Gardenia A – Z

Gents, I have to say, personally, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day on and off the field with everyone playing a key role in our win and more importantly spending time together for the post-match drink session which had all the hallmarks of a great social cricket day out.

Below is my humble attempt (with alcohol still in my system so any typos/missed references please feel free to edit) in taking a slight detour from the usual match reports by going down the A to Z route for the T20 match between Gardenia and Darjeeling CC earlier today at JA Shooting Club.

A – An early start (Badger was the first to arrive at 6:30 a.m. with a “Starbucks coffee” cup in his hand) at the Jebel Ali Shooting Club ground where the outfield and pitch was soaked with dew and players from both sides congregated (within approved social distancing limits of course!) slowly by 7.00 a.m.

B – British pound coin that I have used for years for coin toss with my call for tails that never fails let me down but I got the result I wanted in the end; to bowl first

C – Changes from the outset in terms of number of overs (reduced from 25 to 20), our whites v oppo’s coloured clothing, scorebook (manual v CricHeros) etc. made things interesting even before we bowled a single ball with Ninja finally taking matters in his own hands and “asked” the oppo to use traditional pen on paper approach for scoring

D – Dukes balls that were handed over to us by Ninja (who looked in shock all day after visiting Watto early in the morning to collect them from him) ensured that our bats are safe from the usual bat-breakers for another game or two and we started off with Nick and Krish from each end.

E – Efficient first couple of overs from Nick, who was kind enough to open the bowling for us in spite of the after-effects of a chest day at the gym and Krish holding the other end effectively

F – Few quick fire boundaries and couple of 6s from the oppo batsman (who looked like keen golfers on a cricket pitch inside a shooting range) gave us much needed runs to chase but also got slightly upset when the (sometimes overly keen) umpires reminded them to not to run on the pitch

G – Greeting the batsmen with his customary short, sharp and hostile (smile) bowling Ben stemmed the flow of runs with ease and ended up giving a measly 9 runs of his 3 overs from one end

H – Huge 6 from the opening batsman off Nick’s penultimate ball of his spell (which he felt could have been shortened after his 3rd over as it messed up his bowling figures) resulted in one of the good balls that is yet to be found amongst the metal feature (read as rubbish) outside the ground

I – Indecision from the oppo batsmen giving us 3 run outs with sharp throws from Sheehan (1) Big Ben (2) and Ninja (3) that Sethu picked up cleanly and finished the formalities with ease. Another great new find for our club and a keeper who can actually keep, rare breed!

J – Jumping in the air for the ball to land just behind him, Coops made it up by supporting and cheering the bowlers constantly from all parts of the ground all day

K – Krish trying to make the most of his match fees, ended up bowling 5 overs (thanks to a few extras) instead of the mandated 4 but took the crucial first ball wicket in his second spell with the right shoes at the right end !

L – LBW decision upheld for the batsman who ended up playing 4 shots before the ball reached him as Badger lured him with a false sense of security with his cunning flight and guile and trapped the batsman on his very first delivery that he bowled. Badger ended up with the figures of 1 wicket for 28 runs off his 4 overs.

M – Making head or tail of the scorebook (that got Nick quite animated at one point and never mentioned it since all morning and afternoon) to realise that the target was indeed 151

N – New opening pair of Coops and Arslan gave us a steady start only for Coops to get caught and bowled after a few overs giving the oppo their first breakthrough

O – Over and done within a few balls, Louay joined us back in the hut with Arslan (who never complained once about his backpain or ambled slowly through the outfield while fielding) hitting a couple of huge sixes and getting out bowled for the second highest score our innings, 29

P – Opening his batting account for Darjeeling, Sethu was involved in good partnership with Ninja before being caught at cow corner trying to up the ante and ended up with 15 runs to his tally

Q – Quality 6s (x3) from Ninja with one disappearing further than the previously hit 6 out of the ground and the very next ball pulled for a 6 over deep square leg (aimed at someone we assume who called Ninja’s previous 6 a shit shot!) who returned to the pavilion after scoring the highest score of our team, 37.

R – Runs flowed with ease as Ben and Shehan smashed the ball around and got us over the line in the 18th over with Ben scoring 14 not out in the end

S – Shehan named man of the match for his excellent spell of 4 overs, giving away just 10 runs and claiming 2 wickets (on top of a run out) and scoring 24 not out that included 2 towering sixes

T – Time was utilised very effectively after the win to head immediately to the Sports bar at JA Resort (Coops unfortunately couldn’t get his mid-day drink pass approved on time)

U – Unwinding with a few drinks in our hands as Nick read out the scores from our innings (not that he made any comment on the opposition’s calibre of scoring and messing up the book)

V – Vodka sniffing became a Darjeeling tradition of sorts where Louay showed his true skills off the pitch and made up for not troubling the scorers too much during the game earlier in the day

W – White Russian (s) (not the ones we wanted to join on Majesty 88 unfortunately) and the stories regarding that drink that kept us entertained for a while before vodka sniffing became a thing

X – X-rated conversations and stories that are better kept a secret which were unfortunately also entertaining others at the sports bar, not that we really cared !

Y – Yuppie (in mind and spirit) Louay kindly sorted the bill for the remaining few at the end as we went our own ways after a great post-match session

Z – Zeal and banter amongst ourselves that made this a thoroughly enjoyable day in end for all and here’s to more such social games for our club going forwarde

Darjeeling CC v Savannah Lions

Penned by Charles Forward from our 7 February fixture at the ICC Academy

The inaugural meeting of a new decade between these two titans of Dubai cricket dawned foggy, so much so that at the toss there was some discussion as to whether this was a six a side game in preparation for the upcoming six a side tournaments or a full 11 a side game. The arrival of the rest of the Lions confirmed this was a full team Game. The Lions on winning the toss decided to insert Darjeeling as they had a full side and wanted to take advantage of a soft ball until Badger arrived with the Match balls.

