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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game on. 

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

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

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

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