DCC vs HMS Somerset

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Darjeeling CC v ABB – words by G Turner

It was a scorching  hot day down at the SES stadium as the stalwart players of Darjeeling met for what was a bitter sweet occasion given the sad loss of our team mate and friend , Simon Fowler the previous weekend.

It was decided that Darjeeling rule no 1 would not be used and a fair toss was made with the incorrect call from the ABB skipper Aman and I immediately informed him we would bat and the match would be of the T20 format.

A few words of respect and a quiet moment for our own thoughts before the opening pair of Jonno and Pete Shenk (manager of the Crowne Plaza SZR , Discounts available upon request!) strode  purposefully to the crease. A contrasting start, with Jonno finding the middle of the bat immediately whilst Peter struggled with the swing and bounce that the” Karama” special ball we had given them was producing. After scoring just 2 runs Peter missed a swinging full toss and was out LBW. In trotted  our” steady eddy”  number 3 , Andrew Laing who from the outset knew the wisest  thing was to give Jonno the strike and thus our innings started to accelerate with Jonno playing some delightful pulls,  cuts and straight drives and as the temperature in Sharjah climbed to 46 degrees the ABB team wilted in the sun.

Drinks where taken when the” Karama” special shed its skin after only 9 overs and we were  well placed at about 80 for 1.

After drinks and so dominant where we that our score prediction rose alongside the Mercury and of course that alerted the great Cricketing god to become involved! Andrew played a very un Laing like shot and was out for a patient 14 out of a partnership with Jonno of 107 , then Jonno himself aimed a long hop at  a fielder at fine leg and all at the ground were amazed when the chap actually caught the ball!! Jonno gone for a well-played 84 . Poignantly , Jonno confirmed that throughout his innings he was repeating the mantra  of his coach in his early days at Darjeeling , Simon Fowler , “play straight , every ball play straight”. I think Simon would have been very proud of Jonno,s   innings.

Nick scampered as he always does for a quick fire 14   , AT did not waste any balls with his 5 off 3 balls  and David also kept the scoreboard ticking over for his 14 not out. Gully had to face 2 balls at the end and his bat remained  untouched as he was bowled neck and crop off the last ball for a duck! No doubt the great Cricketing gods justice was served on him for being late!!!

So with Nick needing to leave early to attend a posh “DO” at the BurJ Al Arab , he was given the chance to rattle through his overs quickly from the water tank end with Gully appearing from his favored University end. Nick struck in his first over with the extra bounce of the new proper UK made cherry hitting the batters gloves and looping kindly to the ever agile Gibby  behind the stumps. Gully should have had a wicket himself but Nick downed a very quick chance at first slip. Nick bowled a nice line and length finishing with 1 for 15 off his 4. Gully had a rest and a chunder after his opening spell of 3 overs and then David and son Rohan where  given the chance to make it the Mariadson  family show and they did not disappoint!! David managed to get the ball to bend and swerve and completely bamboozled the batsmen who never really knew where the ball would end up. He struck twice in his first over and with  Rohan effectively tying up the other  end it really was a Family Affair. Rohan finished with 4 -0-26 but bowled so much better in applying the squeeze. David finished with 4-3-33 and 17 of them  came from one over . So the rate had climbed to over 12 an over when Ash and myself where tasked with the last 4 overs of the day.

The skipper of ABB ,  Aman was now on 51 when he decided to charge down the wicket to my first ball , result 1 wide and 1 stumping! Au Revoir Aman ! Another wicket later in the over with Rohan taking a fine catch in the deep and the game was surely ours. Ash bowled the penultimate over tightly to finish with 2-0-19 and when Rohan took another fine catch the game was ours and I finished with the flattering figures  of 2-3-9.

So DCC won by 28 runs against a team that had beaten us recently at the ICC.

A few ambers and pales , including a couple of chilled Spitfires as Ash read the book and then a few of us retired to the Polo Club to further raise our glasses to absent friends.