Darjeeling started slowly with Rachitt surviving a confident call for caught behind in the first over, before failing to nick the ball and being adjudged LBW. This brought the unassuming Andrew Kirk to the wicket who decided tip and run was the best way to upset the Lions. This nearly worked but he also managed to miss one and was following Rachitt back to the pavilion LBW for 2. The captain of the day Jamie Watkins (26) joined Charles Forward (31) (if only that were their ages not weights in Imperial measures) to steady the innings until the latter ran out of lives and found a fielder who could catch.

Watto was joined by Arsalan and these two took the score up to 82 to set up the final push for a competitive score. Cameos from George, Nick, and Chris saw the Darjeeling total to a slightly below par 138, however the sticky nature of the pitch meant there was hope particularly as the Lions “Badger’ had proved difficult to get away.

An inspiring team talk from the captain with the key message to bowl straight sent the Darjeeling team out to defend the total. Unfortunately both Oli and Nick struggled for direction and the 17 wides they conceded gave the Lions a strong start. Nick claimed the opener and Rachitt coming on at the end of the power play sent their number 3 back, however a no ball 2 balls later cost Darjeeling a further wicket before the introduction of Badger. The flight and guile of the Darjeeling veteran (4 overs for 23) kept the scoring rate under control however this was too much for the Darjeeling fielders who refused to entertain taking any catches once Badger himself had decided to give the opening bat a third chance by dropping one most grandmothers would have taken!

The introduction of George brought us back in to it with 2 quick wickets, one from an excellent catch from Rachitt now the catching strike was over. An inspired piece of captaincy by Watto, refusing to bring back opening bowler Oli, instead introducing Pete Langton resulted in another wicket but it was too little to late and Arsalan was unable to defend 2 off the 19th over resulting in a 5 wicket loss.

The game then moved on to Kickers for a full post mortem where both teams rehydrated and set up some battles for the next meeting of these Dubai titans.

Darjeeling vs Blighty Ducks-April 2019

Almost May and we still have perfect weather to don the whites……only it wasn’t Whites on Saturday (some of us didn’t read the memo.)  Fortunately, there were spares at hand and Darjeeling got their first opportunity to show off their new Green-coloured kit in the daytime.  With the Dubai Super League done and dusted for another season, the side was a good mix of both friendly and DSL players.  Chat centred on Thursday & Friday evening’s activities with many talking of the Michael McIntyre show they’d attended and making a complete hash of his jokes.

Blighty Ducks, keen to play in their new Duck Yellow kit, were the opposition and preferred to forego the changing rooms and remain outside in their favoured Gulf Sixes position on the grassy knoll. (With much banter and merriment to be heard I might add).  Captain Watto led the toss, promptly loss and received the mandatory abuse as Darjeeling were asked to field.

1st Half

A rare (though harmless) sight was presented to the Ducks’ openers with the veteran Nick Harvey given the new cherry.  It was a long opening over with four wides giving Watto some early diving practice behind the stumps.  Brendan opening at the schoolyard end wasn’t quite able to match Harvey’s extra rate (only 3 wides) as the Ducks got off to a straightforward start.  And that’s pretty much how it continued. With runs coming easily off the bat aided by frequent extras and some spilled chances in the outfield (including DSL Leader, J.Houghton) keeping the Ducks upper order at the crease.

Both Nick & Brendan did take a wicket a piece in their opening spells but then the Ducks enjoyed a massive partnership of 157 between Cameron 93 & Chris 82.  Racchit and Umer doing their best to stem the tide…………..as did Olly with a generous offering of 26 runs in his opening (and only) over.  Both Stanni and Jono chipped in at the end with some better bowling but it wasn’t until Brendan took the old ball back in his hand that the deadlock was broken. By then the Ducks had amassed north of 200.

There was something to cheer about with Brendan taking a further two wickets and having an opportunity to claim a Michelle with his final delivery. However, he finished with the very respectable figures 5-0-40-4.

Nick 4-0-34-1, Racchitt 4-0-48-0, Umer, a respectable 5-0-33-0, Olly we’ll skip, Jono 4-0-32-0 and Stanni 2-0-24-0).   Darjeeling set 230 to win.

2nd half of the Match

A tall order, but with all of those DSL lads in the squad achievable, no?
Fast-forward 3 overs and any optimism was given a hard low-blow with Chris Marques, Arsalan & Shehan all back in the hutch and Darjeeling 4 for 3.
Stanni and Jono steadied the ship rebuilding to 50 for 3. (Mark in particular executing some beautifully struck boundaries.) But after they both fell around the halfway mark for 25 & 19 DCC were 5 down on a slowing pitch and were facing an over rate of plus 12.  Duck Soup it was not.

Hope however, was not lost as Watto and Racchitt took the attack to the bowlers and bought us within 90 of the target with 7 overs remaining.  After Jamie fell for 38 (2 6s and 2 4s) and Racchitt top-scoring with 51 (2 6s & 4 4s) the tail failed to wag and Darjeeling was cleaned out for 174 in the 23rd over.  Not the close game we like, but played in Great Spirit without a ruffle of the feathers between the sides.

