DARJEELING CC V LOOSE CANNONS
The Halloween Match – The Fielding
It was the tale of two games, it was the best of games and it was the worst of games. It was close to mid-day and something evil was lurking in the park, under the sunlight we see a sight that almost stopped our hearts.
A wicket that was not giving much in the way of bounce and an outfield that was slower than a zombie walking towards you in a graveyard!
We closed our eyes and discovered we were fielding by choice! So it was that 11 white ghostlike men took their positions on a very slow outfield
What followed was not a horror movie but an incredibly smooth performance by everyone on the field, keeping it tight and putting a lot of pressure on the batsmen. The athleticism that was on show with some great fielding from the likes of Coops, Ash, Nik and Brendan to name a few, with Nik throwing in from mid on to hit the stumps and earned the respect of the batting side. Making them think before going for a single.
The bowling was equally well executed – if at times – expensive with a total of 15 wides but with some notable contributions from Grant – returning after a long spell of not bowling – to take a wicket fourth ball of his first over and Shehan taking 1 for 7.
Other notables were Ash who’s bowling kept the pressure on the opposition and Louay’s spell resulting in 2 for 30 – not sure what was more shocking – being asked to bowl or getting the 2 wickets or the cost of the very last over to the total!
Darjeeling closed out the 25 overs with Loose Cannons at 161 for 7 – a tough target on a slow pitch
The Halloween Match – The Batting
Darjeeling opened the batting with Coops and the birthday boy Rachitt and it started well but soon the demons were closing in one very side and the wickets started to tumble cheaply with yours truly coming in at 3 and scoring 2. It was thanks to the efforts of Shehan with a strong 22, Brendan with a steady 20, Coops with an aggressive 18 and Sunny’s 15 that steadied the ship.
The Loose Cannons pitched in very graciously with 28 wides, 3 leg byes and 2 byes to help the total, but at the end of the day even that was not enough to help us over the line and we were all out for 135
The horror of the fact that many of us hadn’t capitalized on what was tough ground to score boundaries on but not that challenging in terms of movement or pace dawned on a few and this required the intake of a few beers – bought by the birthday boy – to numb the senses!
The Halloween Match – The Drinking
The two teams adjourned to the bar to drown their sorrows and mingle. Everyone agreed that it was a great day despite the result and even enjoyed the fines session where the forfeit was – yes you guessed it – vodka sniffing which sorted the men from the boys!
Good day, good game, good spirits (not the ones floating around the room) and the end of a “thriller” of a weekend of cricket for the club.
Gents, I have to say, personally, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day on and off the field with everyone playing a key role in our win and more importantly spending time together for the post-match drink session which had all the hallmarks of a great social cricket day out.
Below is my humble attempt (with alcohol still in my system so any typos/missed references please feel free to edit) in taking a slight detour from the usual match reports by going down the A to Z route for the T20 match between Gardenia and Darjeeling CC earlier today at JA Shooting Club.
A – An early start (Badger was the first to arrive at 6:30 a.m. with a “Starbucks coffee” cup in his hand) at the Jebel Ali Shooting Club ground where the outfield and pitch was soaked with dew and players from both sides congregated (within approved social distancing limits of course!) slowly by 7.00 a.m.
B – British pound coin that I have used for years for coin toss with my call for tails that never fails let me down but I got the result I wanted in the end; to bowl first
C – Changes from the outset in terms of number of overs (reduced from 25 to 20), our whites v oppo’s coloured clothing, scorebook (manual v CricHeros) etc. made things interesting even before we bowled a single ball with Ninja finally taking matters in his own hands and “asked” the oppo to use traditional pen on paper approach for scoring
D – Dukes balls that were handed over to us by Ninja (who looked in shock all day after visiting Watto early in the morning to collect them from him) ensured that our bats are safe from the usual bat-breakers for another game or two and we started off with Nick and Krish from each end.
E – Efficient first couple of overs from Nick, who was kind enough to open the bowling for us in spite of the after-effects of a chest day at the gym and Krish holding the other end effectively
F – Few quick fire boundaries and couple of 6s from the oppo batsman (who looked like keen golfers on a cricket pitch inside a shooting range) gave us much needed runs to chase but also got slightly upset when the (sometimes overly keen) umpires reminded them to not to run on the pitch
G – Greeting the batsmen with his customary short, sharp and hostile (smile) bowling Ben stemmed the flow of runs with ease and ended up giving a measly 9 runs of his 3 overs from one end
H – Huge 6 from the opening batsman off Nick’s penultimate ball of his spell (which he felt could have been shortened after his 3rd over as it messed up his bowling figures) resulted in one of the good balls that is yet to be found amongst the metal feature (read as rubbish) outside the ground
I – Indecision from the oppo batsmen giving us 3 run outs with sharp throws from Sheehan (1) Big Ben (2) and Ninja (3) that Sethu picked up cleanly and finished the formalities with ease. Another great new find for our club and a keeper who can actually keep, rare breed!
J – Jumping in the air for the ball to land just behind him, Coops made it up by supporting and cheering the bowlers constantly from all parts of the ground all day
K – Krish trying to make the most of his match fees, ended up bowling 5 overs (thanks to a few extras) instead of the mandated 4 but took the crucial first ball wicket in his second spell with the right shoes at the right end !
L – LBW decision upheld for the batsman who ended up playing 4 shots before the ball reached him as Badger lured him with a false sense of security with his cunning flight and guile and trapped the batsman on his very first delivery that he bowled. Badger ended up with the figures of 1 wicket for 28 runs off his 4 overs.