Friday 16th May – words by Andrew “Tavare” Laing

In the second millennium, the world changed. Climate, nations, the ICC, all were in upheaval. The Earth transformed into a poisonous, scorched desert, known as “The Cursed Earth”. Millions of people crowded into a few Megacities, where roving bands of IPL cricketers and Internet Bookies created chaos the ICC could not control. Cricket Law, as we know it, collapsed. From the decay rose a new order, a society ruled by a new, elite force. A force with the power to dispense both justice and punishment. They were the police, jury and executioner all in one. They were the Judges of Darjeeling.

Greetings, puny Earthlets!

Yes, it is I, Tharg the Magnificent, who has returned to your solar system to grace you with more tales of the Judges of Darjeeling. The Scorer Droids were particularly busy this weekend recording the spectacular displays of the Judges of Darjeeling and I give fair warning that what you are about to read will strike fear into the hearts of bowlers everywhere.

Engage your circuits and prepare for sensory overload…  And so it came to pass that the Judges of Darjeeling travelled to the dry, barren wastes of Sharjah English School to lay down the law against the Sixers. As per usual, some of the Judges arrived slightly worse for the wear, Judges Gully, Joey and Brownie having just come off their night shift at Rock Bottom and assorted other trouble spots. There was a serious lack of interest in assuming the role of Chief Judge for the game and somehow, I, Tharg the Mighty, was elected Chief Judge. After surveying the team list and soundly cursing the Selector Droids for picking a team with 9 bowlers and 2 batsman, I wandered across to converse with the Captain of the Sixers. After unsuccessfully trying to invoke Darjeeling Rule 1 (Darjeeling shall Bat First), I resorted to having to just win the coin toss (with a few Betelguesen Mind Tricks being very helpful here) and Darjeeling batted first anyway. Darjeeling Rule 2 (Judges Brownie and Houghton shall open the batting) was invoked with just one small change as Judge Houghton was still on injury leave after his hand was hurt in an assault by a Lebo Street Gang during a recent Block Riot.

Judges Brownie and Blikkies (both recent centurions for Darjeeling) opened the batting with the stern words of Tharg ringing in their ears “Make sure you stick around, we do not have a deep batting order today”. Little did I know what I had started…

Judge Brownie started confidently, hitting boundaries seemingly at will while at the other end Judge Blikkies looked distinctly out of sorts. Eventually Judge Blikkies fell in the line of duty, bowled for 9 (1 x 4) after a 60 run partnership for the 1st Wicket. Judge Brownie meanwhile kept normal services running, bashing boundaries all over the place. This bought Judge Dominator to the wicket who also seemed to be playing on a different pitch to Judge Brownie. Dominator was soon out, Caught for 5 for a 30 run partnership for the 2nd wicket. And Judge Brownie kept rolling on, banging boundaries like he was downing Bull Frogs at Rock Bottom. Judge Gully was in next (yes, he was batting at number 4 – the tail started early that day!). After messing around with some singles, Judge Gully belted a 4 and a 6. He was then immediately bowled through the gate (a Reigellian battle cruiser would have fitted through that gap!) for 14 runs (1 x 4 and 1 x 6) out of a partnership of 51. And yes, Judge Brownie was still going like a Boeing, smashing it all over the park. This bought Judge Julius to the crease where once again, the pitch just seemed to be that much more difficult if your name was not Judge Brownie. Judge Julius hung around in a Tavare-esque fashion for 11 runs Not Out (1 x 4), while (no surprises here!) Judge Brownie kept beating the opposition bowlers like they were red-haired step-children. The Sixers ended up using 9 bowlers with only Sajad being able to stop the flow (2 for 24 off 5 overs), the rest of them were just thrashed around the park.