Post-match social

Sadly, a couple of us left with merely an adieu (Gentlemen, that’s not the Darjeeling way.) – But most ventured up to Kickers for some consolatory beverages as did the Blighty Ducks. (Confirming that they most definitely would be in attendance to the Gulf Sixes and quite probably, the Gala Dinner.)  Chat turned from the usual sport into back injuries (with some quite surreal and bizzare details shared.)   As the amber flowed and inhibitions fell, the conversation ebbed to the more ‘sizeable’ conquests we’d each enjoyed in the past.  The observant amongst us would have perceived a range of memories in the window of our expressions from laughter and guffaws, to winces and painful headshakes.   Darjeeling, being the philosophical bunch we are, learned that if you are going to go large it’s always best to mix it with an exotic flavour, like Swedish or Brazilian…………….never Scottish.

Darjeeling CC v Loose Cannons by Wade Golightly

A different format for a change by Wade

On 21st September Darjeeling welcomed the intrepid Loose Cannons for some early evening (and just starting to cool) battles on the larger of the two ovals.

Pre-match meeting adjourned in Kickers at 5:30pm, players were eager to ensure that the bodies were warm and ready to fire in the upcoming match. Key batsmen Blikkies stated that at least 4 beverages need to be consumed in order to perform at his elite ability, there were no objections. Following the Captains downing of his second beverage, the boys were warm and ready.

Inside the changing room the boys exchanged stories of the sources of their Cricket Bat’s, Misbah Ul-Haq was mentioned repeatedly.

 

Darjeeling Batting:

 

  1. Blikkies –              5          Quick fire innings. Bowled comprehensively off the short chap with a bit of gas
  2. Graeme –           68          Man of the match performance (IMO) Bowled
  3. Stanni –               10          Stumped after running to the bowlers crease to meet the ball
  4. Shugie –               40          Clean hitting, bullied the bowling. Bowled off the short chap with a bit of gas
  5. Rohan                   1          Not much to report. LBW
  6. Wade                    0          Strong performance from the non-strikers end. Bowled
  7. Millar                    7*        Season end average is forecasted to be at the 40 mark. Not Out
  8. Stephan                6          Poor umpiring decision. LBW
  9. Shehan                 13*      Was In the changing room, I’m told a promotion in the batting order is needed.

 

Darjeeling Bowling:

 

  1. Etienne               3 Overs, 0 wickets, 23 runs. Solid performance, brilliant final over
  2. Sheehan             2 Overs, 0 wickets, 29 runs. See batting performance
  3. Stefan                 3 Overs, 0 wickets, 30 runs. Umpires shoulders were hard at work, plenty wides
  4. Wade                  2 Overs, 0 wickets, 19 runs. Under 6 foot bowlers, should not ball short
  5. Ash                      3 Overs, 1 wicket,   33 runs. Brilliant first 2 overs, 3rd over was regrettable (21 runs)
  6. Shugie                 4 Overs, 0 wickets, 28 runs. Deserved a wicket, quality performance.
  7. Stannie               3 Overs, 2 wickets, 24 runs. Age is just a number, quality.

 

Result:

 

Match went to the last ball, Darjeeling lost by about 5 wickets (TBC)

 

Any queries on the report, please send to Shugie.

