Saturday 16th became not only a famous day in cricketing history to celebrate Sachin Tendulkars final game for India in all formats, but also for what we hope is the start of a regular fixture for us at the Emirates Palace Ground in Abu Dhab
Despite Andrew Laing sending out encouraging emails at 7:49 for a 9:15 push back from the EPPCO petrol station in Media City we set off a little later than expected thanks to the ever reliable Gully. Dannie “Dave Twit” Rees quickly grabbed the front seat as the precious little flower gets car sick, much to the delight of Sackers Mum Molly who called him a wimp and told him to man up. Unbelievably Mr. Brown (jnr) and Mr Houghton (also jnr) were there ahead of time but not looking a picture health after an all nighter at Sandance (Steve I know you mum reads this so I won’t mention what the girl from the night before knows her way around…). Jono physically couldn’t remove his sunnies until about 2 in the afternoon and Steve was….well Steve….his usual uncontrolled dribble coming out in full force – I am Sparta…etc etc.
After a stop off at the Ibn Gate hotel to pick up our VVP member Jason Brown, why he couldn’t meet us at EPPCO is beyond all of us, we were heading down SZR at not a particularly fast pace. Beverages and breakfast were consumed and the usual tweedle dum and tweedle dee banter from the back was had (Due to Ash Banerjee request this banter is X rated and cannot go into here so as not to upset the DU IT team). (Dum = Jono, Dee – Steve – please see picture below – taken on the bus). After a very quick stop off to collect Captain Harvey from his hotel on Yas and very near miss of Mooney wetting his pants (bladder of a 4 year old) we had made it to the spectacular venue – only 45 minutes late.
Harvey won the toss and elected to bat, a decision that was made only because he was worried we would all continue to drink and be unable to physically field later in the day….(Laing did a superb job ensuring there were two cooler boxes with over 80beverages). Actually the choice to bat probably would have been a better one, as I am sure we would not have messed up the numbers….Being the bright boys we are we started the first over with 12 men on the field….Gully quickly volunteered to sit down and nurse his hangover with a Malboro light and a cold beverage
Chris “Fire-man Sam – with an 80’s porn star movember effort” Ward had the honors of opening up the bowling and started very well, he was unlucky not to finish up with any wickets but kept the runs to a minimum with a very tight line and length….Chris finished 3-1-14. At the other end Mooney, freshly back from his paternity duties and a 5 weeks absence from the club bowled a fairly tight line, after his first ball got smashed for 4, he managed to get one on a length and saw an absolute screamer of a catch (+some juggling) taken by Tweedle Dum in the slips (glasses still on). Mooney finished with final figures of 5-0-35-1 including a 2 over tight spell at the death.
With Mooney subbed off for Gully, Gully feeling slightly more refreshed came on as first change. It was soon apparent after his 2 overs that he would have preferred stay off the field. Despite some good “chat” to the batsman who responded by smashing him for another 4, Gullys day apart from a drop catch (which he didn’t even see and was knocked back 6ft) was over – Final figures 2-0-29-0. Ettience bowled better from the other end and after a return spell later in the match finished with 4-0-27-0.
Pick of the bowlers Nick Harvey was great from ball one, bamboozling the opposition batsman and getting his reward with a good LBW against the Bedouins second top scorer.  Selfishly Nick took himself off after 3 overs in the anticipation that he might get a bat – Nick finishing with 3-1-6-1
Dannie “Dave the Twit” Rees was somewhat lucky to take 2 wickets in his spell, but did bowl a fairly good line until his final over went for 14. His first wicket a solid LBW followed by an absolute pile of dog poo full toss which was taken very smartly by Chris Neal in the deep.  4-0-23-2.
Tweedle Dee (Steve Brown) finalized proceedings when the batsman were going for the kill, deservedly snaring the wicket of the Bedouins top scorer in the final over when he was really smashing it – Chris Ward took a great catch over his shoulder… 4-0-26-1
Other Notes from the field:
Chris ward – told to move away from the boundry by Dave Rees as his was too close to his wife (Dave got a bit jealous, and knows his wife has a thing for fireman with Nasty Mo’s)
Gully – mnnnnn apart from the drop catch….nothing
Jason Brown – advising Dave Reece that he does know how to play cricket, when Dave suggested he moves a bit wider
Johno – great catch – was on the field for a total of 6 overs
Sackers – great efforts in the field (thought about claiming a bumped catch…)
Given the great efforts in the field Darjeeling were set a fairly modest target given the quality of our batsman and the size of the pitch of 163.
Paul Sackley and Chris Neal opened up for DCC…Sackers wasted no time by crisply driving his second delivery for a lovely 6 over mid off….Not to be out done the very next over Chris hooked the other opener for a big six. Some divine shots from the men in the middle took DCC to 50 without loss until Mr Sackers edged one to the keeper…a fine 25. Chris Neal followed soon after cleaned bowled trying to late cut the spinner for 24.
When the opposition saw Jason Brown come into the middle they took they’re foot off the pace and immediately brought on their D list bowlers…However looks certainly can be deceiving – Jason had immense fun smashing these bowlers all over the ground… by the time they brought on their top bowlers Jasons eye was well in and even these lads got carted around…At the other end Dave Rees was also causing carnage including hitting 25 off one over…..Dave secured victory in the 17th over with a huge six over the covers…
Top knocks from both Jason and Dave. Jason hats off…was a cracking innings….Dave you were average….
Jason finished 54 not out off 33 and Dave a quick fire 49 not out  off 26 balls.
After a few beverages with the opposition it was time to say goodbye to Abu Dhabi and head back to Dubai…Thankfully the return journey was a little more civilized Tweedle Dee slept for most of it and Tweedle Dum just looked glum. Special thanks to Mr. Andre Laing for organizing the refreshments and the bus!! All in all a cracking day out!