Judge Brownie ended on a massive 144 Not Out (5 x 6’s, 18 x 4’s = 102 runs in boundaries alone!) – a spectacular performance and one any sane cricketer would happily have paid money to watch. Well done Judge Brownie!!! Your name shall be recorded in the annals of Darjeeling History (now if you would please do something about those holey underpants, we would all feel a lot safer!). Special mention must be made of the second highest scorer in the innings: Extras with 20! Darjeeling closed the innings on 206 for 3 wickers after 22 overs. A worthy score and Tharg was left with a lovely case of pad rash having been due to come in at Number 6.  And now to the bowling. With no less than 9 bowlers available (although Judge Brownie seemed particularly fatigued after his efforts so did not bowl – perhaps he was missing his Bullfrogs), Tharg was spoilt for choice and decided to open with Judges Gully and Blikkies. Judge Gully bowled 4 very respectable overs on the trot and even got a wicket (LBW!!!). He then proclaimed that he would like to finish off his spell of 5 overs without a break saying “I am like the Titanic. Once I get going I am hard to stop”. Here, dear readers, Tharg made his first mistake. And so Gully was given a 5th over which  was duly dispatched for 13 runs. And so Tharg’s 1st Law for Captains has been set: If in doubt, don’t listen to your bowlers!!!.

Judge Blikkies bowled with consistent aggression for his three overs and took two wickets, the key one being the tubby Sixers opening batsman who had started to look dangerous, dispatching 4’s around the park. Thereafter the scorebook is a great mess as the Sixers Scorer Droids had clearly given up the fight. The Sixers never really looked capable of keeping up with the target and quickly fell behind the required run rate. Judges Julius, Rohan and Dave M (1 wicket) all bowled three overs each while Judges Rory and Ross (1 wicket) bowled 2 overs each. Judge Brownie was not to be outdone in the field and contributed to a good run out while Judge Dominator kept well and got a stumping. Judge Joey (imagine a recently shaved Chewbacca coming off a long run up and you will not be far off) also got one over at the close and got his maiden wicket for Darjeeling in his very first appearance. Sixers ending on 153 for 7 off 22 overs giving Darjeeling the win by 53 runs.  I would like to say that we all went for drinks afterwards but Judges Gully, Joey and Brownie all went for a “tactical nap” that turned into a permanent one and so the planned party felt flat…

Friday 7th March vs Sri Lankan Dubai CC‏ – words by Liam Joyce

The afternoon started off with a strange sensation, with me reaching Sharjah, on time, and on my own accord and without the scenic tour of the local attractions. The opposition were on time and wearing whites another strange sensation from the last couple of weeks. Soon after this normality was resumed as Ash sweet talked their captain out of a toss, invoking the Darjeeling “we bat first rule”. I make it sound easy but at one point a coin even came out, driving Ash into the sympathetic “we always bat first, and don’t worry we are just here to enjoy ourselves and if we hit it we will walk”. And it wasn’t too soon till our first batsman walked/hobbled/fancied a savannah. It was a dubious pre game “hamstring injury”  but I suppose without jDOTbrown any where to be seen we needed someone’s injury to talk about. So Andrew walked for 7. Israr was next to come in, and within minutes had ummed and arred a little too long over an “easy three” and ran himself out for 3. The last time he was in a similar situation he was “umming and arring” over a  solid 6 and Badgers housemate jumped in and stole the glory at the annual dinner – Malcolm Gladwells Blink is on order Israr.

In the mean time Chris D was making some strong strides at the crease and partnered well with first Brad and then Greg before getting out for 47 of 42 with Brad getting 12.  Greg steadied the ship with a couple of 6’s and some warm words with anyone smaller than him, so the full 11 which could explain the slight over celebration by the oppo of his wicket as his self proclaimed “most frustrating innings of his life” came to an end for 34.  Nathan “crease hogger” saw the innings out making both Etiene and then Ash keep their pulses up with 22 yard intervals., normally in multiples unless it was the end of the over. A good finish with NCH on 33 off 22 and Ash 2 both not out. Darjeeling were 174 for 5 after 25.

I had heard rumours we had a sub, and after a quick search around the grounds snoring was heard coming from one of the school buildings. Soon after Mohit was dug out from his first sleep in 30 hours and thrown into the field leaving the injured Andrew to umpire.

