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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DCC v Six Pistols – words by O. Higgens

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Chosen Ones vs Wrong ‘uns

As we bid a fond farewell to Lee Dawson returning to the UK and CD Kotze going back to South Africa, the Club will hold an Inter club game followed by a inevitable “messy” brunch.

There will be some special rules & drinks fines after the game, Team Captains will run through this again on Friday but briefly: 

Retire on 25

Lee & CD runs count as double, they also get a chance to counter appeal any dismissal once.

3 dot balls in a row is a shot of jager (Because we cannot drink on the field we will do these after the game) also included will be

  • Dropped catches
  • Misfields
  • Overthrows
  • Boundaries
  • Wides
  • General uselessness

Square leg umpire will be monitoring this closely

We will play 22 overs (24 time permitting), wides will not be re-bowled unless it’s the last ball of the over.

  • Wides will count as 3 runs
  • We will bowl 11 overs from one end in a row and swap over to save time
  • 2 overs max per bowler
  • 3 slips at all times since we are 14 a side

Let’s not forget the brunch at kickers afterwards. You can buy your ticket on Cobone to get a cheaper deal, here is the link:

https://www.cobone.com/en/deals/dubai/search?query=Kickers

 WARNING – DARJEELING TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGING ONES EGO DUE TO THE TEAM THEY ARE IN 

Lee

CD

Tebby

Dave M

Ben

Thomas M

Viv

Rohan M

Blikkies

Gully

Chris Neal

Nick Harvey

Brad

Julius

Eugene

Ieuan

Nathan Williams

Dexys

Badger

Colin Morris

Ash

Umer

Ollie Van Den

Cartwright

Brent

Blake

Moseley

Jono

DCC v Oyster Catchers – Ian Potgieter

It was with nervous anticipation when 1:30 pm ticked past, and DCC only had half the team present at the “suggested” meeting time. The ICC official already putting us on notice for a 5 pm finished, quickly renegotiated to 5:30pm by the present audience. The toss was performed in the middle, no negotiation to bat first being attempted, the toss was duly lost and the boys were fielding. DCC was in fortunate position to have 11 plus Watto (official scorer for the day – how I wished we had that for last Saturday’s night game!!).

The opening spell by Mike was only spoilt by 2 wides and streaky shots past 3rd man for 4. Dave was the initial destroyer claiming 2 wickets in his 2nd over. The father & son tag team saw Rohan take a maiden wicket over in his first followed by a 2rd wicket in his second. The run rate was kept very slow, wickets kept falling, enter Ieuan “Terminator” Carney who proceeded to bowl a first delivery he would rather forget, in swinging beamer shoulder height and following the retreating new batsmen, with a slight dip to connect with the batsman’s glove edge just below the chin, latter needing to retire and attend A&E for his injured pinky (Our thoughts are on his well-being). The eventful over also saw the new batsman miss a straight delivery avoiding all forms of available protection and connecting with the “Box”. This was followed by spin bowling, Stu making a great start conceding only 5 but not wanting to catch balls hit gently back to him twice in the over; this was followed by Ollie conceding 3 plus one wide. Essentially the bowling was tight, drinks being taken after 9 overs with the Oysters Catchers sitting on 40 runs for 5 wickets. This is where Ashley’s’ renegotiation skills came to the fore explaining to all in the change room we need to make a game of it etc… and so the “bookie John” effect took hold. Overs 10 and 11 saw the Oysters put on 33 off Stu (12runs) and Olly (21 runs).  Enough said. Digby (1 wicket) and Callum (3 wickets) had great spells with equally great fielding by DCC – catches taken and run out effected from mid-off with a direct hit). The last 2 wickets fell to Stu and Ollie leaving the Oyster Catchers on a modest 99 from 17.21 overs.

With a run rate of 5 per over, Captain Ash rearranged the batting line up to give all a chance to bat. I believe he succeeded in that goalJ. DCC opening with Ieuan and Rohan both getting off the mark and trying to play aggressive shots. The pitch was holding up slightly and lacked pace (emphasis made for Lee’s benefit). First wicket to go was Ieuan for 6 (13 balls) followed by Rohan for 9 (5 balls). This brought Lee and Ash to the crease with plenty of time to get ones eye in. This was taken very literally and reminiscent of “Alec Bannerman” (google the name  J)

Alec Bannerman

Lee was eventually out 0 (13 Balls). On the positive it was a 10 run partnership with Ash. Stu briefly joined Ash and departed for 0 (3 balls). Pottie joined Ash and proceeded to put on a 36 runs partnership with Ash before Pottie was catch at mid-on for 20 (25 balls). Digby came to partner Ash, with Ash being next to go attempting to march down the pitch to smack the ball over the ropes only to miss it and be stumped for 16 (33 balls). Dave partnered with Digby to put on 29 runs before Digby was out for 10 runs (11 balls) [DCC 96/7 after 14.2].No panic yet as we had wickets in hand. Mike hoping to hit the winning runs was quickly taking the long walk back being bowled for 0 (2 balls) [DCC96/8 after 14.4]. Callum confidently walked up to complete what Mike could not, however was caught and bowled for 0 (7 balls) [DCC 98/9 after 15.5]. Well thoughts went back to Ollie over where he conceded 21 runs (bookie John influence) was he in the right frame of mind – Panic !!!. Digby making a comment hopefully the wide’s will win the game J and that proved to be the case, with the winning runs courtesy of 4 wide’s down leg side leaving Dave on 13 runs not out off 12 Balls and Ollie 1 not out. Top Scorer for DCC was Mr. Wides with 28 for 16 overs.