Darjeeling v Abu Dhabi Gents by Matt Peet

2018-01-06 18.22.54
The venue was the illustrious Sheikh Zayed Stadium, ordinarily a batting road for test match players, but the groundsman had seen fit to prepare a green top for the two English teams facing off, and a slightly longer format of 25 overs.
George Hellyeah was skipper and immediately told everyone it was his first match skippering, but after that, picked up his team speech and ended strongly. The general plan was to set an off side field and bowl outside off stump.
The Abu Dhabi openers were quite contrasting  styles. Garth was a trying to nudge it around and the other chap, “Dasher” was swinging from the hip at everything. Matt Jacob was expensive for his first two overs whilst Shehan exerted lots of control. That being said by over 4 we had managed to work out Dashers penchant for the lofted drive, set the long on fielder accordingly,  and he duly delivered it straight to the fielder.
However the skipper considered that to be a lucky wicket and so Matt was taken off and Krishna was brought on. Krishna bowled very well and got a decent amount of swing, finishing with 1 for 17 off his 4 over spell, snaring Gareth through sheer run pressure. Skip only taking them off in order to keep an over of each of them in reserve for the end
At the other end, Mike Phillips was brought on for Shehan. It was quickly apparent he was struggling  for control as he consistently tossed 2-3 down the leg side every over. A quick word about bowling cross-seam fixed it for him, and he found more consistency. Couple of the shorter balls troubled the batsman, but Nav (the batsman) changed tack and played a variety of late cuts, together with the occasional drive. Mike finished with figures of 4 over for 39 but definitely learnt from his spell against a couple of quality middle order batsman.
The halfway drinks were had, and it was definitely even-stevens between the teams.
Badge was brought on, but the batsmen were well set and played him comfortably, with the second over going for 13, Skip swapped him for Matt Peet, who despite being hit for a six 2nd ball, then snared the wicket of Nick Gray, at long on, with a fine catch by Brendan. However Matt’s 2nd over was awful, with Nav taking a distinct liking to the filth and taking him for 16 runs, finishing with the reverse sweep over the top of short-third-man.
At the other end, replacing Mike Phillips, Jerome came on and bowled well, but was unfortunate not to take the wicket of Shiraz with a bad drop by Matt Peet at Cow Corner.
The skipper made a strong call and brought back Matt Jacob back to replace Mat Peet, for  his second spell. MattyJ delivered excellent results, with a wicket each over.
This was aided by the catch of the match, by Brendan at wide long on, running a good 10 metres, round to straight long on and taking the catch on the run, without stepping over the boundary. I think this was the big wicket of Nav, who finished with a well earnt 60 odd.
From here, Darjeeling were able to put the breaks on Abu Dhabi Gents inning.  With Sheehan and Krishna finishing their spells. Shehan recorded fine  figures of 1 for 29 off his 5 overs and Krishna, the pick of the bowlers, at 1 for 23. The Gents finished with 206 and the general Darjeeling impression was positive that we were going to get these runs.
sp07-mike
Nav opened the bowling for the Gents and despite Matt Peet warning the team that he was a good bowler, the gallery was not impressed by the pace. However Sam Jackson recognized the control that Nav bowled with, commenting that he bowled the first over of full away swing, followed by the 2nd and 3rd  over, as back of  a length seaming inwards, towards top of leg stump.
George eventually succumbed to a quality yorker by Nav, losing his middle pole. Jerome came in and looked assured, dishing up regular boundaries. Sam then joined him successfully against the 1st change bowlers, but then got carried away after just missing out on 1 four with a lofted on drive, he swung harder at a low full toss and missed it, losing his middle pole as well.
This brought in Shehan to join Jerome. The Sri Lankan pairing looked comfortable, and took us to the halfway mark, just a bit behind the rate at 78 off 13 overs. That being said, the batsman were well set and the gallery was confident, that with  wickets in hand, we could find the next gear.
However the Gents upped their game, with their bowlers delivering a pinch spell from over 13-17 that saw just 25 runs added. Shehan got out trying to find a boundary, bringing in Brendan WJ. He looked very comfortable at the crease, and after setting himself, he set to the task of boundaries required, scoring a fluent 49 off 30 balls.
With a couple of notably strong heaves to cover corner that comfortably cleared the boundary despite a field set for just such a shot. However once Brendan got out the wheels came off the bus. James slapped his wide half volley straight to wide long off. A bit of wind behind it and might have carried over the boundary as it went really high. Matt Jacob was then clean bowled first ball. Krishan survived the hat-trick, but by only 2 balls before he was bowled, with Matt Peet then going back to his first ball and missing it entirely. Jerome then joined the procession, however he had made a very respectable 53 off 49 balls and anchored the innings.
But that meant the stage was now set for just playing for a bit of pride not to get bowled out. Badger duly delivered as 11 man, not just surviving but swatting a boundary for a strike rate of 200 off his 2 balls, to pick up the spirits of the players.
Darjeeling ended on 165 but he match had been an even contest until deep into the 2nd half.  The Gents had bowled well, with just 9 extras in their 25 overs, and their 1 standout player, Nav, pushing the match in their favour.
There was no man of the match declared for Darjeeling, as there had been good performance by several players on the team: Shehan and Krishan bowling exceptionally well, Brendan WJ for some excellent fielding including 2 catches. Matt Jacob for finishing strongly at the death with the ball. Then Jerome and Brendan WJ both making good runs.
Overall we have something to build on for 2018, the match was played in excellent spirit by both teams, the weather was excellent and refreshing beverages were had after the match. P.S. if you are playing the next match in Abu Dhabi, pack your cooler bag.

Al Dhaid road trip – penned by J Houghton

In three cars we made our way down to Al Dhaid to play against our newest opposition against Azamari Cricket Club (including six lads and kit in Mrs Harvey’s’ 4X4)

In short, we had no idea what to expect and as many of you know when you drive out to this part of the world/Sharjah, you feel like you go back in time a little……what I hadn’t expected was to go back to an era akin to those early pioneers of Darjeeling Cricket Club!

The ground is at the end of a dirt track, half a mile off the main road – without the four flood lights rising above the ground, you wouldn’t know it’s there.  The infrastructure consists of four lamp posts, a gen-set in the far corner of the pitch, a couple of very basic looking shower/WC’s and an old Barasti type pavilion (complete with a palm-roof)

The pitch is a grass one, though more like you’re basic rolled mud á la Sharjah Cricket Stadium (and from a distance all thought it concrete), the bounce however, was fairly consistent and the outfield grass was well-mowed and flat.  It’s not a huge ground, larger than Emirates Palace, but smaller than Oval 2 from the ICC.

The opposition were a friendly young bunch, there was a smattering of salwar kameez attired spectators and the Umpire made beautiful efforts of formality with his limited English.

Harvey lost the toss and therefore, had to field – the usual grumbles and expletives were muttered under (and above) the breath….In this, instance – some of this was justified as only Darjeelingites turned up for the game and therefore, a perfect excuse to renegotiate the batting was wasted…………..schoolboy, some might say.

Darjeeling opened with Rikesh, who bowled well (including a cracking first ball in-swinging Yorker) as did his opening partner Brent, who enjoyed an early wicket, but a few poor deliveries and wides kept their score ticking along at 9 an over,  as it did for much of the match.  Harvey & Peet were first and second change and despite a couple of loose ones, both bowled OK but at the half way stage Azmari had lost just one wicket for 80 odd runs.  We then changed ends and Guernsey Kimbo was bought on.

Kimbo later blamed the lights, though the rest of us blamed the long hops, full-tosses and wides as his one and only over leaked 22 runs.  Olly VDB came and bowled well, though was punished in his last over and the remaining overs were bowled out by the remaining overs from Harvey, Rikesh and Brent who all kept the scoring down (though this may have been because their opening bat was completely knackered) with the home side finishing on 183 – 3

Rikesh finishing with 4-0-32-0, Brent: 4-0-21-1, Harvey: 4-0-24-1, Matt: 4-0-39-0 and Olly: 3-0-34-1 – Azmari’s opening bat finishing on 88 n.o.

Azmari apparently, means ‘Tigers’ though I’m not sure in which language.  Darjeeling’s response to the hosts total was barely pussycat.  Though in their defence (as the scorecard won’t) many argued that they struggled seeing the ball with the lights, especially from the left-arm over opener.  Both out openers (Kimbo, 1 – Jono, 3) fell cheaply and when Brent, wasting an opportunity to bat 3 was run out for 2, only the extras were keeping the score ticking along. 