It was a surreal and dream start for Darjeeling with Israr pitching the first ball up and getting a thick edge straight up in the air which they decided to run, leaving Chris D an easy run out. Where the next couple overs from both Greg and Israr were slow in runs and wickets , manly due to a dropped catch from Liam, they made up for it in line length and pace.  Greg had their one batsman looking like he was playing on a Wii as he tried to chase the ball around the crease. Greg finally got a plum LBW and finished up with 5 overs 4 runs 1 wicket with Isr no wickets for 23 off 5.

Etienne and the HASS were on next and needled into their batting attack with them both giving the Sri Lankans the opportunity to get back into the game by getting hit around the park before Etienne took two quick caught behind wickets.  Although their left hander was handed a number of chances which can only be “put down” to some woeful catching, with the worst probably coming from Liam again, it was have been easier to swallow the ball than drop it.  With them needing a run rate of over 10 an over it was time to bring on our spinners for a bit of temptation, a brave choice with our dropping performance but Ash delivered some corking top spin bouncers to get 4 wickets, including a stumping,  from 2.3 over for very little runs with Neil getting 2 wickets off 3 overs for 22.

It was easy to tell that they had given up as the score book became rather lack lustre towards the end.

Tough one for MoM, some great bowling from both Greg and Ash, and cracking batting from Greg and Nathan, but Chris D’s 47 and great work behind the stumps edges it for me.


DCC vs The Lions at SES 13th Dec 2013 – words by Hassan Saeed aka Darth Vader

There was much anticipation in the lead up of this game against The Lions at SES. Our Skipper for the day was Boom Boom Jason. The start of the match wasn’t encouraging with only eight DCC guys showed up on time ( I suspect the rest were still recovering from their hangover after over indulgence of some sort the night before). At the toss we had no option but to bat first which seemed a sensible decision as our opening pair of Israr and A Lang put on 42 runs for the opening wicket after 7 overs.


Israr departed after making 24 runs and looked in good nick before being caught on the boundary. A Lang was caught and bowled for 13 the next over with the score on 47. It was up to Johno and Jason to build on the innings. Jason was out for 3 runs, bowled by one of their chucker’s with a suspect action. With the score on 52 or 3 there was some panic in the dressing room, then Kym strode to the crease and made 8 runs before being caught, the score was 70 for 4. Gully was out for a duck and the score became 70 for 5. Johno in the meantime was batting well, and when Ash came out to Bat they both steadied the sinking DCC Ship to post 122 after 20 overs. Johno made an unbeaten 50 with 2 4s and 1 6. Ash played well for an unbeaten 11 runs of 8 balls. However the DCC total of 122 was never going to be enough and we were at least 30 runs short. The extras column was the third highest score at 14.


Now it was up to our bowlers to perform some of their magic if we were to defend a a below par 122. Israr opened the bowling along with Gully and Israr was bowling with pace and bounce and had some of the Lions batsmen in trouble. He finally got a wicket in his second spell clean bowling on of the Lions Batsmen for a duck. By then the match was pretty much over though. The Lions opening batsmen made a solid start with the openers making 15 and 38 respectively.  We were never in the game as we needed to take wickets regularly and hold on to our catches, (we dropped a couple of absolute sitters). Dave got the first wicket after their opener was caught for 15 with their score on 70 odd. After Dave and CD had finished their spell, the spin doctors Ash and Kym were called into the attack and both bowled tight spells.  The next wicket to go was their other opening batsmen who scored 38 after being stumped by Johno of the bowling of Ash ( Score was 90 odd for 2). Mohit also bowled an over. The Has was called into the attack and bowled his usual fiery spell and picked up a wicket towards the end with the score on around 115.Here are the DCC bowling figures.