M – Making head or tail of the scorebook (that got Nick quite animated at one point and never mentioned it since all morning and afternoon) to realise that the target was indeed 151
N – New opening pair of Coops and Arslan gave us a steady start only for Coops to get caught and bowled after a few overs giving the oppo their first breakthrough
O – Over and done within a few balls, Louay joined us back in the hut with Arslan (who never complained once about his backpain or ambled slowly through the outfield while fielding) hitting a couple of huge sixes and getting out bowled for the second highest score our innings, 29
P – Opening his batting account for Darjeeling, Sethu was involved in good partnership with Ninja before being caught at cow corner trying to up the ante and ended up with 15 runs to his tally
Q – Quality 6s (x3) from Ninja with one disappearing further than the previously hit 6 out of the ground and the very next ball pulled for a 6 over deep square leg (aimed at someone we assume who called Ninja’s previous 6 a shit shot!) who returned to the pavilion after scoring the highest score of our team, 37.
R – Runs flowed with ease as Ben and Shehan smashed the ball around and got us over the line in the 18th over with Ben scoring 14 not out in the end
S – Shehan named man of the match for his excellent spell of 4 overs, giving away just 10 runs and claiming 2 wickets (on top of a run out) and scoring 24 not out that included 2 towering sixes
T – Time was utilised very effectively after the win to head immediately to the Sports bar at JA Resort (Coops unfortunately couldn’t get his mid-day drink pass approved on time)
U – Unwinding with a few drinks in our hands as Nick read out the scores from our innings (not that he made any comment on the opposition’s calibre of scoring and messing up the book)
V – Vodka sniffing became a Darjeeling tradition of sorts where Louay showed his true skills off the pitch and made up for not troubling the scorers too much during the game earlier in the day
W – White Russian (s) (not the ones we wanted to join on Majesty 88 unfortunately) and the stories regarding that drink that kept us entertained for a while before vodka sniffing became a thing
X – X-rated conversations and stories that are better kept a secret which were unfortunately also entertaining others at the sports bar, not that we really cared !
Y – Yuppie (in mind and spirit) Louay kindly sorted the bill for the remaining few at the end as we went our own ways after a great post-match session
Z – Zeal and banter amongst ourselves that made this a thoroughly enjoyable day in end for all and here’s to more such social games for our club going forwarde
Sat Feb 22nd afternoon, Greenfield School, DIP, 25 overs
Clearing skies with a hint of cloud, temperature increasing to an unseasonable 27°C
Social cricket is most fun when there’s a reasonably competitive game, everyone gets to contribute, and the match is played in good spirit. And so it turned out to be against one of India’s oldest cricket clubs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsi_Gymkhana,_Marine_Drive
In typical gentlemanly fashion Watto negotiated the toss and offered the visitors first dibs with the bat. Khushal and Neville came to the crease, to negotiate the bowling of Brent and Oli Page doing their best on a slow, slightly two-paced track with a bit of clay in it.
Brent and Oli kept it reasonably tight, and at 15 in the 4th over Neville was castled by Oli without having bothered the scorers over a 9-ball stay. On the other hand Khushal, after getting the measure of the track and the outfield, set out to play one of the more cultured innings we’ve seen from an opposition batsman in a long while… not just social oppo, but also in sharp contrast to the modern dashers, agricultural smashers and hopeful slashers of the DSL. After 6 overs Watto rung the changes, Brent 3-0-24-0 and Oli 3-1-10-1
The skipper Manek kept him good company, nurdling it in the arc between third man and point for the most part, and the two put on 85 for the second wicket off 12 overs and a bit, despite Nick bowling very well from the Port End and unlucky with a few near misses (3-0-20-0), and yours truly doing his bit from the School End (5-0-30-0) with a bit of cat-and-mouse against Khushal.
At the 2nd drinks break after 16 overs, Khushal retired for 66 off 59 (9×4 and 1×6), having played orthodox shots with good shape, on an outfield which seemed to have quickened considerably since our last match on this pitch.
We were a bit thin on spin and Arsalan replaced Nick (who had to come off after a stunning Darjeeling FC style trap of a very hard hit straight drive as he followed through), for a couple of overs of (allegedly) off spin, 2-0-12-0, before the quicks came back on, Olly vdB with some seam-up, and Ben who struck immediately, castling a really good-looking left-handed batsman who had swivel-pulled his first delivery for a flat 4 through square leg, and then again in his second and third overs, ending up with 3-0-12-3 as the lower middle order perished rapidly whilst trying to get to a competitive total.
A good run-out and 2-0-21-0 from the new lad Sheyhan, and the visitors ended up with an under-par 172/8, about 40 short as they admitted later, despite having batted almost 3-1/2 extra overs as we conceded 24 extras (18wd, 3nb).
Charles and Arsalan opened the batting for us, and they galloped along to 57 when Charles was out for a well-made 33 (29b, 5×4) in the 7th over and Tebby came in, only to depart in the 8th. Meanwhile Arsalan played a few gorgeous shots, and both our openers had made evident to the oppo that we could bat, too.
Stokes-like, our Ben took that even further with shots around the park, even as Arsalan was out c&b for an easy-on-the-eye 31 (21b, 5×4). Watto and Brent came and went, and it began to look like a potentially ominous collapse could be on the cards, but Olly vdB kept his head, batted the situation, gave Ben the strike and drove classically when he could. The two put on 66 for the 6th wicket and took us to a win in the 22nd, with Ben 56* (36b, 3×4, 3×6) and Olly 17* (27b).
Ben Jones was deservedly MoM for his all-round heroics, and after a good speech by the visitors’ travelling luminary, duly anointed by the opposition skipper…
Penned by Charles Forward from our 7 February fixture at the ICC Academy
The inaugural meeting of a new decade between these two titans of Dubai cricket dawned foggy, so much so that at the toss there was some discussion as to whether this was a six a side game in preparation for the upcoming six a side tournaments or a full 11 a side game. The arrival of the rest of the Lions confirmed this was a full team Game. The Lions on winning the toss decided to insert Darjeeling as they had a full side and wanted to take advantage of a soft ball until Badger arrived with the Match balls.