In conclusion a great game played with true cricket spirit and won by DCC, eventually. The DCC discount at Kickers was appropriately utilised by both teams…..

DCC v ADCC 30.1.16 – Mike Peacock

See if you can spot the Beatles songs – a beer to the person who gets all 45!

The day before yesterday saw an experienced DCC side taking on a strong Abu Dhabi team who had booked in a wisely-timed fixture after a hard day’s night at the Annual Awards Night. The day trippers had made it to the ICC well before the bad boys from the night before had arrived at the ground, a worrying sign of things to come.

On a “bordering blustery day” there were even signs of rain before a shout of here comes the sun reverberated around the outfield as play commenced. Don’t ask me why but the dark glasses-wearing Dexy, looking a little weary, volunteered his services to open the batting with Harry, even though Ash had already told the story of how Dexy had been banned from further drinking after a red wine altercation the previous evening. After a rousing speech by skipper Brown, ‘don’t let me down’ being the take home message, the pair strode out to the middle with the players back in the cheap seats shouting ‘you know what to do.’ After a glorious shot from Harry in the early overs, upper-cutting their quickie for four, the scoring rate started to slow down to a snail’s pace, due to some incredibly accurate bowling from the ADCC openers.

Dexy was eventually the first man out, adjudged caught behind from a lifting delivery that was athletically snaffled by the chirpy wicket keeper. Had the DRS been accepted by both captains the decision would have been overturned as it appeared to nick off a nipple rather than the inside edge, leaving the not guilty Dexy to berate the umpiring of Racchitt and offering to show him the bruise later! In went, Callum, some new DCC young blood on debut, whose first ball was a sharp bouncer that the Aussie decided to rebuff with his shoulder in true Steve Waugh style. However, this show of manliness was his only act of defiance as he was soon out LBW to the accurate inswingers of the ADCC captain. Harvey was in next as the score slowly trickled along, Harry nudging and nurdling it around to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

The ADCC opening pair had bowled themselves out, and although the score was in the region of 40-2 the Darjeeling side, and especially the beautiful dreamer and birthday boy Cookie, thought that we can work it out and start flying towards a respectable total. This optimism, however, was short-lived as Harvey quickly departed, bringing captain Brown to the crease just as the Abu Dhabi bowlers were getting better and better, their 1st change pair not afraid to dig it in, leaving Harry searchin’ and with no reply. He seemed sure to fall, but now and then was able to rotate the strike and gradually push the score up towards 70 for 3. He was later heard in the bar saying that ‘all things must pass and that all I’ve got to do is see off the openers and then I’ll be on my way.’ In hindsight this may have been wishful thinking. Brown eventually broke up the minor partnership, after playing a few lusty strokes. He was caught out by a slower ball from the ever impressive Wilkinson, with every little thing going right for the fast bowler.

This brought Etienne to the crease, and in spite of all the danger, he and Harry were able to push the score towards the illusive hundred mark. After smashing a couple of meaty sixes that went long, long, long, the impressive South African departed bringing Racchitt to the wicket. He who said to himself that these bowlers ‘don’t bother me’ as he milked runs all around the ground. However, this was to be the end of the counter attack as he fell, followed quickly by Cook, hooking his second ball straight to deep square leg, as he trudged off thinking ‘I should have known better.’ Some final over scampering between the wickets, with shouts of ‘run for your life,’ ‘get back’ and ‘wait’ being heard all around the ground, left the innings at a below par 127 for 9 from 25 overs. After a Lombardi-esque speech from Brown at the halfway stage, ‘all together now’ being the take home message, the Darjeeling outfit knew that only an imperious bowling performance would leave them with anything to show from this match.

The ball was thrown straight to all-rounder and ADCC old boy, Etienne, for the opening over. The South African started with a tight first couple of overs, followed by a slightly looser set of twelve from new boy, Peacock, before the experienced Harvey was brought into the attack. However, although there were ferocious deliveries that kept the ADCC batsmen on their toes, they were able to accumulate runs at a canter and had quickly amassed 65 for the loss of only one wicket, massively helped by some shoddy fielding and some ‘come and get it’ bowling. Krish, Cookie and Racchitt all came into the attack, bowling some expert deliveries, Cookie especially landing a few balls on a matchbox, but the off-colour DCC side had very little to offer a far superior ADCC team.

Ash charged in to chance his arm and at least grab a couple of consolation wickets but not even his right arm mediums could help in this cause. The boundaries were coming here, there and everywhere and it wasn’t long before we were finally put out of our misery, the Darjeeling side glad all over.

Onwards to the next fixtures, a much improved all round performance needed to get back to winning ways. I’m sure it won’t be long!