Israr – 3 overs 1 for 16

Gully – 3 overs 0 – 25

Dave – 3 overs 1 – 28
Ash – 3 overs 1 – 16

CD – 2  overs 0 – 20 

Kym – 2 overs 0 – 15

Mohit – 1 over 0- 10

Hasan – 2.3 overs 1- 8 


The match lasted until the 19th over with the Lions chasing 122 with 6 wickets in hand. All in all a disappointing result, but am sure we should bounce back strongly.

Match Report from Jono Houghton, Fri Dec 6th fixture…

Venue: Sharjah English School
Teams: Darjeeling CC v Something Champs (No name on the score sheet!)
Conditions: 25-30 degrees. Clear blue skies.
Hangover: Worst for wear after a long night out with Brownie and Gully and two hours sleep.

The day began with Darjeeling 23-0 after three overs. This is mainly due to the fact the game began with two members failing to show up on time with Houghton being in Albania the night before and waiting for an ‘airport pick up’ from Gully who as always was running late. Eventually both members arrived and were informed that Captain for the day Gary Turner negotiated the toss by explaining to the opposition captain ‘We are Darjeeling, if you want to play us we bat first’ if only all Darjeeling captains followed Captain Turners lead. Brownie and Dommett opened up and put on a solid partnership before The Domminator was bowled for 13 with a couple of expertly guided edges for 4. Darjeeling starting well on 46-1 after 5 overs. 

Houghton batting at 7 needed to make some quick inroads and advised Dannie ‘the lol’ Rees to get out as soon as possible with Dannie quickly obliging being caught for what can only be described as an adventurous 7. Meanwhile Brownie was knocking it around confidently and looking good. In came Jason Brown who was quickly targeted by the square leg fielder who observantly pointed out that J.Brown could well be a run out candidate – J.Brown chirping back by saying ‘I’m faster than I look’. That theory would quickly be tested. In other news Brownie was clearly upset that his mates Jonno and Gully hadn’t come in to bat with him, he therefore took it upon himself to make sure this happened as soon as possible and duly ran J. Brown out without him facing a ball – direct hit by said square leg fielder. Darjeeling now struggling on 56-3 after 8 overs. 

In came Brandon and he immediately took a liking to the bowling knocking them around before Brownie was caught top edging one for a well-made 37. Israr was next and put on a good partnership with Brandon worth 45 before being cleaned up for 14 trying to up the scoring rate. Darjeeling now 128-5 after 17 overs needed a strong finish to the innings to post a competitive score. In came Houghton scoring a quick 12 caught at long off, Andrew Laing bowled for 4, Brandon sacrificing his wicket trying to steal a quick single run out for a very well made 44 with 5×4’s. Captain Turner coming in for the last ball scoring 1*. Darjeeling finishing up on a respectable 158-8 in 20 overs on a slow outfield. 

Attention now turned to what bowling options Captain Turner had available and there certainly was not much to choose from with only Israr and Gully (debatably) classified as our quicks. Nevertheless Darjeeling strode out confidently with Israr taking the first over. Israr and Gully began well keeping things tight with Israr having an absolutely stone wall LBW turned down by – in the words of Captain Turner himself – ‘cheating fuc$%@£&king C%^un$ts’ or words to that effect and Israr chipping in by telling the umpire ‘It’s because of people like you that Pakistanis have such a bad reputation’ NB: It could well have been slightly more X-rated than that. Soon after, Gully made the first breakthrough with an equally outrageous LBW decision – bowling around the wicket to a right hander, hitting his thigh pad and the umpire raising his finger. Gully finishing up 3-0-23-1 and Israr a very economical 4-0-16-0 unfortunate not to take a wicket. Opposition now behind the required rate at 39-1 after 7 overs. 

