope is that this comprehensive win against a good side with plenty of talent of its own, will kick-start Darjeeling’s friendly side into a strong second half of the season. Cheers!

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The book of Unreliable Darjeeling Memoirs – penned by Rob McCaffrey

Darjeeling CC v The Avengers CC

Saturday 4th March 2017

Skyline University Sharjah

We bowled great… And they kept running themselves out, till one pair ended up at the same end and began a fight between themselves , as to which one was actually out, which lasted twenty minutes .

It didn’t seem that anyone really knew the rules ,  least of all the umpire and then it degenerated into the nearest thing to a proper fight I’ve ever seen on a cricket pitch with their bloke on the verge of tears and hysteria telling everyone to fuck off then trying to fight our opening bat who politely and completely understandably….told him he was an utter cock and to get off .

It seemed their team are used to this kind of behaviour as they ran on like the Keystone Cops and literally had to drag him back . He was no Tony Bellew let me tell you … More Tony Bellend .

It took ten mins and Kissenger like diplomacy to drag this madman off the pitch…

Chasing 134 to win ….Ash …. In Brearley like … left field … intuitive mode ….asked this bloke who no one seemed to know …or had seen play …to open .

11 overs later … It was all over with him 81 not out off 39 balls . Left handed and made Ben Stokes look like Chris Tavare … He battered (the only verb that does this justice) the ball to all parts of Sharjah. And I mean battered and I mean all parts .

As the teams shook hands , the knob who was trying to fight in the first innings came over to have another go making an even bigger prick of himself than before .

My little lad Joe asked quietly if he could over and punch him and although tempted , we set sail for Dubai.

 

 

DCC Colts v CSE at Ajman Oval – words by D Mariadason

After having been asked by CSE to be ready to play at 3:15pm Ajman Time, DCCc dads scrambled from all parts of Dubai  and most made it to the ground in time only to find that the opposition were still on Sharjah time and arrived at 3:45. The boys have learned well from the seniors and invoked DCC Law #1 and padded up…… 

colts-warming-up

The openers Thomas and Yash made a steady start, until Yash was trapped in front for 8. Thomas was met by Rithik and took the score along to 38. Losing another quick wicket DCCc were looking shaky and 3/44 off 9. An excellent 95 run partnership between Yahya (59 off 43) and Rohan (46 off 40), steadied the side and gave us a glimmer of hope of posting a competitive score. With some good running, lusty hitting and unselfish batting by the tail Kai, Chris, Aryan and Ryan, DCCc finished at 8/172 from 25.

CSE got off to a flyer, with one of the openers smashing all bowlers to all parts, with some very impressive strokes. Having put on almost 40 before losing the first wicket CSE looked the goods. DCCc didn’t help matters by dropping 5 catches. Having broken the opening stand DCCc managed to pull scoring rate back and were able to build some pressure and pick up a few more wickets. Aryan and Yahya slowed thing down with some tidy off spin and Joe picked up a couple of wickets including a smart stumping by Kai. It was still anyone’s game with CSE needing 50 off 5. A couple of crucial run outs, very good catches by Ryan in the deep and  tight bowling at the death ensured DCCc were able to enjoy a well-earned BBQ proudly sponsored by Dr Jaco’s Dental Studio.

Special thanks to Munish who broke all Thursday night land speed records to get from Sports City to Ajman by 4pm and walk straight on to Umpire for 50 overs. Jaco for finally getting off the phone in time to cook the snags and burgers….. Rob and Omar for supporting from the side lines, CSE for the game and all the parents who support the boys.

colts-barbecue

A good result for the colts.

One night in Bangkok – Julius Mooney

Following Nick Harvey’s passionate call to arms email before our troops headed to battle in both Bahrain and Bangkok – the stage was set for Darjeeling’s debut in Bangkok.

Sugee and Watto, arrived at the airport a good 5 hours before departure to make sure they were boozed up nicely and to talk tactics, I made the plane…just…when I was accepted 60mins before departure. (The joys of staff travel). Ferrari owner and property mogul Nathan Williams decided to save himself 35 dhs so went with Oman Air, Israr was to meet directly at the venue coming over on EY and Pete, Brandon (Nathans brother) and now honorary club member Chris Waddington (all residing in Thailand) were to meet us in the hotel / ground….

After a VERY bumpy flight…I was passed out fast asleep after drinking copious amounts at the bar, Watto,Sugee, and myself arrived into BKK…were we quickly transferred to the hotel in central Bangkok. At the hotel we were met by Nathan and his old colleague Chris – accompanied by his wife – who thankfully turned out to be one of the lads! Priority number 1, was at least 4 pints in the hotel lobby before a quick change (no time for a shower) and a bus back to near the airport to meet up with the others for our first match of the tournament.

