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Friday saw Darjeeling take on a slightly weakened Loose Canons team. After the last performance against them this was much needed.
The day began with several of the players typically showing up hungover. Thankfully Chris won the toss and elected to bat. Unfortunately though he decided to open up with the two most hungover players with yours truly and Steve Brown (with Grisdale still missing).
The brave decision by the captain was quickly vindicated as Darjeeling got off to a flyer with a scoring rate comfortably over 10 an over. The two openers made light work of some average bowling posting an opening partnership of 136 in the 12th over with yours truly out LBW (Questionably?) for a fine 68 off 37 balls with 52 runs coming through the leg side. Stevie followed soon after for a very well made 57 from 36 balls caught at point – Darjeeling being 145-2 in 12.3 overs at this stage. In came Olly and Nathan to slow down Darjeeling’s scoring rate with a partnership off 87 in just under 10 overs ending with Nathan being caught for 36. In came Pete and back out he went. First ball. A determined Grisdale stumbled towards the wicket hitting two huge sixes of his first two balls before being caught by the traitor hitting towards the longest boundary against the wind – falling one yard short from a third consecutive six. Captain Magnificent (Yes I want to open again) came in for the last 10 balls scoring a quick 15 from 8 balls with Olly anchoring the innings for an excellent 42 ball 52*.
Darjeeling finishing on 274-5 in our 25 overs no thanks to the opposition bowling 25 wides and 7 no balls. The traitor comfortably had their best bowling figures going for 25 in his three overs with no wickets while Bradders finished one short of his 50 in his three overs.
Darjeeling feeling confident of a win strode out to the middle knowing that Bradders was the key man to get out early. Grisdale and Gary Turner opened up with Gary getting a wicket in his first over bowling a full toss which the batsmen hit to short extra with yours truly taking a stunning one handed catch. Bradders soon got hold of Gary though hitting him for 21 of his third over and looking good. Ash could and should have made a better effort to catch a top edged pull from Gris’ bowling however instead decided to take a couple of steps backwards before watching the ball land behind him. Fortunately for Darjeeling Gris soon got his man caught at point – an excellent diving catch by Olly – to remove Bradders for an aggressive 56 off just 26 balls. Luckily Captain AT was not playing and fielding in his usual point position as surely that would have gone for four. This left the Loose Canons on 73-2 in 6.4 overs with the traitor coming in. Grisdale finishing on four overs 1 for 35 and Gary T four overs 1 for 43.
Darjeeling then began to take wickets regularly with Olly taking a wicket in his second over – a superb catch by yours truly running towards third man and taking a skier over his shoulder. Not all of Darjeeling’s members were quite on the ball as yours truly was and some very average fielding followed culminating with Captain Magnificent labeling some of the fielding as ‘toilet’ before dropping a sitter himself which Stevie was quick to point out.
On came the spinners Moxey, Badger and Ash keeping things tight and picking up wickets at regular intervals. Ash with the pick of the figures finishing on 3-44 in his five overs while Badger bowled five tight overs only conceding 34-1 while Moxey went for 38-1 from four overs. Loose Canons finishing on 221-8 from their 25 overs with the traitor ending up on a fine 63* from 59 balls. A convincing 53 run win for the mighty Darjeeling who put on a great show for their fans (AT, Sackers and Brian)
A great days cricket had by all with special mention to Pete Foley who played his first game in a long time and got out first ball however some exceptional looking dives in the field (even though nowhere near the ball) will keep him in contention for selection next week. A few cheap beverages at Girders followed before those left standing went to Barasti.