Captain Turner strategically or perhaps through no other choice took the pace off the ball by introducing Brownie and the LOL who kept things tight before Brownie and Dannie both got hit for 13 and 18 in their last overs bringing the opposition back into the game approx. 100-1 in 14 overs. Perhaps unsurprisingly the Darjeeling fielders did not help matters with catches being shelled by Andrew Laing and twice by Houghton, sshh sshhh sshhh. Houghton however received good support from his team mates Brownie and Dannie who abused him for the next few overs with Captain Turner removing Houghton from the boundary and bringing him in the circle. The abuse obviously got to Houghton as when the ball was hit to long off he turned to throw back some abuse of his own to his ‘team mates’ at long on and deep midwicket which meant he was not following the game and failed to back up the throw from the boundary…The opposition stealing an extra single. 
Brownie 4-0-23-0 and Dannie 2-0-22-0. 

With the game now finely balanced and the opposition requiring 59 from the last 6 overs with 9 wickets in hand on came the star of the show Captain Turner who blew away the opposition batsmen with flight, pace, drift and guile (allegedly) taking wickets regularly including a hat trick maiden over. Captain Turner 4-1-22-5 was supported by Houghton from the other end conceding just 9 from his 3 overs at the death quieting his critics and backing up his captains decision to introduce him into the attack. Darjeeling winning comfortably by 20ish runs. 

Good contributions by Brownie and Brandon with the bat with good catches by Brandon and Brownie however the Man of the Match undoubtedly belonging to Captain Turner for his 5 wicket haul. Beers were had, banter exchanged and another enjoyable weekend of debauchery and cricket.

Darjeeling CC vs. Fly Dubai CC, SES, Fri Nov 29th – words by Ash Banerjee

Captain’s Log, Stardate 29.11.2013 (Gregorian)

These are the voyages of the cricketship Darjeeling, with its mission to boldly go where no cricket club has gone before…

It was one of those rare days when the crew assembled early. By 1 pm, 9 of 11 were present, with Mo having recused himself due to a family emergency but Julius’ mate Liam co-opted as a replacement and waiting for a runabout to SES to dock with the club’s enterprise.

Liam had sent the most endearing introductory email to the club: “Julius, if you’re looking for a low-scoring pie-chucker who can’t catch, then I’m your man,” so he was in like Flynn. 

All ready for battle we were, except our opponents flydubai, an avian species, were missing from the designated zone of battle. Over banter it was agreed that tardiness was unacceptable given the time of genuflection had moved up to 12:15, and the toss would need to be negotiated favourably.

By 13:30 the opponents were still scarce and it was agreed that Darjeeling would definitely have the opening salvo; Officers Laing and Ward were instructed to suit up for battle so we could engage soon after the oppo eventually arrived.

Around 13:40 the opponents began straggling in, and the skipper negotiated and agreed first dibs for the ship, while urging the opponents to hail the rest of their crew on all available frequencies and summon them to the Neutral Zone in order for the skirmish to conclude before the early sunset. 

Meanwhile Liam’s runabout had still not materialised, the despatchers of Dubai Taxis off-form as usual, while flydubai were true to form, arriving late as their aircraft usually do.

Finally at 14:00 both sides maneuvered themselves onto the battle zone, the avians opening with the phazers of Asim and Praveen while Officers Laing and Ward defended with shields at 100%.

Defend they did, and how! The plan was for Andy to turn the strike over while Wardy, in his first proper batting outing for the club, used his youth, muscle and the benefit of coming in off the night shift to give the bowling a tap. But the best-laid plans of mice and men… Wardy, proficient in the art and science of fighting fires, refused to set the SES alight and decided to bat himself gently into form over an extended live net. Andy, trying to compensate under instructions from Julius (umpiring) and get the ball off the square, was drawn into unnaturally expansive but generally unfruitful shot-play. Both missed more than hit, the oppo kept dropping dollies, and after 10 overs, half-way into the battle, the good ship found itself at a sedate 45/0 with just a solitary 4 off an overthrow, while the storm-troopers Pretorius, Brown (J) and Ul Haq were champing at the bit in the grandstand.

Meanwhile, Liam’s runabout had yet to arrive at its point of departure.

