DCC v ADCC 30.1.16 – Mike Peacock

See if you can spot the Beatles songs – a drink to the person who gets all 45!
The day before yesterday saw an experienced DCC side taking on a strong Abu Dhabi team who had booked in a wisely-timed fixture after a hard day’s night at the Annual Awards Night. The day trippers had made it to the ICC well before the bad boys from the night before had arrived at the ground, a worrying sign of things to come.
On a “bordering blustery day” there were even signs of rain before a shout of here comes the sun reverberated around the outfield as play commenced. Don’t ask me why but the dark glasses-wearing Dexy, looking a little weary, volunteered his services to open the batting with Harry, even though Ash had already told the story of how Dexy had been banned from further drinking after a grape juice altercation the previous evening. After a rousing speech by skipper Brown, ‘don’t let me down’ being the take home message, the pair strode out to the middle with the players back in the cheap seats shouting ‘you know what to do.’ After a glorious shot from Harry in the early overs, upper-cutting their quickie for four, the scoring rate started to slow down to a snail’s pace, due to some incredibly accurate bowling from the ADCC openers.
Dexy was eventually the first man out, adjudged caught behind from a lifting delivery that was athletically snaffled by the chirpy wicket keeper. Had the DRS been accepted by both captains the decision would have been overturned as it appeared to nick off a nipple rather than the inside edge, leaving the not guilty Dexy to berate the umpiring of Racchitt and offering to show him the bruise later! In went, Callum, some new DCC young blood on debut, whose first ball was a sharp bouncer that the Aussie decided to rebuff with his shoulder in true Steve Waugh style. However, this show of manliness was his only act of defiance as he was soon out LBW to the accurate inswingers of the ADCC captain. Harvey was in next as the score slowly trickled along, Harry nudging and nurdling it around to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
The ADCC opening pair had bowled themselves out, and although the score was in the region of 40-2 the Darjeeling side, and especially the beautiful dreamer and birthday boy Cookie, thought that we can work it out and start flying towards a respectable total. This optimism, however, was short-lived as Harvey quickly departed, bringing captain Brown to the crease just as the Abu Dhabi bowlers were getting better and better, their 1st change pair not afraid to dig it in, leaving Harry searchin’ and with no reply. He seemed sure to fall, but now and then was able to rotate the strike and gradually push the score up towards 70 for 3. He was later heard in the bar saying that ‘all things must pass and that all I’ve got to do is see off the openers and then I’ll be on my way.’ In hindsight this may have been wishful thinking. Brown eventually broke up the minor partnership, after playing a few lusty strokes. He was caught out by a slower ball from the ever impressive Wilkinson, with every little thing going right for the fast bowler.
This brought Etienne to the crease, and in spite of all the danger, he and Harry were able to push the score towards the illusive hundred mark. After smashing a couple of meaty sixes that went long, long, long, the impressive South African departed bringing Racchitt to the wicket. He who said to himself that these bowlers ‘don’t bother me’ as he milked runs all around the ground. However, this was to be the end of the counter attack as he fell, followed quickly by Cook, hooking his second ball straight to deep square leg, as he trudged off thinking ‘I should have known better.’ Some final over scampering between the wickets, with shouts of ‘run for your life,’ ‘get back’ and ‘wait’ being heard all around the ground, left the innings at a below par 127 for 9 from 25 overs. After a Lombardi-esque speech from Brown at the halfway stage, ‘all together now’ being the take home message, the Darjeeling outfit knew that only an imperious bowling performance would leave them with anything to show from this match.
The ball was thrown straight to all-rounder and ADCC old boy, Etienne, for the opening over. The South African started with a tight first couple of overs, followed by a slightly looser set of twelve from new boy, Peacock, before the experienced Harvey was brought into the attack. However, although there were ferocious deliveries that kept the ADCC batsmen on their toes, they were able to accumulate runs at a canter and had quickly amassed 65 for the loss of only one wicket, massively helped by some shoddy fielding and some ‘come and get it’ bowling. Krish, Cookie and Racchitt all came into the attack, bowling some expert deliveries, Cookie especially landing a few balls on a matchbox, but the off-colour DCC side had very little to offer a far superior ADCC team.
Ash charged in to chance his arm and at least grab a couple of consolation wickets but not even his right arm mediums could help in this cause. The boundaries were coming here, there and everywhere and it wasn’t long before we were finally put out of our misery, the Darjeeling side glad all over.
Onwards to the next fixtures, a much improved all round performance needed to get back to winning ways. I’m sure it won’t be long!