Darjeeling started slowly with Rachitt surviving a confident call for caught behind in the first over, before failing to nick the ball and being adjudged LBW. This brought the unassuming Andrew Kirk to the wicket who decided tip and run was the best way to upset the Lions. This nearly worked but he also managed to miss one and was following Rachitt back to the pavilion LBW for 2. The captain of the day Jamie Watkins (26) joined Charles Forward (31) (if only that were their ages not weights in Imperial measures) to steady the innings until the latter ran out of lives and found a fielder who could catch.
Watto was joined by Arsalan and these two took the score up to 82 to set up the final push for a competitive score. Cameos from George, Nick, and Chris saw the Darjeeling total to a slightly below par 138, however the sticky nature of the pitch meant there was hope particularly as the Lions “Badger’ had proved difficult to get away.
An inspiring team talk from the captain with the key message to bowl straight sent the Darjeeling team out to defend the total. Unfortunately both Oli and Nick struggled for direction and the 17 wides they conceded gave the Lions a strong start. Nick claimed the opener and Rachitt coming on at the end of the power play sent their number 3 back, however a no ball 2 balls later cost Darjeeling a further wicket before the introduction of Badger. The flight and guile of the Darjeeling veteran (4 overs for 23) kept the scoring rate under control however this was too much for the Darjeeling fielders who refused to entertain taking any catches once Badger himself had decided to give the opening bat a third chance by dropping one most grandmothers would have taken!
The introduction of George brought us back in to it with 2 quick wickets, one from an excellent catch from Rachitt now the catching strike was over. An inspired piece of captaincy by Watto, refusing to bring back opening bowler Oli, instead introducing Pete Langton resulted in another wicket but it was too little to late and Arsalan was unable to defend 2 off the 19th over resulting in a 5 wicket loss.
The game then moved on to Kickers for a full post mortem where both teams rehydrated and set up some battles for the next meeting of these Dubai titans.
Any cricketer in the UAE should jump at the chance of a game here. Three years after first admiring it from a floor high up in a neighbouring skyscraper, this writer was lucky enough to get the chance to play on it shortly before sadly leaving the country for good. Nestled amongst far-ranging and undulating green gardens, and with the ocean lapping up against white sand metres from the boundary fence, you’d be forgiven for imagining yourself in the West Indies were it not for the imposing Fairmont and Jumeirah hotels squarely framing the sight screens. Yes, we were in Abu Dhabi to play the Gents at their enviable Emirates Palace home ground.
With Darjeeling having come up against the Gents in a DSL fixture only a few days previously, this was a more social affair. The two teams set up at the boundary in the shade of palm trees and uncertainty around our hosts’ policy on studs saw them unscrewed, replaced and unscrewed again while the pitch was inspected, and the coin tossed.
Darjeeling were put out to field first in sweltering heat and yours truly thrown the ball by captain Watto to start the demolition. Three wides (right, left and right) later and the long-awaited legal delivery, graciously served half way up the wicket, was duly dispatched for six runs. The theme of my own afternoon was at least decided.
With the boundary short and the bowl-shaped outfield slow, the temptation to angle up was irresistible for most batsmen but, apart from Nick whose ruthless bowling sent stumps flying, Darjeeling’s attack suffered initially from a few slippery hands. The bowlers eventually found their mark, with Matt (2-40), Umar (2-24) and Krish (2-25) finishing with two wickets apiece, Ash 1-21 but on the wrong end of some drops and Nick the pick of the group with final figures of 2-14 off 4.3 overs.
This writer has just googled “worst ever sports performances” to attempt to provide you with a useful gauge of his own toils. A run-up shortened from a Mitchell Johnson 2013 Ashes-esque space shuttle runway to the last resort step-and-lob shame largely failed to stem the wides. Wicketkeeper Charles got a 360-degree workout and the ICC-accredited umpire even copped a bowling action into his thigh in the struggle to keep the ball down the middle. Watto and Darjeeling CC showed its team spirit throughout with endless but futile faith. I am reliably informed that only Boris Johnson’s son may have bowled more wides in an on over for Darjeeling than the ~12 calculated for my final over. A catch resulting from a miscued smash to the boundary is gratefully received in final figures of 1-67 from 6 overs.
A rare 30-over match saw the hosts out within 25 overs and setting a target for Darjeeling of 144 runs to win.
Sunny, opening the batting for Darjeeling against his old side, made a confident 22 including some characteristically elegant drives you could take home to meet your parents, while partner George saw six balls before holing out for three. Brendan came in at three and battered the Gents with raucous but never-uncertain 74 runs, of which 30 came from sixes. Watto himself contributed a rapid 26. DCC were clearly brimming with confidence – with all wickets falling to catches.
From a generous foundation, and with the noise on the boundary getting louder, Charles, Matt P and Ash were able to dictate the pace and literally walk it home. Charles, presumably taking a breather after his acrobatics behind the wicket stroked a gentle sixteen. Matt’s desperate shouts of “Two there!” were greeted with leisurely strolls between the wickets from final partner Ash, who dragged out the suspense and condemned Matt to a total of ten singles amongst his 14 runs. Darjeeling were turning the screw, and the slow-play tactics clearly worked, with a Gents bowler removed from the attack for bowling two dangerous deliveries. With the team roaring support from the boundary Ash himself squared up for the Gents’ final delivery, answering it in style with a dismissive six over the Palace-end sight screen to win Darjeeling the game.
Almost May and we still have perfect weather to don the whites……only it wasn’t Whites on Saturday (some of us didn’t read the memo.) Fortunately, there were spares at hand and Darjeeling got their first opportunity to show off their new Green-coloured kit in the daytime. With the Dubai Super League done and dusted for another season, the side was a good mix of both friendly and DSL players. Chat centred on Thursday & Friday evening’s activities with many talking of the Michael McIntyre show they’d attended and making a complete hash of his jokes.
Blighty Ducks, keen to play in their new Duck Yellow kit, were the opposition and preferred to forego the changing rooms and remain outside in their favoured Gulf Sixes position on the grassy knoll. (With much banter and merriment to be heard I might add). Captain Watto led the toss, promptly loss and received the mandatory abuse as Darjeeling were asked to field.