Finally the first wicket fell to cynical cheers in the 11th over, Andy lbw to Ilyas for 18, and in walked Brandon and promptly moved the score along rapidly with a triplet of 2s, then a 3 and a 4, bringing the game to life and the grandstand out of its beery torpor.

Meanwhile, Liam’s runabout was finally en route, with its occupant (newly arrived in Dubai) clueless about where his destination lay.

After 14 overs the skipper exercised prerogative and beamed Wardy back from the holodeck, retired for 28 in the larger interests of the team’s endeavour.  The virtual teddies departed the virtual pram briskly, and it needed a Yoda-esque “Sublimate your individual needs you must, to the team’s overall interests” chat to get Wardy on-side again.

Jason replaced Wardy and carted it around briefly before falling for 7 to an outrageously unlikely catch, much like Brandon for a well-made 27 in the previous over. Then Izzy walked in and set upon the bowling, cracking a quick 30 not out with four 6s, while Julius was quickly in and out for 1, and Etienne smote a quick 14 (including a pulled 6 over square-leg) before being run out, the Abu Dhabi lads doing the business.

Meanwhile, Liam’s runabout, despite the pilot being instructed precisely (Exit 64, etc.) in Urdu by Ground Control, had still not managed to deliver Major Tom.

Neil, borrowed jock-strap and all, with a quick 3-ball 6 (1×4) in the last over saw the club to a sub-par 144/5 after 20, the consensus being we were about 25 short.

——Commercial break——

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Given the sub-par total, the skipper fished out a Dukes newie, proclaimed “I’ve defended a paltry 90 at The Sevens so we could pull this off if we bowl and field well and keep our heads” and rallied the ship’s complement for a concerted defence.

Meanwhile, Liam’s runabout was still en route but the avians were kind enough to offer up 13-year-old Anas to field for us, and he was promptly hidden at fine leg.

The avians opened with Adnan and the redoubtable Azeem, with the former skying one to safe-as-houses Gibby at mid-on in Izzy’s first over as we celebrated the early breakthrough.

But #3 Rashid proved resolute and Azeem opportunistic against Izzy and Wardy, both swinging the Dukes ball well at pace, then against Jules and Etienne, and at the 10-over drinks break it was 67/1 with the game still in the balance, Darjeeling having bowled and fielded really well (Jason outstanding in the covers), the field in good voice in support of the bowlers.

Meanwhile, Liam’s runabout had somehow managed to find an unknown wormhole and ended up in Romulan space on the wrong side of E-311 somewhere remote in the Sharjah constellation, so he was instructed by Julius to head back, money down the drain, unfortunately.

The skipper then brought himself on to bowl the 11th from the Uni End with Neil bowling the 12th from the Tank End and removing Rashid for 29. Not too many ensued, then Azeem was well caught at long on against the setting sun by Izzy off Ash in the 13th and it was game on.

Neil got rid of #4 Aslam in the 14th but unfortunately Tanmay at #5 took 3 consecutive 6s off the rest of his over to swing the balance and it was going to be uphill from there on.

With the game still in the balance in the 16th, Izzy ran out Tanmay at the bowler’s end, but the non-striker Rizwan had made his ground at the wicky’s end, the umpires didn’t know the rules (effing numpty-fied Daleks they were!), our concerted appeal and subsequent polite discussion with the umpires and batsmen ending up fruitless and Tanmay refusing to go, proving conclusively that he wasn’t avian at all, but a Kling-on.

With Ash finishing his spell after the 17th, the fast men Izzy and Wardy bowled well briskly in the fading light as retribution for the wrong decision on the run-out, but the avians got away in the penultimate over, winning by 5 wickets with the Kling-on Tanmay 42*.

The bowling figures: Izzy 4-1-21-1, Wardy 3-0-29-0, Etienne 3-0-24-0, Julius 3-0-25-0, Ash 4-0-11-1, Neil 2-0-29-2.

So a pyrrhic victory for the old enemy, but we will fight and win another day. The reading of the book followed, over a few cold ones on the turf, the usual piss-taking and banter, then eventual departures.