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Weather – windy & sunny with the odd A380 flying overhead
Toss won by Dubai Mammoths, electing to bat first

The first game of the 2019 friendly XI calendar commenced with the Darjeeling skipper losing the toss as usual. The men of Darjeeling slapped on the sun cream entered the field of battle. The Mammoths openers started off strong, with an opening stand of about 100 before one of their openers retired. The Darjeeling openers bowled well at times, loose balls punished for boundaries. Andries 0-45 off 5, Ninja 0-19 off 3 overs, not bad for Ninja still recovering from his 6-month cold. 
Lanky & Badger misjudged a high catch in the windy conditions off Ninja.
The Badger was bought on first change, 0-30 off 5 overs. There were a couple stumpings, decided not out by the Square Leg Umpire, who was spotted admiring A380s flying over the ground at 25,000 ft. Rachitt & Ollie came on to bowl, Rachitt picking up an LBW, 1-31 off 4 overs, Ollie clean bowling the number 3 bat after a several wides in the wind. Another close LBW was deemed not out, much to Ollies frustration after finally bowling a straight one bowling cross seam. Umer took a smart catch off Ollie at short mid-on, Van Damme finishing 2-31 off 4 overs. Club captain Nick came on to bowl, seen warming up from the 2nd over did not disappoint. A tidy spell, 2-25 off 4 overs, good catch from Ram in the deep and another clean bowled. The Mammoths finished on 186-5 off 25 overs, 25 extras, both keepers trying their best.

The Darjeeling chase was opened up by Charles and Casper. Contrasting batsman in style, Casper’s ‘Somerset-esque’ agricultural style rewarded him a 4 & 6, caught in the ring for 11, Darjeeling 30-1 off 4.4 overs. Ram played a watchful couple of overs for 4 before being bowled. The Japanese Samurai Lords from heavens above awaited Darjeeling’s own Samurai Silent Assassin’s innings. LBW first ball golden duck. The score now 70-3 off 10.1 overs. Charles was batting with patience and punishing the bad ball.

Chiang Mai 6s specialist, with a new gun imported from silky Sialkot, Umer came in at 5, a 44-run partnership followed in 31-balls. The opposition bowlers bowled tight with the odd loose ball smashed to the boundary by the batsmen. The 1s, 2s, 4s were coming 360 degrees of the wicket. This partnership could have been game set & match for Darjeeling, with 60-odd required in the last 10 overs. Umer was out for 21 off 14 balls, skying a ball to deep mid off to an off spinner’s half volley that should of landed at Al Maktoum Airport.
Lanky, after stopping about 20 runs in the field earlier in the game came in at 6. Bowled first ball golden duck.

As we all know, golden ducks don’t come often, but when they do, they tend to arrive in pairs! Rachitt made a wristy 10 runs, out stumped. Potty next in, bowled for another Golden Duck!
The wickets kept on tumbling, Charles on about 70-odd, Darjeeling still needed 50 off the last 5 overs.

Andries was out for 4, and Club Captain 13 off 5 balls smashing a couple 6s with Umer’s gun, a late cameo ending up stumped. Ollie walked in, Darjeeling needing 26 off 5 balls. After a few plays and misses, Darjeeling lost by 23 runs.

Standout performances by Charles ending on 81* & Umer 21. 
Club Captain with an all-round performance, Badger & Ollie for bowling. Time to ‘quack-quack’ to the next fixture!