A rare (though harmless) sight was presented to the Ducks’ openers with the veteran Nick Harvey given the new cherry. It was a long opening over with four wides giving Watto some early diving practice behind the stumps. Brendan opening at the schoolyard end wasn’t quite able to match Harvey’s extra rate (only 3 wides) as the Ducks got off to a straightforward start. And that’s pretty much how it continued. With runs coming easily off the bat aided by frequent extras and some spilled chances in the outfield (including DSL Leader, J.Houghton) keeping the Ducks upper order at the crease.
Both Nick & Brendan did take a wicket a piece in their opening spells but then the Ducks enjoyed a massive partnership of 157 between Cameron 93 & Chris 82. Racchit and Umer doing their best to stem the tide…………..as did Olly with a generous offering of 26 runs in his opening (and only) over. Both Stanni and Jono chipped in at the end with some better bowling but it wasn’t until Brendan took the old ball back in his hand that the deadlock was broken. By then the Ducks had amassed north of 200.
There was something to cheer about with Brendan taking a further two wickets and having an opportunity to claim a Michelle with his final delivery. However, he finished with the very respectable figures 5-0-40-4.
Nick 4-0-34-1, Racchitt 4-0-48-0, Umer, a respectable 5-0-33-0, Olly we’ll skip, Jono 4-0-32-0 and Stanni 2-0-24-0). Darjeeling set 230 to win.
2nd half of the Match
A tall order, but with all of those DSL lads in the squad achievable, no?
Fast-forward 3 overs and any optimism was given a hard low-blow with Chris Marques, Arsalan & Shehan all back in the hutch and Darjeeling 4 for 3.
Stanni and Jono steadied the ship rebuilding to 50 for 3. (Mark in particular executing some beautifully struck boundaries.) But after they both fell around the halfway mark for 25 & 19 DCC were 5 down on a slowing pitch and were facing an over rate of plus 12. Duck Soup it was not.
Hope however, was not lost as Watto and Racchitt took the attack to the bowlers and bought us within 90 of the target with 7 overs remaining. After Jamie fell for 38 (2 6s and 2 4s) and Racchitt top-scoring with 51 (2 6s & 4 4s) the tail failed to wag and Darjeeling was cleaned out for 174 in the 23rd over. Not the close game we like, but played in Great Spirit without a ruffle of the feathers between the sides.
Sadly, a couple of us left with merely an adieu (Gentlemen, that’s not the Darjeeling way.) – But most ventured up to Kickers for some consolatory beverages as did the Blighty Ducks. (Confirming that they most definitely would be in attendance to the Gulf Sixes and quite probably, the Gala Dinner.) Chat turned from the usual sport into back injuries (with some quite surreal and bizzare details shared.) As the amber flowed and inhibitions fell, the conversation ebbed to the more ‘sizeable’ conquests we’d each enjoyed in the past. The observant amongst us would have perceived a range of memories in the window of our expressions from laughter and guffaws, to winces and painful headshakes. Darjeeling, being the philosophical bunch we are, learned that if you are going to go large it’s always best to mix it with an exotic flavour, like Swedish or Brazilian…………….never Scottish.
The ever present Darjeeling opened their thirty second campaign for the Holy Grail of the Chiang Mai Sixes title.
Our glorious Leader & Captain Umer Saleem had put the squad through a net on the previous day & had the team assembled at the crack of dawn to offer an inspirational speech & take up the challenge of playing reigning Cup Champions, the NCL Dynamites.
Affable Appleton had prepared an idyllic setting. Indeed Darjeeling stalwarts, Badger and Chris Dommett represented the Lord Taverners in the tournament opener. The flight, guile and bulk of the Tour Manager will be sorely missed this week. General Saleem disintegrated into a frenzy of pre-match admin related activity, thankfully winning the toss and opting to bat. Not many skippers before him in previous years have opted for to bat first against such challenging opposition …
The reassuringly mountainous presence of Blikkies opened with Graeme self-proclaimed “Worth My Weight In Gold”. In testing, hazy & smoggy conditions on a new lump of plastic, the start was cautious. #WMWIG monopolized the strike stroking a brace of fours through the unguarded covers. The erstwhile Beijing Duck was removed for 17 in the third over. The former Armadillo was reprieved on 5 before launching consecutive sixes. On the final ball of the penultimate over, Blikkies holed out while PSG and Rachitt negotiated the final over setting a total of 48.
The Dubai outfit had the perfect start as the Rudi removed the opener with his first ball of an economical over, that yielded a mere seven runs. The Bangladeshis stabilized their innings before a final brutal assault. Ratchitʼs last ball was dispatched for 6 having conceded only two runs from his previous deliveries. With brutal efficiency the remaining runs were garnered off the suffering skipper, who dropped a sky-high catch running towards short cover.
The holders had won their first game with 7 balls to spare and earned a bonus point but the Darjeeling team had not disgraced themselves against the most challenging opposition. The NCL Dynamites skipper’s post game review comments were, ‘…. hopefully we meet DCC again in the Cup final stages’, acknowledging the talent of DCC (Blikkies, Graeme W, Rudi, Rachitt, Ian P, Peter L, Etienne, Chris M & Umer).
Link to Scorecard:
Darjeeling finished Round 1 of the Players section placed 10th, and entered the Shield competition.
Divine Fellons winning due to extras handed over by Darjeeling, and Lanna match (although tied) lost due to less wickets fallen!
After a few games of near misses and what could of been, Darjeeling were knocked out in Round 2, losing by the smallest of margins to both the Yorkshire Puddings and Thai Nevada.
Darjeeling bowed out of the competition, clapping the support staff, admin and tournament organisers whilst walking off the field, thanked by the commentators in
Link to other scorecards:
All in all, a very memorable tour for our 50th, unfortunately not the best results on the field but the Darjeeling squad + support staff did not fail to make an impression!
