Typical Saturday at the ICC… the standard offenders supporting hangovers from hell (and some with blue tongues), but there was something out of kilter… it was somewhat overcast and a shower expected… With the batting order and bowling line-up established the previous night,  the self nominated skipper Gully thought he would try one on the Ericsson X1 Captain and enforce the DCC rules that we simply bat first. Even with a coin in hand, reluctantly supplied by Smokebomb Tom, assuming the offer would be laughed off, the Ericsson skipper accepted our generous terms of engagement. Pad up boys.  

With Dommett a reluctant starter, looking like death warmed up with a serious case of man-flu, we had 10 there….. 

There was but one flaw in this well designed plan that was heavily discussed the previous night, and that was the Oasis back-up singer Brownie, who was a key component in said plan, was still leaving wherever it was he had ended up during the early hours of the morning.  

With the plan in complete disarray, Dommett dying in the change rooms… the decision was made. Sporting a new haircut, some might even call his new fringe ‘curtains’… Andrew ‘Special Agent Gibbs’ Laing opened with Old Man Jonno and J.Brown duly advised he can probably put his pads back in his bag today 😉

After a few sighters the Old Man started creaming them with some seriously nice cricket shots, Special Agent Gibbs was knocking them around and rotating the strike well. Old Man rocketed to 50 off bugger all before going for a well made 55 off 33. Chris ‘The Silent Assasin’ Neal strode in… not sure what sort of banter was had, but it seems Special Agent Gibbs had had enough and gave one back to the bowler and was out a few balls later for 22 of 20, which is better than a run a ball! 😉 DCC were still tracking on at a healthy 10 an over at 2/88 off 9. 

Wonderwall finally got his pads on and wandered out to the middle… or was that just his whites walking all by themselves (yes there is a strange smell in that kit bag!) The Silent Assasin was pushing them around for 1’s and 2’s with ease, the odd 4 and not a dot ball in sight… while Wonderwall was batting about as well as he did on the Rockie’s dancefloor the night before…. Missing a lot outside off. For what can only be descibed as the worst  9 ever seen at the ICC, off 14 balls, he was stumped, but with Old Man umpiring he had already been worded up to fire him if the chance arose. 

Smokebomb Tom confidently jogged out to the middle, having had zero impact on any scoresheet for sometime, wishing to make a statement. After pushing a few 2’s around, he cracked a smoking 6 ‘he got all of that one’… trying to do it again, Smokebomb Tom kept trying to give himself more and more room (apparently he was so far outside off stump he was on the second wicket) and got bowled for a quick 15 off 10 balls. All the while The Silent Assasin was compiling a solid innings, we just didn’t know it yet! 4/140 in the 16th. 

Feeling weird, with these things on his legs, apparently they are called pads, Gully waddled out for a bit of a hit, knowing J.Brown was on the boundary praying for his early demise.  Like a typical skipper, Gully hogged the strike with some 2’s and the obligatory single or a 3 on the last ball of the over…  With his lungs exploding and a reappearance of The Vomminator immanent due to far too much running, Special Agent Gibbs made a team decision and fired him LBW for 12 off 8… The bruise on his upper thigh clearly showing where the ball was going! DCC now a bit wobbly at 5/154 in the 18th. 

J.Brown was out in the middle before Special Agent Gibbs had even raised his finger and was asking for leg stump…. After his sterling innings the week before, the Ericsson mob had actually worked him out and bowled full and straight. J.Brown attempting to pull half volleys and yorkers off the back foot achieving 5, yes FIVE, dot balls in a row in the 18th and 19th over… but it was time for The Silent Assasin to remind us he was actually out there and spanked 22 off his last 9 balls giving a some respectability to a now above par score and leaving J.Brown with 2 balls to face in the last over and leaving himself at the non-strikers end stranded at 47 not out (well played mate!). 

Finally getting off the mark J.Brown pulled a half volley for 2, then on the last ball sort of did it again before being run out on his 2nd run ambling at a pace proving he is ‘faster’ than he looks….  Innings eneded at 6/182. 

With respect Chris ‘deathbed’ Dommett offered to keep, truth be known his logic was so that he didn’t have to run around… 

With no sign of the sun in these overcast conditions, we got straight out there to bowl. With Etienne, the nicest Safa around, bending his back and bowling some tight lines to the Ericsson gun bats. Bowled his first three well, but without luck 0/17…  Gully at the other end was bowling a mixed bag of completely unplayable, and full fodder for four… not wanting to destroy his average and strike rate, he dragged himself after being smashed for a straight 6 in his 2nd over throwing the ball to Dave Mariadason who had been warming up his shoulder since 2.30pm reminding Gully he wants a bowl…. 

Dave’s very tight spell of 1/17 off his three helped keep the pressure on Ericsson and included a great ankle height catch at mid-on by the Old Man. The drizzle had set in at the ICC now, no downpour, just contstant drizzle… The English in the side didn’t even notice really, just a standard Saturday for them (Di I mention 5-0 and now 1-0 in the one-dayers?? hahaha). 