Munish offered some hope, after our newest adoption from the Kuwaiti casuals was caught for 3 (though, I’m sure he made more than that) as did Potty, with the visitors best score (including a first ball six over mid-on) but when they fell for 13 and 24 respectively, the fat lady was already on the team bus with the microphone packed away.  Harvey prolonged the agony for a few overs and enjoyed a decent partnership (relatively not nominally) with Rikesh, but was caught behind for 15.  Thankfully, Rikesh & Matt Peet edging our final total over 100.

Result aside, the match was played in good spirit and only one contested stumping in the second over of the hosts innings resulted in a Darjeeling expletive.

Darjeeling CC v Loose Cannons – scribed by K O’Reilly

The day started with a few early arrivals being gripped to Jo’s phone as a cached live coverage of the DSL team’s super over finale was dictated by McCaffery Jnr. The good news saw Nick’s celebratory F bomb count go through the roof pre toss. A new record.

The opposition fronted as a standard middle aged male troop, ranging from  3-4 technically good players, a couple of social blokes who used to a play a bit, and a couple of blokes who could sink 14 beverages of an afternoon then take a piss…

After a quick streak and pulling himself together, Nick won the toss and we had a bat. 10 off the first from Aryan was a good return off a good bowler. Aryan, Munish, Digby and Harry all with starts saw us 4/61 at drinks.

Fresh from his celebratory streak, Nick was charging, slapping them to all corners for a well fought 60. He only needed for someone to stick around, the middle order didn’t offer much today but Young Tom came in at 9 for a run a ball 20. A great head on his shoulders for his age.

Still with a few overs to go Ash came in to not only see out the innings but also wrap up the Fashions on the Field title for yet another week with the broadbrim/spectacle/headband/skins combo ensemble. Whilst looking the part he rolled the wrists over a juicy half volley to clear the fence and send the bustling crowd of 22 into raptures.

A decent total of 9/156 on an up/down wicket.

The Cannons came out with malicious intent using 3 of the technically better players i mentioned earlier. A few fielding mishaps and some blatant slogging saw them on the required rate for the first 5-6 and in the 9th they were 2/90. Enter the man with a vast appetite for chilled beverages.

He threw the kitchen sink and took it to the kids like a catholic priest, clearing the fence with nothing more than a pair of shorts and a bat. Even his box was unwanted ballast and thrown towards his team mates at fine leg to be collected mid innings.

Despite the lack of enthusiasm for its retrieval thoughts turned to if it was indeed uncomfortable or bad news had filtered through about the previous owners gonorrhea problem. An unfortunate time to receive the news no doubt, however it didn’t deter him and they passed us 2 down with 5 overs to spare. Off to the clinic I guess, or back to the cafe…

DCC versus University of East London – penned by H Moseley

A very hot day at the ICC saw Darjeeling host a talented touring side from the University of East London.

DCC were batting first on an uneven wicket that offered movement for both new ball bowlers and spinners later in the game. Sam Jackson got DCC off to a good start with a string of impressive boundaries through the off side and formed a good 2nd wicket partnership with Watto. Watto, in particular, was eyeing up the 6 over extra cover shot with a success rate of 33% however still remained at the crease courtesy of picking their most limited fielder twice in the deep. Good batting & bad fielding had DCC well placed at 120-1 with Watto (47) and Sam (41) looking set for just the loss of Harry (caught behind for 17).

However, a familiar Darjeeling middle order collapse began with a newly single, resident DCC love rat, Dorris trying to hook a half volley & getting cleaned up, Jono exuding the air of man who would rather be in Rockies getting caught & Muni and Kev both succumbing to the tourist’s version of Badger leaving a middle order scorecard of 3,4,5,4 and followed up by Rohan running himself out without facing a ball for a duck (surely a dick of the day moment!?). Big Mikey hit a few boundaries and was not aided much by Matt Peet who seemed to be a specialist in picking the fielders – all in all DCC closed on a sub par 175 off 25 overs.

Being the most senior bowler in the team, Rohan was handed a brand new dukes ball, first over & ran in to bowl some heat from the top end. No wickets unfortunately but mixed his lengths up well and came up against some good stroke play to go for 30 from 3. Keen to avenge his own calamitous running, a smart bit of fielding off his own bowling led to DCC’s first wicket being a run out.

Mikey bowled well from the other end mixing up his stock slower ball with the odd quicker one & snicked off their opening bat for 32 who looked a decent player. Spinners were the order of the day at first change with Matt Peet claiming an LBW with a googly in case anyone was wondering & Jono wheeling away at the other end proving there is more to this man than smashing bullfrogs. Muni did well under a skier from Jono fresh after doing a juggling act with a similar opportunity a few overs previous & when the dreadlocked Rasta Brenty chipped in with a snick off wicket afterwards, UEL were 6 down and the game was well placed to go either way.

However, UEL’s version of Rambo (according to his scorebook name!) was under little scoreboard pressure and took the opposition home for a 3 wicket win in the last over. A relatively comfortable run chase in the end that proved DCC were most likely 20-30 runs light. Pick of the bowlers being Matt Peet with 1-29 off his 5 overs.

 

Darjeeling vs Blighty Ducks – van den Broek Esq.

Date: 11 March 2017
Venue: ICC Academy
On a glorious sunny day at the ICC, the eagerly awaited traditional monthly friendly against The Blighty Ducks produced a match winning performance by Darjeeling’s own Six-Machine, Carl ”Half-Giant” Fletcher, that will be remembered by all present for many years to come. After the humbling of Skyline CC up in Sharjah the week before, principally by Half-Giant, he was keen to keep reproducing his towering form and produce he did!