Eight overs in, Ben Jones had just taken the 3rd wicket. Hasnain and Kev have both bagged a wicket with their opening spells. DCC goes a bit defensive though, protecting the leeward side of the field, because there is a strong wind blowing across the cricket field. The Gents batsman start playing a series of late cuts trying to use the pace to graft twos or boundaries.
The dust is starting to grate in fielders mouths and has got on the inside of sunglasses! Drinks break.
DCC think we are ahead, controlling the game. The Abu Dhabi Gents batting pair are now trying to play bigger, more expansive shots looking to lift the run rate. The numerous hooks to cow corner are comfortably fielded by Shugie. Eventually the batsman manages to steer one squarer and collected a boundary. Shugie is brought on to bowl. Bowling a bit slower and diving to try to stop the batsman from hitting it past him for singles. Eventually the batsman goes for a big hoik and Ben Jones runs round straighter to long on and takes a good catch.
Pressure brings it’s rewards.
The Gents clap off their player but it’s muted silence that follows. A new batsman in. The AD Gents supporters are biting their fingernails non-stop. The pressure is on to get a move-on, but the batsman need time at the crease to work out how to play this pace of wicket.
Rohan comes on for Jules and immediately has a caught and bowled chance. Rohan sprays one down leg, with no fine leg the batsman assume it’s going for a boundary but …Hasnain….Runs around and stops it with his hand just in time! Even the Gents supporters comment ” …. that was a good save.” Another tight over from Shugie doing a lot of his own fielding.
Rohan runs around on the boundary and cuts the potential 2 down to a single, including a strong throw that indicates to the batsman that they won’t be making many 2’s there. They will have to push into other areas of the field. Good stop by Skillsy to another Rohan legside ball. He is finding Rohan’s ball, better than Rohan is finding the pitch. Another shot to legside, but now the batsman aren’t even considering the 2, despite a DCC misfield. A sweep shot for 4 off Shugie gets them a boundary. But it’s high risk.
The Gents supporter’s comment: ” …. we need 160 at least.”
Rohan still chucking it down the leg side. Then its wide on the off side. He is struggling. The batsman sense an opportunity and launch a ball, but it lands short of Jonno running in hard to attack the ball. The Gents Batsman is looking more confident now and steps down the track early at Rohan’s next ball. But Rohan adjusts and it’s a Yorker dug out for a single to vacant mid-on area. Next over and it’s a strong appeal from Shugie, and he has his man LBW! The batsman tried a reverse sweep. Leave it to the pro’s, son. It’s another tight over from Shugie.
118-5 – off 21 overs.
Rohan bowls, punches to mid-on. Batsman push for a silly 2, non-striker not interested and sends him back. Sells him down the river and he is out by a meter. Good one-handed take by Skillsy to whip the bails off. Kev back onto bowl, into the area of uncertainty for the batsman. Simon Charles is next out, caught at mid-on. Kimbo did not have to a move an inch at mid-off, to take this simple chance.
125-7 off 23
Rohan clean bowls the next batsman. Missed a straight Yorker. Good ball. Gents supporter claim the ball dipped suddenly 🙂 Rohan attacks the next batsman with another yorker, but it’s fended out to square leg. The batsman chips to long on and they gamble on a 2, but it’s a wide throw by Jonno and it’s safe. Another 2 to long off. Kimbo does his best and the DCC is relaxed about these runs. No boundaries is the goal. Kev onto bowl. Another 2 to long on then the batsman steps down the wicket for a big drive, but it’s high in the air, and a simple catch for Kimbo at mid -off. It went high, but not very far.
The Gents keeper next on to bat and he is seething. Threatening to not play next week, for his own team. Gents were desperate to win today and they have cracked. Can they regain their composure in the half-time team talk. DCC players appear relaxed as they slowly come together for the halftime break. Claps for each other.
The Gents team start a training session with full bowling and keeping on the outfield .They transition into a long huddle.
Taverner and Hellyeah walk out slowly. Taverner’s got his bat raised already. Is that an ominous sign? The DCC players are asking me what I think. Par score etc. Are the nerves creeping in for some of us? Keep it simple. The mood lightens. Tav’s takes the first ball. Delivered by Nav from the Gents. It’s a leg side wide. Rohan-esque
The next one is a lot better. Scorcher in fact. Rises over the top of the forward defensive offered to be taken clean by the Keeper with out touching anything! Next ball same again, but lower bounce. This up and down difference will be tricky. Next ball fended to point. Next ball a solid Yorker is dug out hard, past a diving mid-on for 4. The gents have an attacking field here with many players backward of square. 3 slips. They are searching for the edge from the batsman.
5-0 after 1 over.
Sujith on to bowl seam. Digs it in short. Hellyeah goes for the big pull but gets it on the splice!? Luckily it drops short of mid-on by 2 metres. The 3rd ball whizzes past the bat in similar fashion to Navs bowling, our batsman stick to their technique. A loose one appears but Hellyeah can’t dispatch it past point. Nav onto bowl. It’s a snorter. Squares up Tav, catches the edge and it’s taken chest-high at 2nd slip.
Skillsy in. Takes his time with his guard. Back of a length at his hip and he fends it off. Yorker attempt but it’s an easy single for Skillsy. Full ball to Hellyeah and he chips it towards mid-off! Is it going over his head though? It is… but he has caught it behind his head, running backwards!! Gents have a US Olympic style high five session: “3-2-1 yes”
The DCC skipper Kimbo is in. The first ball is down the leg side. Keeper stops it. The next is another snorter. Defensive push forward and the Keeper takes it….the Gents scream! But it has missed the edge. Sujith back on and bowling wide outside off. Cut shots from Skills but they are not beating point. He is playing with soft hands, checking for variable bounce and pace. 3rd one is dispatched though. He’s found the pace of this pitch. Next ball is legside, and its flicked nonchalantly for 4. No fielder out there. Another leg side ball. A quick 2 . The DCC supporters shouting: “Making them pay.”
