The day started with a few early arrivals being gripped to Jo’s phone as a cached live coverage of the DSL team’s super over finale was dictated by McCaffery Jnr. The good news saw Nick’s celebratory F bomb count go through the roof pre toss. A new record.
The opposition fronted as a standard middle aged male troop, ranging from 3-4 technically good players, a couple of social blokes who used to a play a bit, and a couple of blokes who could sink 14 beverages of an afternoon then take a piss…
After a quick streak and pulling himself together, Nick won the toss and we had a bat. 10 off the first from Aryan was a good return off a good bowler. Aryan, Munish, Digby and Harry all with starts saw us 4/61 at drinks.
Fresh from his celebratory streak, Nick was charging, slapping them to all corners for a well fought 60. He only needed for someone to stick around, the middle order didn’t offer much today but Young Tom came in at 9 for a run a ball 20. A great head on his shoulders for his age.
Still with a few overs to go Ash came in to not only see out the innings but also wrap up the Fashions on the Field title for yet another week with the broadbrim/spectacle/headband/skins combo ensemble. Whilst looking the part he rolled the wrists over a juicy half volley to clear the fence and send the bustling crowd of 22 into raptures.
A decent total of 9/156 on an up/down wicket.
The Cannons came out with malicious intent using 3 of the technically better players i mentioned earlier. A few fielding mishaps and some blatant slogging saw them on the required rate for the first 5-6 and in the 9th they were 2/90. Enter the man with a vast appetite for chilled beverages.
He threw the kitchen sink and took it to the kids like a catholic priest, clearing the fence with nothing more than a pair of shorts and a bat. Even his box was unwanted ballast and thrown towards his team mates at fine leg to be collected mid innings.
Despite the lack of enthusiasm for its retrieval thoughts turned to if it was indeed uncomfortable or bad news had filtered through about the previous owners gonorrhea problem. An unfortunate time to receive the news no doubt, however it didn’t deter him and they passed us 2 down with 5 overs to spare. Off to the clinic I guess, or back to the cafe…
A very hot day at the ICC saw Darjeeling host a talented touring side from the University of East London.
DCC were batting first on an uneven wicket that offered movement for both new ball bowlers and spinners later in the game. Sam Jackson got DCC off to a good start with a string of impressive boundaries through the off side and formed a good 2nd wicket partnership with Watto. Watto, in particular, was eyeing up the 6 over extra cover shot with a success rate of 33% however still remained at the crease courtesy of picking their most limited fielder twice in the deep. Good batting & bad fielding had DCC well placed at 120-1 with Watto (47) and Sam (41) looking set for just the loss of Harry (caught behind for 17).
However, a familiar Darjeeling middle order collapse began with a newly single, resident DCC love rat, Dorris trying to hook a half volley & getting cleaned up, Jono exuding the air of man who would rather be in Rockies getting caught & Muni and Kev both succumbing to the tourist’s version of Badger leaving a middle order scorecard of 3,4,5,4 and followed up by Rohan running himself out without facing a ball for a duck (surely a dick of the day moment!?). Big Mikey hit a few boundaries and was not aided much by Matt Peet who seemed to be a specialist in picking the fielders – all in all DCC closed on a sub par 175 off 25 overs.
Being the most senior bowler in the team, Rohan was handed a brand new dukes ball, first over & ran in to bowl some heat from the top end. No wickets unfortunately but mixed his lengths up well and came up against some good stroke play to go for 30 from 3. Keen to avenge his own calamitous running, a smart bit of fielding off his own bowling led to DCC’s first wicket being a run out.
Mikey bowled well from the other end mixing up his stock slower ball with the odd quicker one & snicked off their opening bat for 32 who looked a decent player. Spinners were the order of the day at first change with Matt Peet claiming an LBW with a googly in case anyone was wondering & Jono wheeling away at the other end proving there is more to this man than smashing bullfrogs. Muni did well under a skier from Jono fresh after doing a juggling act with a similar opportunity a few overs previous & when the dreadlocked Rasta Brenty chipped in with a snick off wicket afterwards, UEL were 6 down and the game was well placed to go either way.
However, UEL’s version of Rambo (according to his scorebook name!) was under little scoreboard pressure and took the opposition home for a 3 wicket win in the last over. A relatively comfortable run chase in the end that proved DCC were most likely 20-30 runs light. Pick of the bowlers being Matt Peet with 1-29 off his 5 overs.