Carl
Like a pig in Duck Sh*t

Skipper A. “Double A” Banerjee kept to his tried and tested method of losing the toss and being asked to bat first under a blue, sunny sky, on what transpired to be a slow-ish track, which although yellowish and hard in hue, it was thought would require batsmen to work hard for their runs (oh how Half Giant make a mockery of that!). “Half-Giant” Fletcher and Jamie “Sneaky” Smibert opened the Darjeeling innings with watchful intent and looked solid from the start, safely negotiating The Ducks’ opening salvos by the oddly effective pairing of moonball off-spinner Clive and medium-quick Rob.

Half-Giant Fletcher warmed up with a couple of scything blows to the leg-side boundary, which kept the scoring rate decent with Sneaky Smibert looking comfortable picking up singles and rotating the strike. Sneaky, however, with the intent of upping the scoring rate, nicked one to first slip, which he was rather surprised about and thus had to sneak off the pitch unbeknownst to his fellow team mates.

Realising that Fletcher was standing on his own, with Sneaky having snuck off, Ollie ”van den” van den Broek walked in at 3 and, expecting a loosener, was surprised by a rather well-directed bouncer first up by Rob, which caused him to produce an Olympian style double-pike tuck, which summarily landed him on his backside (Tom Daly would’ve been distinctly unimpressed!).

Half-Giant, on the other hand, tucked in to the Duck bowling of Clive and leg-spinner Allen by either charging down the pitch clubbing them over their heads or smoting the ball to the leg side with swivel pulls or flicks, keeping the run rate at a steady 6-7 an over. “Van den”, ridiculously thinking he could match his more illustrious partner, also charged down the track to Allen but only managed to successfully spoon the ball to long-off, thus ending a rather short and uninspired innings.

After Van den’s departure, in-stepped Carl “Conor – The Notorious” McGregor, fresh from dominating all opposition on the UFC circuit and wanting to now grapple with the more viscous and physical sport of cricket. With the atmosphere akin to his ring-side cage, The Notorious south-pawed his first ball for 4 with aplomb and then rope-a-doped a couple of singles around the pitch. Deep into the 5th over, Notorious decided to upper-cut a delivery to the off-side boundary but was undone by Allen’s “rear-naked choke” off-break and was forced to tap for submission. Notorious trudged off realising he had been outsmarted by the better f(l)ighter but was soon made aware of Floyd Mayweather’s announcement to end his retirement and fight Notorious for an estimated $100m fight in June this year, which cheered him up a bit.

This brought in Tom “Thumb” Mariadason and together with Half-Giant, with a fighting weight of 120kg himself, brought about a combined heavyweight batting partnership of 122.5kg with The Thumb just about reaching the height of Half Giant’s pad. Keeping bat and pad close together like forefinger and thumb, The Thumb looked good value. Unfortunately for The Thumb, he was out to his 3rd ball for 1 edging again, like his predecessor Notorious, to the keeper. Hard luck, mate!
Adam “Partially Blind” Benjamin, namesake of former 1998 Blind World Cup England Captain (http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1998-99/OTHERS+ICC/WC-BLIND/SQUADS/WC-BLIND_NOV1998_ENG-PROFILES.htmlNB. category B1 blind, thus partially blind, not fully blind), was next in to accompany The Half-Giant at the 12th over with only 74 on the board realising that they had to up the ante.

Partially Blind (or PB for short), reminiscent of some of the West Indian greats with his relaxed, languid manner and resplendent in Oakley blackout glasses to maintain style and blind-ness, missed his first 6 balls whilst clearly being perplexed by not being able to hear the jingle of the ball as it was coming down the track. Realising this was a standard game of cricket without the audible assistance of bells, he was suddenly gifted with the power of sight and smacked one boundary and started rotating the strike beautifully to allow The Half-Giant to play his LARGE game.

At this point in time, the report must turn towards an innings of such magnificence, the written word cannot do it justice. In short, Half-Giant plundered and battered the opposition bowling with such ferocity and power that I am sure will have mentally scarred the opposition bowlers for quite some time. A humble man of few words, the Half-Giant very much lets his bat (or bats after splitting one in half during his mammoth innings) do the talking, smashing the ball to all parts of the ground for 154 brutal runs, which included some outrageous sixes and one particular strike nearly taking out a fielder on the neighbouring pitch as well as depositing several balls on top of the changing room’s roof.

There are several key facts and figures of note from this terrific knock…of Darjeeling’s total of 189, the Half-Giant hit 154 of them (for the statisticians out there, that is an incredible 81.5% of the team’s total) in only 62 balls, hitting 12 6’s and 12 4’s. From getting to his century to 150, he managed to do that in an astonishing 10 balls! Indeed, with Darjeeling on only 74 after 10 overs, the Half Giant-Partially Blind partnership proved an unstoppable combination, which would go on to yield 115 runs, ultimately taking the game out of sight (no pun intended PB). An awesome feat and quite outstanding knock by the Half-Giant, ably supported by Partially Blind. Bravo and hats off all round! With the team reaching a total of 189, it was felt that this was a more than decent total and one which Darjeeling knew they could defend well with a strong bowling line-up.

Apropos…Double A decided to open the bowling with Israr ‘The Academic’ and with the inspired choice of Badger “Badger” Badger at the other end. The Academic bowled tight lines to which the opening oppo batsmen had no answer and was unlucky not to add a wicket to his ever-increasing list of post-nominals. Badger, on the other hand, with his penchant for bowling beautifully flighted China(wo)men, beguiled the batsmen into playing rash shots by either spooning the ball into the air to the Darjeeling fielders or dancing down the pitch and missing the ball altogether, being expertly stumped by part-time keeper Digby “Dirty” Fraser’s filthily effective glovework.