17-2 off 4 overs
Nav on. Full toss. It’s so quick though Skills is just fighting to get some bat on it and it chips just over the bowler and thankfully just before mid-off. Loose wide from Nav and it’s stroked past the 3-slip-corden, for 2, before third man can bring it back in. Next ball is even more comfortably worked. Nav screams in frustration at his fielders. Skillsy looks to have the upper hand now.
Sujith bowls a sitter, Skillsy moves comfortably back and across and pulls. There are no leg side fielders out there… but it’s kept lower than he thought! He chops it down onto his leg and onto the stumps! Gents give it 3-2-1 yeah and Skillsy trudges off to throw his bat down. Just when he had got ontop of this bowling.
Jonno is in. He is driving straight. Gents have set the field deeper now and singles are around. Kimbo drives straight for 4. The Gents fielder doesn’t move to try to stop it. It’s gone. The next ball is a beauty. Kimbo holds his forward defensive pose, but it’s beaten him. Thankfully, no edge. The next ball is a sitter, like the nut that undid Skillsy. But it’s stays high. And Kimbo swivel-pulls it, clean for 4!
29-3 off 6 overs.
Nav on and he digs it in directly at Kimbo, who looks awful as he ducks and pulls at the same time. But its a single to fine leg. Jonno cover drives for a single. Kimbo digs out a Yorker and then another, but more comfortably. Another over survived for Darjeeling. Jonno and Kimbo chat in the middle. Are we going to see off Nav? What’s the new bowler like?
Wayne from the Gents. A big Kiwi. Not as big as our Kiwi, Ben Jones, though. 2 wides. Then Kimbo drives the 3rd ball straight to cover. Out caught! Our Ben Jones is on now. Kiwi on Kiwi. Both men take their time, sensing the personal pride at stake. Its loose from Wayne though. A 2, followed by a strong off-drive for a single. Then Jonno creams it past cover, and it’s a boundary. More wides from Wayne.
47- 4 off 8 overs
New bowler, Aerospace -Shaun. Also wide and Jonno slaps it for 2.
Are the Gents running out of bowling now?It’s mixed bowling. Jonno gets singles and 2’s. Rebuilding or milking? I will let you decide.
Jonno delivers a cover drive for a boundary. Then Jonesy hits a skier and the wind carries it over the fielders. DCC players give a cheer. But now Jonno appears to be limping as he pulled up on a fast single. He’s tweaked his hammy. Then Jonno hits it and runs. Jonesy wasn’t ready. The fielder dives and collects and runs a diving Jonesy out by a meter at least. Jonesy is unhappy about the call after the mid-over chat was all about: “no quick singles.”
(Emoji of the monkey covering his eyes)
Shugies is in to bat. The DCC supporters take comfort that Jonno is looking good and Shugie is a good bat. Aerospace is bowling tighter to the stumps than his first over. Dots and singles. Then a loose wide one. Jonno s flashes a cut shot, but he has nicked it straight to 2nd slip. Extra bounce on that ball.
Gents: 3-2-1 yeah
DCC players and supporters are not saying a word, but just exchanging glances. 59-6 off 11 overs. Target run rate is still only 5 an over. The wind and sand has eased off a bit now. New bowler, and now the ball keeps low. Kev’s working the singles. We are getting singles. But not quite 5 and over.
66-6 off 13 (unlucky?)
Aerospace delivered some shorter pitched stuff and eventually Shugie gets a strong pull to the boundary. DCC players: “ if we just bat the overs, we can make this score.” Then another lovely pull sweep off the slow bowler for four. And a square flick for 4. Then a wild miss. DCC: “don’t do that Shugie, you’ve just banged 2 boundaries.” Then the ball bounces through Kev’s gate, over the stumps and over the keeper. Overspin from this spin bowler?
88-6 off 16 overs
Shugie steps down the wicket and drives straight over the bowler, but long on cuts it off. Then keV slashes a wide one for 2. DCC searching for boundaries. Just like gents were at this stage. Have we got deeper batting?
93 -6 off 18 overs and Shugie take a drink of water to assess. Can we find the boundaries or do we target singles?
Sujith back on from the other end. He looks a bit village and Kev hooks his first ball round the corner for 4. But then Kev spoons a ball to mid-wicket for an easy catch. Rohan in, and he glides a single to 3rd man, and strokes a lofted cover drive for a single to the fielder out there. He could bring this home for us, easy.
101-7 off 19 overs.
40 runs required in 36 balls. Spin bowler. Shugies pivots clean to pull a boundary. Then hits the next one straight back to towards the bowler who misses the chance. Knife edge stuff
106-7 off 20. 35 off 30
Sujith hits the top of off stump! Rohan walks off while the ball is still coming down. Where did that come from? Good ball. Jules in. Solid block on the first ball. Then cuts hard. The ball goes down and up. The point fielder collects and throws down the stumps. Jules thought it was going over the fielder. And even then he only had 1 stump to aim at. He walks off, no complaints. Sujith targets our Number 11 with the full ball and gets Hasnain immediately.
DCC are down for the day & knocked out of the DSL.
Match Report by Matt Peet.
On a particularly early Saturday morning in Dubai, Darjeeling CC members arrived in dribs and drabs to the Ocean Fair Ground in DIP. Of particular note, Julius Mooney, Baron Mooney of Springs (VC, MBE, KStJ, DL, FRSA), strolled into the ground akin to a panda bear whilst regaling the troupe with his exploits from the night before, inevitably ending up being ‘kennelled’ by his wife for the rest of the weekend…hats off, sir!