There were tunes on the football pitches next to us, some school sports thing…. Gully, Old Man and Wonderwall were all dancing  as if still at Rockies. 

At the other end, Gully brought on J.Brown to take the pace off the ball and make it hard to score… in doing so J.Brown got spanked to deeeeeeeeep mid-on where Lame took a great catch, one we were still talking about at 2am later that night. A few balls later J.Brown promptly tore another heart muscle (only a matter of time)  … not sure which appendage was damaged this time, but Old Man Jonno came in to finish his over. They came out alright, so he was offered another one, which he took with glee. (I don’t really want to talk about Glee too much, but Wonderwall did have a few auditions later that evening at McG’s!!!)  

What can only be compared to some of the worst pies we have seen from a Badger or a Gary Turner… Old Man tossed up what would have to be the slowest thing we have every seen… by the time it bounced for the second time (the author had induced poetic licence rights at this point) half of the team were rolling on the ground laughing, it then finally hit the poor batsmens pads, who was soo confised about what was going on, he asked everyone if he was really actually out… one of the finest pieces of cricket one will ever see. Old Man was duly dragged for taking a wicket with such tripe and finished with 1/12 off his 9 balls. 

Wonderwall bowled an uneventful over as the drizzle was really having an effect on the wicket, with Smokebomb Tom thrown the ball, he promptly threw it back to Gully as he slipped on the bowling crease while taking his first step to step out his run up! (didn’t want to hurt his ankle) It was now beginning to look a little like Dancing on Ice from both ends…  

Gully took the ball and almost did his knee in his delivery stride with both front and back feet slipping all over the joint…. Thinking a 1-step run up from around the wicket (where there was still some grass) might work out, he got pounded, figures could have been slightly different if Lame had not grassed a sitter at deep

Various discussions were going on, Ericsson were 3/80 of 12 and the game was basically already won… no-one in rubbers wanted anything to do with trying to bowl, so the bowling selections were based on who had spikes.  

Wonderwall promptly pushed Special Agent Gibbs to the ground and ripped his spikes off him to ensure he could bowl out his spell, and due to the ball resembling a cake of soap at a Dannie Rees/Chris Ward shower-a-thon, he went seam up. 

The Silent Assassin, while a reluctant bowler today, had no choice, he was wearing spikes! Ripped a wicket out of his first over, one of the full straight ones at the stumps… amazing game this cricket. 

At the other end Wonderwall came to life, with energy, zest and chat, steaming in getting a sharp one up a bit and gloved to the Domminator, while trying not to walk, that noise was heard in Sharjah… on your bike son! 

Ericsson reeling at 5/111 off 16 

The Silent Assassin ripped another one out , again one of those weird full straight ones at the stumps, interesting strategy indeed, it might even catch on.  

With the outfield wet, the ball a cake of soap, and the pitch like an ice tarmac, the game was becoming a bit of a farse and runs were being milked reasonbly easy but wickets kept falling regularly. 

Wonderwall’s turn again…. Seam up and another one of those straight ones, bowled. 7/125 in the 18th.  

A few balls later one went about 25 story’s high about 4-5 meteres short of mid-off, with no call of ‘mine’ coming from a certain fast runner at mid-wicket whose name we wont mention, Gully had to call it and run from backward square leg, but only getting a a few finger tips to it, running past J.(it wasn’t my fault) Brown enroute. Thus prompting what can only be viewed as ‘angry fast bowler eyes’ from Wonderwall, sorry mate. 

Making up for it quickly, Wonderwall picked up his third as The Silent Assasin took a solid catch (he doesn’t say much, but he couldn’t keep out of the game!)  Liam Gallagher finished with 3/15 of his four overs, well played, Ericsson now 8/126 off 18. 

The Silent Assassins’ last over included the 2nd funniest play of the day…. In any form a cricket it should have been a single to deep mid-wicket… somehow Lame turned it into a mix between Dancing on Ice and a Ronaldo dive in the penalty box as he legs went up in the air and somehow the ball over the boundary for 4. Again… 10 fella’s rolling on the wet grass pissing themselves laughing. 

Chris finished with 2/33 of his 3, a bit touched up in his last, now 8/141 off 19. 

One over left, the only other man with spikes is our friendliest Safa Etienne… in these conditions it was a hiding to nothing, with everyone really just wanting to get off the pitch a grab a beverage. 

Hit for 9 off his last, with the game well and truly over around 45 minutes prior, Etienne finished his 4 with 0/26 and did deserve a wicket or two. 

Again, the game was played in a good spirit, good banter with everyone fair game. Thanks again for Domminator to man-up and keep, much appreciated. 

MOM for me was Old Man Jonno, not for his rubbish wicket, but it was a quality knock, that’s his 4th 50 in his last 6 innings. 

Excellent turn out to McG’s after the game with Lame now becoming one of our ‘mates’ for being much more fun than Julius…  Special Agent Gibbs not wanting to go to the pub, but staying until he was almost falling over, Tom smokebombing BADLY and Gully babysitting Wonderwall and Old Man again. 

Over and out…..