We were met at the ground by Israr – who was no joke of a lie wearing a suit – Kezza would be joining us later in the afternoon. Game 1 we were against last year’s winners. Tight bowling by all of the team kept their score to below 60, the runs were easily knocked off by player of the tournament Watto and Israr, smashing the ball to all parts of the ground. Mandatory beers for all were consumed between innings and matches….By game 2, Kezza joined with Nathan voluntarily sitting out to make way. Given the treacherous conditions of the ground (astro nailed into wooden planks and an outfield that resembled an Irish bog) there were some comedy classics – with Watto flying arse over a tit to the great amusement of the crowd – everyone chanting his name. tragedy however struck also, with Chris running back (keeper) to collect a ball, slipping and snapping his arm…like a real man he walked off the field, necked a beer and got in a taxi to the hospital, still in his greens, and for some reason carrying his bat….more of this later….the match continued with Nathan replacing Chris in the field….Israr complained of a “tweak” in his shoulder after 4 wide’s and a no ball – apparently the short run up is not good for his shoulder…heard them all now….

With a score set up below 70 again, Watto, Israr, Kezza (man of the match) and Suggie chased down the runs with ease…..

That was it cricket wise for day one….the next 12 hours, became a real blur….but after the fines convention in Nathan’s room, we all headed out for a team dinner – joined miraculously by Chris – who true to his word was right back on the beers – mixed in with some very strong painkillers….

After dinner and being the kind of cultured gentleman that we are….we went to a couple of “new age” bars, sipped exotic cocktails, watched some dance routines – similar to river dance, but with less clothes, no men, no Irish music and much nicer breasts…actually come to think of it, it was nothing like river dance….After the bars, Nathan and Kezza recommended that we visit a modern art museum….put it this way – I think we are all converted to Thai modern art….

After approx. 4 hours sleep we were back to the ground, which after the evening downpours, was more like a lake with a few small islands…but hey the game must go on…..and the beers must keep flowing….

Playing a team from Singapore in match 3 – we were not at our best, bowling first, the oppo got about 80 odd…with normally dart accurate Sugee taking the brunt of the batsman aggression…losing 5 wickets (with me being cleaned up first ball with the second to last ball of the match with 12 needed) we fell 8 short….still with the rain gods being on our side and our superior strike rate we still had a shot to make it to the semis…

A massive storm hit in the afternoon and with a fine list the length of an elephants trunk pretty much occupied by me, a quick team negotiation was made…If I did a Klinsmann during the thunder storm in my pants – the majority of my fines would be absolved…after much deliberation the team agreed and away I went…sadly the puddle I chose was not a grass puddle but a sand puddle – meaning as a dove..the majority of my chest came off…anyway with the alcohol in me I didn’t really notice – it was only 4 days later back in DXB my wife pointed it out…by this time it looked more like nail marks on my chest – or where they?!?!?!?

After 3 straight hours of rain, the committee called the end of the days play…

After a quick shower, we were back out on the town – Soi Cowboy followed by an educational trip to PatPong….Watto was delighted with the piece of art that was presented to him by one of the girls….she had a remarkably unique way of drawing….Brandan and Kezza competed with each other to who was the better ping pong player…given his years of experience in Thailand…Pete certainly won….Sugee was more into the musical instruments….looking on astonished as they played the Sir Lankan national anthem….Israr dressed up in his best suit was more interested in his tinder (or was in grinder) frantically swiping right….it obviously paid off as when Brandon and I returned to the hotel at 3:00am – there he was in reception with 3 “legit” ladies….good lad!

Up at 8:00am the next day, we were checked out and on the way to the ground by 9. We had made the semi’s – and were on second, following one of the slowest matches ever in history played between the organisers and the geriatrics. Knowing that we had to leave latest by 2:00pm to make our 4:00pm flight back, the organiser’s kindly brought forward the cup matches…but time was most certainly not on our side…especially after match one took over 2hours.

Our semi-final went without a hitch with Kezza being the pick of the bowlers taking 3 or 4 wickets, bamboozling the oppo with his flight and spin…tight bowling for the remainder of the team, gave our inform batsman Kezza, Watto, Sugee and Israr little worries in chasing the runs down….

There was no need to worry about time as the other semi-final was over within 25minutes – the Sri-Lankan team (who we would eventually meet in the final) bowling out the oppo within 4 overs for a grand total of 8.