Indeed, Badger ripped through the cream of the Ducks’ batting line-up, ending up with splendid bowling figures of 4-13 of his 4 overs and was unlucky not to get his Michelle if it wasn’t for a couple of dropped half-chances in the slips. Double A also deserves a mention at this point for his masterful manipulation of the field as skipper, which assisted in getting at least two Duck wickets. Indeed, Double A will tell you that his captaincy is inspired via the power of Jazz, which he will gleefully tell you about over a couple of G&Ts…a thoroughly enjoyable chat if I say so myself!

The opening Darjeeling salvo immediately quelled any chances of the Ducks staging a successful run chase as they were reduced to 37/4 after 8 overs once The Academic and Badger had finished their respective spells. The first change bowlers of The Thumb and Notorious supported the opening pair well with The Thumb bowling especially well ending with match figures of 2-15 off his 4 overs, which included a medley of leggies; googlies and flippers. Most impressive for someone of such youth!

Richard “Dexy” H and Double A wrapped the innings up as second change bowlers, whilst being very well supported in the field via run outs through a Partially-Blind / Dirty combo, which left The Ducks all out for 95 runs, thus providing Darjeeling with a rather dominating win of 94 runs.

So, a thoroughly enjoyable game was had by all, which included a gargantuan individual score, full of clobbered sixes, by Darjeeling’s Half-Giant; plenty of wickets by Badger and The Thumb and agile fielding by all to keep the Darjeeling boys as happy as a gaggle of Larry’s. Added to that, an enjoyable post-match drinks session was had with the Ducks to discuss the day’s play, which is what the game of cricket is all about. The hope is that this comprehensive win against a good side with plenty of talent of its own, will kick-start Darjeeling’s friendly side into a strong second half of the season. Cheers!

Darjeeling CC v The Avengers- penned by Rob McCaffrey

[vc_row type=”container” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]Darjeeling CC v The Avengers CC
Saturday 4th March 2017
Skyline University Sharjah

We bowled first and bowled great… And they kept running themselves out.  One pair ended up at the same end and began a fight between themselves , as to which one was actually out, which lasted twenty minutes .

It didn’t seem that anyone really knew the rules,  least of all the umpire and then it degenerated into the nearest thing to a proper fight I’ve ever seen on a cricket pitch with their bloke on the verge of tears and hysteria telling everyone to go away then trying to fight our opening bat who politely and completely understandably….told him he was an utter idiot and to get off .

It seemed their team are used to this kind of behaviour as they ran on like the Keystone Cops and literally had to drag him back . He was no Tony Bellew let me tell you … More Tony Bellend.It took ten mins and Kissinger like diplomacy to drag this madman off the pitch…

Anyway, on to our batting: Chasing 134 to win ….Ash …. In Brearley like … left field … intuitive mode ….asked this bloke who no one seemed to know …or had seen play …to open (Big Carl.) Left handed and made Ben Stokes look like Chris Tavare … He battered (the only verb that does this justice) the ball to all parts of Sharjah. And I mean battered and I mean all parts.

11 overs later … It was all over with Carl 81 not out off 39 balls .

As the teams shook hands , the idiot who was trying to fight in the first innings came over to have another go making an even bigger idiot of himself than before .

My little lad Joe asked quietly if he could over and punch him and although tempted , we set sail for Dubai.

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DSL -Darjeeling CC v Wombats Yellow – M Peacock

On another glorious day at the ICC, the Darjeeling side arrived early to discover that their match was delayed by an hour. This left them with a dilemma, should they stay and watch the England Lions training in the nets or should they go for a pre-match drink. After much deliberation and debate it was decided that a beverage was the lesser of two evils and so the boys begrudgingly trudged off to “enjoy” some refreshment. 

When it was finally game time, Shugie was chosen as the man to do the toss, with Jono being an awful tosser this season so far. Shugie came back to the changing rooms with the news that everyone wanted to hear, we would be batting, greeted with woops, cheers and back slaps. Later we found out that he had actually lost the toss but we were inserted by the oppo!

 Rhys and Jono started up, compiling a brilliant opening partnership of 69 from the first 10 overs, putting us in a great position to be able to push on with 15 overs still to go. Jono was very unlucky to be caught and bowled from a well struck drive from the first ball of the 11th over for a well compiled 25 from 26 balls. This brought Blikkies to the crease, who was tasked with upping the run rate, however, leather contacting willow proved to be an issue and he swiftly departed for 7 off 9 balls. Watto then entered the action and pushed the scoring on, with Rhys at the other end playing some sublime shots through the off side. Just as things were looking well placed for a final assault on the Wombats Yellow bowlers, Watto was run out after being called through for a run and Rhys staying put in his crease. A classic case of “Yes, No, Maybe, Sorry!” Tom Kimber came in and tried to get us up to a decent score but struggled to time the ball, with Rhys finally departing for a superb 91 from 68 balls. The middle order came and went without many runs added and the score petered out to 182-7, about 20-30 runs short of a good score.

