Nets

Our weekly net sessions to allow our Members an opportunity to turn their arms over, or practice their cover drive.

The Halloween Match Report

DARJEELING CC V LOOSE CANNONS

The Halloween Match – The Fielding

It was the tale of two games, it was the best of games and it was the worst of games. It was close to mid-day and something evil was lurking in the park, under the sunlight we see a sight that almost stopped our hearts.

A wicket that was not giving much in the way of bounce and an outfield that was slower than a zombie walking towards you in a graveyard!

We closed our eyes and discovered we were fielding by choice! So it was that 11 white ghostlike men took their positions on a very slow outfield

What followed was not a horror movie but an incredibly smooth performance by everyone on the field, keeping it tight and putting a lot of pressure on the batsmen. The athleticism that was on show with some great fielding from the likes of Coops, Ash, Nik and Brendan to name a few, with Nik throwing in from mid on to hit the stumps and earned the respect of the batting side. Making them think before going for a single.

The bowling was equally well executed – if at times – expensive with a total of 15 wides but with some notable contributions from Grant – returning after a long spell of not bowling – to take a wicket fourth ball of his first over and Shehan taking 1 for 7.

Other notables were Ash who’s bowling kept the pressure on the opposition and Louay’s spell resulting in 2 for 30 – not sure what was more shocking – being asked to bowl or getting the 2 wickets or the cost of the very last over to the total!

Darjeeling closed out the 25 overs with Loose Cannons at 161 for 7 – a tough target on a slow pitch

The Halloween Match – The Batting

Darjeeling opened the batting with Coops and the birthday boy Rachitt and it started well but soon the demons were closing in one very side and the wickets started to tumble cheaply with yours truly coming in at 3 and scoring 2. It was thanks to the efforts of Shehan with a strong 22, Brendan with a steady 20, Coops with an aggressive 18 and Sunny’s 15 that steadied the ship.

The Loose Cannons pitched in very graciously with 28 wides, 3 leg byes and 2 byes to help the total, but at the end of the day even that was not enough to help us over the line and we were all out for 135

The horror of the fact that many of us hadn’t capitalized on what was tough ground to score boundaries on but not that challenging in terms of movement or pace dawned on a few and this required the intake of a few beers – bought by the birthday boy – to numb the senses!

The Halloween Match – The Drinking

The two teams adjourned to the bar to drown their sorrows and mingle. Everyone agreed that it was a great day despite the result and even enjoyed the fines session where the forfeit was – yes you guessed it – vodka sniffing which sorted the men from the boys!

Good day, good game, good spirits (not the ones floating around the room) and the end of a “thriller” of a weekend of cricket for the club.

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.