Skipper Gramilla kept to his tried and tested method of losing the toss and being asked to bat 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 what a mockery both sides made of that!! Ollie “Page Boy” Page, arriving fresh to Dubai from the frosty, northern climes of England, and “Derriere” Arsalan opened the Darjeeling inning with watchful intent and looked solid from the start, safely negotiating Cool Boys’ opening salvos by the oddly effective pairing of their left and right medium paced bowlers, mixing it with full tosses and half-trackers. Derriere warmed up with the innings with a beautifully timed wristy slog sweep for six but, in general, scoring was relatively slow going. Page Boy, after nurdling a couple of singles, decided it was “Delivery Time” and went for a huge swipe to cow corner but unfortunately missed, being bowled middle stump. Andy “Captain” Kirk strolled in at 3 with his usual Aussie no-nonsense attitude, generally impressing on the opposition how sub-standard they all were. Captain, unfortunately, couldn’t quite live up to his own billing and was back in the hutch LBW with a solid 1 to his name. Derriere, on the other hand, became increasingly confident and began to pick off Cool Boys’ bowling with numerous 1s and 2s, keeping the run rate at a steady 3-4 an over.
A particular highlight during the Darjeeling’s batting innings was actually of a non-cricketing nature with the odd courtship between the heavyweight pairing of His Lordship and Captain and the Pakistani Bugsy Malone look-a-like on the sidelines. Bugsy, clearly being a veteran Pick-Up Artist in DIP, began his mating ritual by lying right next to the pair whilst utilising the tried-and-tested combination of toe twiddling, nail clipping and ball juggling. Unfortunately for Bugsy, he could not quite impress the lads enough, with him leaving the ground in a sulk having not wooed any plus-sized cricketers that weekend. (NB: fortunately for Bugsy, Captain slipped Jono’s number into Bugsy’s pocket so his luck will undoubtedly change in the very near future…)
Whilst this action was on-going, Grant “Gramilla” Miller joined Derriere in the middle and together, they rotated the strike beautifully, mixing 1s and 2s with the odd boundary. Derriere eventually being rear-ended with an extremely well made 76 and Gramilla run-out on an equally fine 60. “Ginger Ninja” then entered the fray and achieved what must be termed as the ultimate “Sod’s Law”. Ninja had earlier in the day argued that the use of helmets in friendly cricket was only meant for ‘cricket girly men’…he then, of course, promptly top edged the second ball of Cool Boys’ wily spinner and sliced open his chin. After being patched up with a couple of spare plasters found in his bag, Ninja struck some handy boundaries ending with 26 not out and increasing the scoring rate to end the Darjeeling innings on a very competitive 210 off 25 overs. More than enough…one would think!!!
His Lordship opened the bowling for Darjeeling and, it must be said, bowled with great aristocracy to which the opening batsmen had no answer, taking 2 wickets in his second and third overs. Unfortunately for Darjeeling, no other bowler could match the lofty standards of His Lordship with everyone else going for plenty. Derriere did take a fantastic catch at square leg to give the Darjeeling boys hope but the band of buffet bowling brothers, including “Sideshow” Roscoe; Chris “Telly Tebby”; Gramilla; Page Boy and Ninja all got plenty of tap…Van Den upgraded the buffet into a full “Entertainer Brunch” by trying his best to reincarnate his fellow countryman, Daan van Bunge’s, efforts against Herschelle Gibbs in the 2007 World Cup (https://youtu.be/Hsv99LxwrYw). Indeed, Rizwan took a special liking to his bowling in the penultimate over to finish the game off a little quicker than hoped for by the Darjeeling team (sorry boys…mea culpa!). A shout out must, however, go to Captain Kirk’s manful efforts of marshaling his 10 men around the field, giving everyone a good game, but unfortunately, the lack of bowling control, allied with the hard-hitting style of Cool Boys, not to mention one less fielder, hurt the Darjeeling team in the end. Indeed His Lordship, in his usual inimitable way, summarised the Darjeeling bowling efforts succinctly with the words ‘utter shite’…I think no man would dare challenge those noble words!
So, despite the loss, a thoroughly enjoyable game was had by all, with high scores on both sides, skillful batting, and everyone getting a good go. On to next week!
Van Den’s MoM: Derriere…for his excellent 76 and feline like catch at square leg. Bravo monsieur!
Northern Hemisphere vs Southern Hemisphere.
After much hype and anticipation and many a pre-game beverage beforehand at Kickers, The DCC gathered to play their interclub game at the ICC on yet another perfect day in the UAE.
No idea who won the toss however the Northern hemisphere went into bat.
Greg and Kev helped the innings get off to a flyer with some top bowling, which saw the lads from the North 2 down quite quickly with our George and Adrian back in the hut. Rather annoyingly Kimbo hung around and scored some decent runs (38).
Matts impressive spell and use of the wicket bagged him the all-important wicket of Kimbo in a spell which saw him actually only SPIN 1 ball on the heavenly track prepared at the ICC. Despite switching from medium pace to off spin our Graeme managed to bag the all-important wicket of Watto.
In walked Jerome and shortly after Arsalan, who both batted superbly scoring 55 and 51 not out respectfully. Although helped most definitely by some awful bowling from yours truly, and by Butterfingers Blikkies. Bliks decided to not only not catch the ball, but also caught himself a bruise in the stomach and allow them to run 3 in the process.
Despite the fielding and use of the pitch, the DCC Southern Hemisphere managed to restrict the Northern Hemisphere to a very impressive to 212/4 off the 25 overs.
Kirky and Paul B opened the Southern Hemisphere innings. In a spell of fielding where the 3 of; Butterfingers Ollie, Ash and Stu, all contrived to drop 3 of the easiest catches I’ve seen and allow Kirky to remain at the crease.
Seeing that the only way one could get Kirky out, Kimbo continued his great work with the bat with an impressive run out of Kirky to leave the Southern Hemisphere 1 down. This was shortly followed by the shocking LBW of Graeme. Paul B proceeded to steady the innings with a belligerent 24 of 40 balls including an impressive spell of 5 consecutive dot balls before he too was run out.