 Dave and Ben opened the bowling and aimed to keep the scoring rate down whilst also picking up a few crucial wickets. Dave kept it expertly tight and got an important wicket with a caught and bowled, bowling his 5 overs with figures of 1-30. Shugie entered the attack and immediately struck to leave Wombats Yellow reeling on 44 for 2. However, Wombats Yellow counter attacked playing some lusty shots against Rhys, Shugie and Blikkies, pushing the score onto 86 in the 11th over, only requiring another 97 from 14 overs. In an over of madness the momentum shifted dramatically with the two set batsmen holing out to Watto in the deep and then Blikkies taking a sky-er at cover from the very next ball, leaving the opposition at 86 for 4 and DCC with a real chance of snatching a vital victory. The extremely vocal opposition support was suddenly silenced and DCC sensed that this was their opportunity. Big Mike had been trudging in like a reliable old tractor from the School End keeping the run rate low and then removed two of their batsmen in the same over due to a great catch by Thomas Mariadason out of the sun and then a caught behind off a lifting delivery that caught the batsman’s gloves. At this stage DCC had the game in their hands with the Wombats on 130-6, but they still had 8 and a half overs to go and only needed to go at a run a ball. In came one of the most obnoxious cricketers you will ever meet. The first ball he faced he bunted it down the ground to long off and stated that he should have smashed that one for six! A few overs later he hit a Rhys delivery down the ground for 4 and celebrated by waving his bat above his head like he had just won the Ashes. A Ben no ball, leading to a free hit was dispatched for six over square leg but the arrogant batsman at the non-strikers end even had a go at his partner because he didn’t hit it where he told him to. Then he decided to get his partner to call out where he was going to “smash” the next delivery, leading to some unpleasant scenes by both teams due to this idiot’s poor cricket etiquette. The game ended on quite a sour note, with DCC losing with 16 balls left and 4 wickets still needed.

 DCC now have 3 wins and 3 losses from their opening fixtures. We are all hoping for a great end to the 2016 season and go into the new year with a run of victories under our belts and a solid position in the table.

DSL match 3: Darjeeling v Titans @ Dubai 7s – words by Mr. T. Kimber

I will start by saying, what a game of cricket this was!!

 Jono again lost the toss and Titans decided they would have a bat.  We didn’t start as we would have hoped with the ball and Titans built and impressive opening partnership of 127 off just 12.5 overs, latching onto anything short or wide off the seamers Viv (3-0-31-0) and Blikkies (3-022-0).  Shuggie (5-0-57-0) was brought on to try and stem the flow of runs, but was met with some brutal striking, both openers managing to clear the ropes regularly and by some distance.

Viv was switched ends to try and break the partnership and duly nicked off Titans chunky opener, however the umpire somehow didn’t see or hear the nick and KFC’s favourite customer for the past 10 years, decided he was going nowhere and refused to walk. Poor form indeed.  The onslaught of clean hitting continued and Titans found the boundary on a worryingly regular occasion.  The more flighted bowling of Jono (5-0-44-0) and Rhys (4-0-38-1) seemed to slow the scoring rate slightly and eventually Rhys broke the opening partnership in the 13th over, having the tiring KFC enthusiast caught nonchalantly one handed in the deep by Israr for 73 off just 40 balls.  He wasn’t a fan of running but he certainly struck the ball cleanly. 

Titans had set themselves a very good platform and with what looked like their best batsman coming out at 3, were in for an imposing total.  Again they built another good partnership of 80+ rotating the strike well between left and right handers and seeming to find the boundary at will.  The hitting was relentless and Mike (3-0-27-0) and Israr (2-0-28-0) did a decent job at the death when the batsman were looking to hit every ball for 6.  Darjeeling stuck at it and managed to effect a couple of run outs to keep the scoring to as few as was possible.  Titans eventually finishing on 248 for 4.  The pitch was flat and the outfield was quick, but it would take a serious effort to chase down ten an over from ball one.

 The Darjeeling innings began with openers Rhys and Blikkies, the Titans opening bowlers began with tight lines and both openers possibly looked to over hit the ball and struggled for timing, understandable given the imposing total they faced. Blikkies was out for 5 in the third over, which brought Tom to the crease with a licence to get on with it and utilise the power play.  After some tight early bowling Tom was greeted with wide long hop first ball, which was duly dispatched to the extra cover boundary.  That seemed to ignite the innings, with Tom and Rhys looking to make the most of the fielding restrictions in the first 8 overs, they punished pretty much everything, ending the power-play on 78. 

Game on. 

Still needing to score at 10 an over the partnership continued to grow, running well between the wicket and punishing anything loose. It was quickly realised that Titans had one real threat with the ball, the left arm spinner, it was important to milk him whilst trying to score heavily off what ever was dished up at the other end, which we did nicely.  Rhys was eventually out for 40 off 32 in the 12th over with the score on 107.  Ben strode out at 4 and continued where Rhys left off, putting pressure on the fielders in the deep and turning ones into two regularly.  When Tom  finally departed, stumped for 65 off 37 with the score on 137 in the 16th over there was still plenty to do. 

Darjeeling continued to score at a decent rate with everyone coming in doing their job.  Watto (5 off 5) and Ben (33 off 23) fell in quick succession in the search of quick runs.  That lead to the arrival of Israr (37 off 17) and Shuggie (21 off 10) they built a brilliant partnership of over fifty in quick time, finding the boundary on a regular occasion.  Israr taking the 20th over for 21 was the turning point, suddenly we 48 off the last 5 overs.  Darjeeling continued to plunder the bowling, even the loss of regular wickets could not slow the run rate, as every man who came in contributed.  Following the run out of Olli Jennings it was left to the Viv and the skipper to see us home, needing just 3 off the final over.  Jono flicked the 3rd ball of the over to the boundary and that was that.  Darjeeling had chased down 249 to win. 

What a ridiculous game of cricket, spare a thought for the Titans opener who carried his bat for 105 not out, never nice to score a hundred and your team lose.  Not that we care too much, we won. 

Link to the scorecard: https://www.crichq.com/#matches/439675/1st_innings