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!
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.html– NB. 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!
[vc_row type=”container” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]Darjeeling CC v The Avengers CC Saturday 4th March 2017 Skyline University Sharjah
We bowled first and bowled great… And they kept running themselves out. 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 go away then trying to fight our opening bat who politely and completely understandably….told him he was an utter idiot 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 Kissinger like diplomacy to drag this madman off the pitch…
Anyway, on to our batting: 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 (Big Carl.) 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.
11 overs later … It was all over with Carl 81 not out off 39 balls .
As the teams shook hands , the idiot who was trying to fight in the first innings came over to have another go making an even bigger idiot 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.
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……
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.
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 drink. After much deliberation and debate it was decided that a beverage 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.
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 60 mins before departure. (The joys of staff travel). Ferrari owner and property mogul Nathan Williams decided to save himself AED 35 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 beverages 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 beverage 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 beverages – 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 beverages 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 beverages…..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…..
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.
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.
Darjeeling traveled to Emirates Palace to meet the Abu Dhabi Gents. The scenery was jaw dropping to the vast majority of players and it took a little time to let it sink in that we were playing a game of cricket in a palace next to the beach.
David was appointed captain and had a tough job on his hands having 3 leg spinners and 3 off spinners in the team. The leggies included Joe, George and Thomas and the off spinners included Umer, Aryan and Ollie.
Toss time came around ,after relaxing under the trees, and David lost it. Darjeeling were bowling first! David gave himself the first over and kept it tidy, only giving 3 runs away. Munish was given the second over and went for 11. David bowled 3 overs with figures of 0-11 and Munish was taken off after his second over went for 29. George came on and gave a left handed batsman nightmares after bowling consistent googlies in his overs and finished on figures of 1-38 after 5.
Shehan came on and was getting some surprising bounce and pace off the wicket after telling David that he bowled medium pace. Shehan rattled the batsmen with the shorter delivery and Kai took some very good catches going low to his right. Shehan ended up with figures of 2-23 off 5. Meanwhile in the field Jaco Smith ,who was due for surgery in a couple of weeks, was throwing himself around the ground and stopping every run he could, deserving the name Jonty. Joe then came on and bowled a good spell, picking up the wicket of Sheraz who was looking dangerous on 43. Joe finished his spell of 4 overs for 2-25. Thomas then came on and bowled a tidy spell of 2-16 off 3 and had Sheraz swinging his bat so hard that David was worried that the bat would go further than the ball. Aryan was given the ball and went the distance, ending up on figures of 0-38 off 2. Umer came on for the last over and was given some punishment,going for 14. The Abu Dhabi Gents ended up on a total of 202, setting Darjeeling 203 to win.
Umer and Jaco opened up for Darjeeling. Umer looked like he was ready to rumble having hit his first ball for 4, unfortunately Umer was only able to get 20 after being bowled. Jaco didn’t trouble the scorers after playing on a delivery.
Ollie came in at 3 and never really got going and only managing 9 before being bowled. Shehan was in at 4 and looked good, hitting three 4’s and a 6, however he could only manage 25. George was next in and played a very solid front foot defence first up but he held out playing a reverse sweep and being caught. for 2. Munish was next in and managed 10, hitting a lot of singles from miss-hits before being bowled. David came in and managed 4 not out. Thomas then came in and watchfully played his first ball for a dot, then he flicked a ball of his hip down to fine leg and it was quoted ‘the shot of the day’ from the keeper, however Thomas was stumped off the bowling of Etienne, expecting it to come a lot faster than it did. Aryan came in for the last 3 balls of the match and played a nice cut shot for 2. Darjeeling finished their innings off with 80.
The Abu Dhabi Gentlemen were definitely the better team on the day.
Darjeeling lost the toss and were asked to field, in what turned out to be tough catching conditions. Opening bowlers JP (5-0-27-0) and Brent (3-0-34-1) used the humid conditions to significantly swing the new ball.
JP bowling a tight opening spell, giving little away. At the other end Brent struggled to control the swing and subsequently bowled a lot of wides. However, in between the wides were some absolute beauties and was unlucky to have a nick behind put down before making the breakthrough. LBW.
From there on Wombats built a couple of decent partnerships, but never really got away from us, with Ash (4-0-31-0) and Krish (5-0-28-2) bowling tight lines, giving very little away. Krish in particular was excellent in changing pace which made it difficult for the batsman to get him away to the boundary.