It seemed as though the game was slipping away from the Southern Hemisphere… Thankfully Blikkies, Stanni and Greg had other ideas, and the 14 an over required in the end turned out to be a doddle. Greg batted excellently with a fiery 31 together with yours truly (Stanni) to get the Southern Hemisphere on track to win yet another great victory for the South. We finished chasing down the 212 with 8 balls to spare.
Many a drink followed after the game and all in all a good days cricket with a good bunch of lads and families.
Thanks to all who participated and Umer for his contribution towards the BBQ and to all those who took valuable time to organise this day.
Start time: 10:30 if my memory hasn’t already started getting worse
Darjeeling CC started off in the field, fresh out of a meeting discussing what was going to happen in the 2019 season and it being our 50th Anniversary.
The Gents were dripping in the new 2019 season kit and it was all guns blazing in the field. The first over of the game going for a mere 3 runs off the bowling of Greg. The amazing start was short lived as Brent was next in to bowl…feeling a little worn from the night before he championed as best he could, but got sent packing to all parts of the ground going for 22 in his first and only over of the day. In what appears to be true to DCC sport, the third over provided some action. A catch was dropped off Greg’s bowling. Sadly this wasn’t the only, as a few more were to come in the days play. Greg finishing off his 4 overs for 19, which was very impressive after the dropped attempts.
The first breakthrough of the day came in the 6th over, this coming shortly after a second catch was dropped by Roscoe the over before of Greg’s bowling yet again. DCC then went on to drop a 3rd catch in the 8th over of the day… it was evident that we gave the cannons too many chances, chances which they ended up using to the fullest.
Umer was next in to bowl as the second change option. With Captain Grant opting for spin against the wind to entice the batsman to hit it long and risk their wicket. Sadly the Cannons played smart and knocked him around the ground with 12, 6 and 8 in his 3 over spell. Oh Captain my Captain Grant came in bowling at number 5. Taking a wicket in his first over, bowling cross seam as the wind had started to move across the wicket. Grant had a short spell lasting only 2 overs, but ended up with figures of 1-19…this wicket breaking an all-important partnership of 41 runs
Ash came in to bowl at number 6 in the 14th over, just after a wicket had fallen the over before… Ash started with a spread field… for the first few balls, and then the mastery and mind games took over. The field was brought in as the new batsman was very tentative and was reaching for the ball, the pressure in going over the top paid off as Ash got his man… bowled. Ash finishing off with figures of 1-49, which wasn’t helped by Roscoe as he over ran a catching opportunity in the last over of Ash’s spell.
Jonno came in bowling in the number 7 slot took a wicket in his first over. It was a well-judged catch in the deep by Brent… opting to stand his ground and wait for the ball to come to him. This was sadly where the wickets stopped, and the runs started to pile on thick and fast for the Cannons. Scoring just 77 in the last 5 overs, this was a day for the batsmen. Cannons no3 Wake came in and dominated with the bat against the DCC bowlers. Wake played some decent cricket shots before ending his not-out-innings in true T20 style scoring 83 runs.
The Cannons posting a massive target of 194 for Darjeeling to chase down.
An honourable mention to all those of DCC who came down to watch the gents play, even though the new kit was what you were truly after… the support had not gone unnoticed.
Darjeeling batsmen needing to get off to a flying start if we were to get the W over the Cannons.
In steps our openers for the day with RK and Rohan taking to the crease. RK and Rohan looking really good and playing some positive attacking shots to get DCC of the mark with a 36 run partnership with RK scoring 20 before getting bowled.
Next in was Jerome who walked up to the crease looking confident. After a few no-balls by the Cannons bowler, Jerome fell to a brilliant catch by the keeper taking a low diving catch to his right. The shot was an uncharacteristic push to a wider pitched delivery. Jerome had fallen after only scoring 1. Rohan was the next batsman to fall for 12 . being trapped in front by the bowler. This left DCC at 47 for 3 and in real trouble needing another 147 off only 12 overs. Charles our wicket-keeper batsman walked in at number 4 but did not last very long, as he had only managed to score 2 before being caught. This leaving DCC in even deeper strife, at 51 for 4.
At the crease we now had the experienced pair of Jonno and Brent. The pair started off nice and easy by first getting used to the pace of the wicket, when all of a sudden we saw Brent start to unleash. Brent having to make up for his bowling decided to take the bowling attack on, with massive success. Ending on an unbeaten 89, which included 7 x 6’s and 7 x 4’s, with the odd single here and there to keep him honest. This was an innings unlike any other seen from the supporters of DCC. A whirlwind performance with the bat, smearing the bowlers to all corners of the ground with some amazing power and stroke play from the man hailing from South Africa.
Jonno standing in amazement at the non-strikers end watching as Brent is owning this moment and owning the bowler. He had them in his back pocket. Jonno playing the supporting role of the day and himself scoring a well-paced 50 which included 7 x 4’s before being caught. Jonno at time looked to turn the screws with his running between the wickets as he wanted to get Brent on strike more often than not. Brent almost running himself out, and at the end fell to the ground trying to catch his breath, but Rasta rose to his feet and championed on.
Brent and Jonno turned the almost unthinkable into reality with a stand of about 130 runs. A well-paced and well composed innings from both men to steer Darjeeling into the home straight to winning the game. Jonno almost ending the innings with a not out next to his name. Unfortunately he fell agonizingly short with the end of the game in sight. In stepped Greg to add a single run, before Brent scored the winning runs in good fashion with a 4.
This had been a hard fought win by the men of Darjeeling CC. An epic run chase to say the least, and getting the first win under the belt with new swissglobal kit made it even more special. This has to go down as one of the greatest knocks by Brent.
The DCC gents thanked the Cannons before making their way into the cloak room where Grant handed a very well deserved man of the match performance to Brent by handing over the match ball. The celebration that followed was one that was well deserved
Cannons: 193/4 after 20
Darjeeling CC: 196/5 after
Stand out performers: Greg 0/19 after 4 overs