It was a fine day for Quidditch on a sunny afternoon at Dubai’s very own Hogwarts (a.k.a. Repton College). Unfortunately no one knew the rules of Quidditch and everyone had left their brooms at home so we had to play cricket instead…

Darjeeling batted first (I am sure it is a requirement somewhere in our Club Constitution) with Laurence and the Silent Assassin, Chris Neal, opening the batting and getting us off to a great start. The first wicket put on the highest partnership of the innings with 46 runs at better than 10 an over until Laurence and Chris decided to have a lawyers conference in the middle of the pitch while trying to take a single. Laurence was run out despite his earnest appeals for a mistrial as the XL keeper strangely never quite had the ball in his gloves when the bails were removed – Run Out for 18 (with 1 x 4). Dannie Rees came in next and made a sprightly 7 with 1 x 4 (sorry about that batting average Dannie!) until he got himself talked out by Dobbie in jeans lurking at Point and getting bowled by the check-out clerk fresh from his morning shift at Carrefour. The umpires were strangely unmoved by Dannie’s request for another go and he was sent on his way with the score on 75 for 2.

This bought new lad, Milo Johnson, to the crease who gave a master class in axe work and proceeded to late chop no less than three consecutive 4’s to Third Man. All the while the runs were coming at around 10 to the over. Chris Neal bought up his 50 and then proceeded to get bowled by Dobbie the very next ball for 52 (8 x 4’s, 1 x 6) – Total 114 for 3 in the 11th over. Milo meanwhile kept the score board ticking away by his prodigious use of the chop shot and then watched the Middle Order collapse in a bit of a heap as Nick Harvey (bowled for 2), Chris Tebb (bowled for 2) and Ben Jones (LBW for 8 with 1 x 4) all came and went. Milo was next to fall, Bowled for 54 (8 x 4’s) and the score was 173 for 7 at the end of the 17th over. This bought the Saffer contingent to the crease and Etienne Visser (6 Not Out) and Andrew “Tavare” Laing (23 Not Out with 3 x 4’s) ended off the innings with a 31 run partnership in three overs taking Darjeeling to a competitive total of 204 for 7 off 20 overs.

The Pace Twins, Nick Harvey and Etienne Visser opened the bowling in XL’s innings, keeping things on a tight rein while the XL openers swung and missed. True to their name, they had identical bowling figures of 2 overs taking 0 for 12. Our new favourite Kiwi, Hagrid a.k.a. Ben Jones, came in next and let loose a few rip snorting bouncers that had the XL batsmen wobbling and went wicketless for 22 runs off his 2 overs. Chris Tebb steamed in off his long run up and made the first breakthrough taking 1 for 17 off his three overs. Well behind the run rate, XL needed to get the ball rolling and tried to take on our very own Southern Hemisphere spin twins: Gibby and Kymbo who tore apart the XL batting line up aided by some athletic keeping by our very own Welsh Wicketkeeper Extraordinaire, Dannie Rees. Gibby got 4 wickets for 20 off his 4 overs and Kymbo got a fiver – 5 wickets for 14 off 4 overs to wrap things up. Dannie got no less than 5 stumpings as the XL batsmen persisted in committing Hiri Kiri dancing out down the track to the Spin Twins. XL got bowled out for less than 100 off 17 overs, giving us the win by over 100 runs.

We all retired to the Dubai Polo Club for post match beverages.