Towards the end of the innings, when Wombats really looked to increase the scoring rate, they were halted by the taking of regular loss of wickets, Joe (5-0-44-3) and Dexy (3-0-32-1) held their nerve to ensure Wombats did not make it past the 200 mark, finishing on 198 for 5 off their 25 overs.
Darjeeling were assisted by some good fielding in the ring, Brent’s direct hit run out from point being the stand out moment in the field. The less said about some of the efforts in the deep the better and in all honesty there were a fair few of them, but as I mentioned at the beginning conditions were tough, it was dark for a start.
Tom (10) and JP (28 of 20) opened the batting for Darjeeling. Tom looked in sublime form, timing the ball nicely until recieving what can only be described as a tricky straight delivery, which he duly played all around to be bowled. Not ideal. Krish (6) came out to join JP at 3 and proceeded to deposit is second ball over the ropes for 6. However, in trying to do the same to his third delivery he was bowled.
Possibly a touch on the rash side. This brought Dexy to the crease, who unfortunately also got one of those tricky straight ones and was bowled for a duck. This brought Jaco (16) to the crease, again we were unable to build a partnership as JP was undone by a slower ball. Which brought skipper for the evening Pottie (8) to the wicket, who was undone by what looked like wombats best bowler and was bowled trying to up the scoring rate. Ash came to the crease and built our first meaningful partnership with Jaco, both playing some glorious strokes. Jaco was eventually out LBW for a well made 16.
Brent strode the wicket full of meaning and promise, something he certainly fulfilled, during an innings filled with cultured strokes and brutal striking, including a couple of big sixes. Again, he and Ash built a decent partnership, before Ash decided to protect his average and retire for a well compiled 23 off 32. Brent also decided he would protect his average and retired after making 28 off 24. Which allowed Chris (3), Kai (4 not out) and Joe (2 not out) to get some time in the middle. Darjeeling ended up on 143 from our 25 overs.
An enjoyable evening had by all, despite the loss, Wombats were simply too strong on the day.
It was Friday 13th, the sun was shining and CD and Lee entered into their last DCC supper with their 13 other disciples in tow, but who would be found hanging on the cross by the end of the day? (As it turned out it was both, along with several of their followers).
Fresh from 1 hours sleep and a black sambuca breakfast Lee negotiated the toss with CD allowing him his choice based on the years served rule, CD elected to field while the oven was warming up.
God’s Chosen Ones (aka those of normal height) opened with the skipper himself wearing Thomas’s pad as a compulsory armguard and his Bahrain Buffalo Bullfrog stalwart Badger, opening up for The Wrong Un’s, was the silver fox willow Kotze himself. Ball one…. Kotze wobbled down his finest first delivery in his DCC career and was met with the usual amount of negativity from Lee as he blocked it out to point.
Some tight early overs from CD, Nick and Dexy were soon put to bed when the Gully was crashed over midwicket first ball for 4 and drilled over cover for 6 by his Lee leading to his retirement on 50.
Badger soon followed Lee back nicking off to Ieuan for a flamboyant 1. Brad the Chiang Mai Wall in at 3 was doing his level best to increase the run rate with a flurry of drives but his partner Rasta Abrahams soon fell victim to Umer for 11. Tebby looking like he would ‘come on for the run’ made a quick 10 before coming the first of Rohan’s run out victims. Erstwhile Brad had cruised to 28 and was safely back in the pavilion reminiscing of CM (where?) with ETB.
Olly Van Der Broek was asked to put his finger in the wall (I add not the Chiang Mai version) and stop the flow of wickets, but was out to an extraordinary piece of luck, more lucky than Jono pulling a thin bird, a return catch was shelled by Thomas (I thought it was Rohan) diving at full length only for the ball to crash into the stumps and leave Olly out of his ground and out for 1. Nathan ‘Thailand’ Williams using what can only be described as tree trunk hit a couple of lusty blows before making the stupid mistake of hitting one down Kes the Trolley Dolly’s throat at long off for an appropriate 13. Harry who might look back at this game thinking there will be better days inexplicably was out bowled on a free-hit to the smallest of all Thomas I’ve inherited my dad’s golden arm Mariadson for 11.