Having made an impact with the other teams, everyone around the side-lines were cheering for Darjeeling in the final. Unfortunately we lost the toss and were put into bat and after some solid hitting from Watto we finished slightly below bar – setting the opp 66 to win. The oppo started well, hitting both Sugee and myself for a fair few, a great middle over from Nath brought things back to par, before Kezza bowled another fantastic tight over, conceding only a couple off it. Watto bowled the last over, with the oppo needing just 15. The first ball got pumped for 6, before a “tactical” long hop sat up nicely for the oppo batsman to hit in the air for Sugee to take a great catch on the fence…Noting that the long hop worked well Watto bowled another on the penultimate ball – again the batsman aiming his shot to Sugee….With 5 needed off the last ball……..it was just too much for the Sri Lankans…..DARJEELING HAD WON…..cheers echoed around the ground – and Watto not to let down his adoring fans decided to do a fully clothed Klinsmann…unfortunately choosing the same puddle as mine – again not sliding particularly far…

At 1:45 we were presented with our trophy and the winners bucket of beers…..at 1:59 we were changed (un-showered) and on the way to the airport. Arriving to the airport still caked in mud – we were checked in at 2:59 – 2 minutes before we would have been told to bugger off…..

bkk-6s

On an empty flight back to Dubai – Watto, myself and Sugee tried (but in vain) to have a drink – the weekend escapades had finally caught up with us.

A wonderful few days, with a great bunch of lads…..Definitely a tour that Darjeeling should play in again!

Special thanks to Watto for organising and Kezza and Nathan for taking us to the best modern art museums!!

 

DSL -Darjeeling CC v Wombats Yellow – M Peacock

On another glorious day at the ICC, the Darjeeling side arrived early to discover that their match was delayed by an hour. This left them with a dilemma, should they stay and watch the England Lions training in the nets or should they go for a pre-match beer. After much deliberation and debate it was decided that a beer was the lesser of two evils and so the boys begrudgingly trudged off to “enjoy” some refreshment. 

When it was finally game time, Shugie was chosen as the man to do the toss, with Jono being an awful tosser this season so far. Shugie came back to the changing rooms with the news that everyone wanted to hear, we would be batting, greeted with woops, cheers and back slaps. Later we found out that he had actually lost the toss but we were inserted by the oppo!

 Rhys and Jono started up, compiling a brilliant opening partnership of 69 from the first 10 overs, putting us in a great position to be able to push on with 15 overs still to go. Jono was very unlucky to be caught and bowled from a well struck drive from the first ball of the 11th over for a well compiled 25 from 26 balls. This brought Blikkies to the crease, who was tasked with upping the run rate, however, leather contacting willow proved to be an issue and he swiftly departed for 7 off 9 balls. Watto then entered the action and pushed the scoring on, with Rhys at the other end playing some sublime shots through the off side. Just as things were looking well placed for a final assault on the Wombats Yellow bowlers, Watto was run out after being called through for a run and Rhys staying put in his crease. A classic case of “Yes, No, Maybe, Sorry!” Tom Kimber came in and tried to get us up to a decent score but struggled to time the ball, with Rhys finally departing for a superb 91 from 68 balls. The middle order came and went without many runs added and the score petered out to 182-7, about 20-30 runs short of a good score.

 Dave and Ben opened the bowling and aimed to keep the scoring rate down whilst also picking up a few crucial wickets. Dave kept it expertly tight and got an important wicket with a caught and bowled, bowling his 5 overs with figures of 1-30. Shugie entered the attack and immediately struck to leave Wombats Yellow reeling on 44 for 2. However, Wombats Yellow counter attacked playing some lusty shots against Rhys, Shugie and Blikkies, pushing the score onto 86 in the 11th over, only requiring another 97 from 14 overs. In an over of madness the momentum shifted dramatically with the two set batsmen holing out to Watto in the deep and then Blikkies taking a sky-er at cover from the very next ball, leaving the opposition at 86 for 4 and DCC with a real chance of snatching a vital victory. The extremely vocal opposition support was suddenly silenced and DCC sensed that this was their opportunity. Big Mike had been trudging in like a reliable old tractor from the School End keeping the run rate low and then removed two of their batsmen in the same over due to a great catch by Thomas Mariadason out of the sun and then a caught behind off a lifting delivery that caught the batsman’s gloves. At this stage DCC had the game in their hands with the Wombats on 130-6, but they still had 8 and a half overs to go and only needed to go at a run a ball. In came one of the most obnoxious cricketers you will ever meet. The first ball he faced he bunted it down the ground to long off and stated that he should have smashed that one for six! A few overs later he hit a Rhys delivery down the ground for 4 and celebrated by waving his bat above his head like he had just won the Ashes. A Ben no ball, leading to a free hit was dispatched for six over square leg but the arrogant batsman at the non-strikers end even had a go at his partner because he didn’t hit it where he told him to. Then he decided to get his partner to call out where he was going to “smash” the next delivery, leading to some unpleasant scenes by both teams due to this idiot’s poor cricket etiquette. The game ended on quite a sour note, with DCC losing with 16 balls left and 4 wickets still needed.

 DCC now have 3 wins and 3 losses from their opening fixtures. We are all hoping for a great end to the 2016 season and go into the new year with a run of victories under our belts and a solid position in the table.

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!

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