The kids then started turning the screw, Ieuan returned to clean ETB on his return for 3 and Thomas then had Ben stumped for 5. Viv gave Gully a wicket when a lusty blow picked out Umer for 10, and Chris Neal became the 3rd run out victim this time to Umer for another unlucky for some 13. Ash dancing down the wicket like a whirling dervish gave Jono his 3rd victim making 8.
In return the first retiree Lee to join Blikkies, acting as a joint heavy roller for the second innings added some needed runs, Blikkies huge 6 off Umer had Kes moving into an extraordinary fielding position at long-high off, standing above the sightscreen in the ‘moon’ position. Inspired by this Lee aiming to in his words “knock the fucker off” drilled CD in the last over straight but low for four, nutmegging George in the process who thankfully for him was hanging to the right.
The innings closed with Lee unbeaten on 78 and Blikkies 14. A challenging total of 237 had been set. Pick of the bowlers was Thomas once again, pick of the batsmen… pretty damn obvious.
After a short innings break a padded set of silver foxes in the form of Gully and CD strode out to the wicket to face Badger the Bunny. Gully, wearing a shirt reminiscent of the last time he paid his club fees faced the first ball and together with CD started building an innings that would for a long time baffle the cricketing gods.
Gully was the first to go caught off the bowling of Tebby for a run a ball 5, not reproducing his days as a class A Australian cricket opener and in came Dexy, wearing his pink cravat, which could mean only one thing, or two, in some cultures.
What followed was the biggest collection of mistimed shots, thick outside edges, back foot off cut straight drives from CD and swings and misses coupled with singles from Dexy. Such was the beauty of the innings, that God’s chosen ones started slowly but surely take their big feet of the gas, all part of the Tyrian Lannister type deception being built by the wrong’uns wiley captain.
With his only well timed shot of the day, a straight drive, well placed over Rasta’s head, CD retired for a captain’s knock of 52 off 20 odd balls, leaving Dexy to continue his dot ball deception, but how long would that last?
In strode Teddy Mooney who for a time continued the dot ball deception for some time before picking up a few fours, keeping the wrong’uns just in touch with the now overconfident cheery chosen ones.
At the same time, Dexy suddenly decided that he had spent enough time building an innings and proceeded to go bounding towards his retirement scoring his last 15 runs of 5 balls, retiring on 25 off about 109 balls. Would this be the start of a turnaround?
Here is where I start getting a bit blurry, I believe caused by the bullfrog induced concussion suffered at Kickers, so excuse the run of play slightly.
Enter Gary Busey aka Maverick aka Colin Morris for a three run cameo, bowled by Chris Neal.
At about the same time, Teddy, or so he claims, agreed that he would give Lee an easy catch off Ash’s bowling, thereby proving himself to be both a scholar and a gentleman out for a solid 18.
Jono, who I have known since he was a wee lad, walked in with the confidence of a young feeder in his prime and what occurred from this point onwards was a thing of beauty.
The tall blokes chuckled and pie’d themselves into a sense of comfort and allowed Jono to retire on a 14 odd ball 26, mostly off Viv, who could be seen tearing up on the fence after Jono’s onslaught.
Blake coming in after Mooney’s wicket, made a welcome come back to the club with after a stint in Kenya where he scored a double hundred for his club against the Mombasa school for the blind and deaf, finding some kind of form with a very good 22, stumped by the reluctant keeper off the bowling of a certain Mr. van der Broek, which I must say, is a great name, further setting up the innings
Meanwhile Umer, who sounds exactly like Ducky, a gent who some at the club might know, contributed with a good 20 to hold up one end for Kes, who was nursing a suntanned backside from his sight screen antics.
Kes, cunningly sent in after a short conference between the shorts captain and Jono from his batting position of 15, he proceeded to stroke a pre-nap Eugene for 3 sixes in one over and scoring a game changing 25 of 7 balls, setting up a tense finish.
With young Rohan coming in to join Umer and Badger bowling the last over, the shorts needed a run a ball off the last over, conservatively reached, including a reverse sweep from young Rohan and the shorts pulling victory from the jaws of defeat, leaving God’s chosen ones wondering what God they had chosen.
A great game was followed up by a focused fines session spilling into what can only be described as a Kicker’s brunch reminiscent of the days when we had a clubhouse, may she rest in peace.
Gentleman, are we still gentleman?
Thank you to everyone, it’s been great.