Da Johburg Ou – Nail biter words by Brandon Pretorius

We arrived to see da opponents warming up for da better part of an hour. Activities that would put most of us ous on our knees hay.
We where surprised to see no babelasses (hangovers) in da changing rooms. Our kaptein Nick had choosen to use da bat first and sent in da Dominator and Mnr Julius. Finking Mnr Julius would use dis rare opportunity with da bat, he got out cheaply caught behind for 1 walking after a wide where to be given. Da usual LBW shouts we are all remembering was in da match as well. I then walked in to support da Dominator. Getting a lucky 20 I was to be getting caught. Dis sent in da much awaited comeback from Rannie Dees. Getting dropped on da ous first ball… And den getting bowled fird ball was not the BIG standard we ous are all knowing of dis guy. Den da new guy Sheldon walked on to bring da run rate up scoring a vinnige 24 to help da Dominator dat was red in da face. Mnr Visser came in scoring 9 den getting bowled, playing around a straight one. Da kaptein and da Dominator got us to 138 after running 3 vinnige 2s in da last over with kaptein ending on 7 n.o and a mighty performance from da Dominator 64 n.o.
Having to dafend 138 we where having to bowl very very well. We stared wif Mnr Visser and Mnr Julius. Visser started offf well but den der where a few wides da next over from Julius going for 14. Da first breakfrew was from Vissier in his second over. Rohan den came on to replace Julius, starting offf wif a few wides da ou came right in his second over. Da new guy Sheldon took a fantastic catch stading at silly point off Rohans bowling after getting into da ous head bringing SA cricket sledges to Dubai.Da batsman stood der wif no belief of what happened.Rohans bowling figures ended off on 1-20 in 4. Da running between da wickets where to be very very poor giving us 2 run outs. Der kaptein was one of da ous getting run out which mad him very very angry so he frew his bat almost hitting Daves little man. Ash bowled well keeping it tight as a tiger getting 1 wicket for 21 in 4. Mnr Visser came back and got another wicket ending his spell on 2-29 in 4. Having no more bowling peoples because kapteins back was not leka we where forced to bring on Rannie Dees. Dis ou was going for a few but Dave was keeping it tight like a tiger winning us da game in da last over by hitting da ous stumps. Rannies figures where 1-24 in 3 and Daves 3-12 in 3.2
Dis getting us da win by 5 runs!
Im sure da Dominators face is still red, what a innings.

Darjeeling CC v ABB – words by G Turner

It was a scorching  hot day down at the SES stadium as the stalwart players of Darjeeling met for what was a bitter sweet occasion given the sad loss of our team mate and friend , Simon Fowler the previous weekend.

It was decided that Darjeeling rule no 1 would not be used and a fair toss was made with the incorrect call from the ABB skipper Aman and I immediately informed him we would bat and the match would be of the T20 format.

A few words of respect and a quiet moment for our own thoughts before the opening pair of Jonno and Pete Shenk (manager of the Crowne Plaza SZR , Discounts available upon request!) strode  purposefully to the crease. A contrasting start, with Jonno finding the middle of the bat immediately whilst Peter struggled with the swing and bounce that the” Karama” special ball we had given them was producing. After scoring just 2 runs Peter missed a swinging full toss and was out LBW. In trotted  our” steady eddy”  number 3 , Andrew Laing who from the outset knew the wisest  thing was to give Jonno the strike and thus our innings started to accelerate with Jonno playing some delightful pulls,  cuts and straight drives and as the temperature in Sharjah climbed to 46 degrees the ABB team wilted in the sun.

Drinks where taken when the” Karama” special shed its skin after only 9 overs and we were  well placed at about 80 for 1.

After drinks and so dominant where we that our score prediction rose alongside the Mercury and of course that alerted the great Cricketing god to become involved! Andrew played a very un Laing like shot and was out for a patient 14 out of a partnership with Jonno of 107 , then Jonno himself aimed a long hop at  a fielder at fine leg and all at the ground were amazed when the chap actually caught the ball!! Jonno gone for a well-played 84 . Poignantly , Jonno confirmed that throughout his innings he was repeating the mantra  of his coach in his early days at Darjeeling , Simon Fowler , “play straight , every ball play straight”. I think Simon would have been very proud of Jonno,s   innings.

Nick scampered as he always does for a quick fire 14   , AT did not waste any balls with his 5 off 3 balls  and David also kept the scoreboard ticking over for his 14 not out. Gully had to face 2 balls at the end and his bat remained  untouched as he was bowled neck and crop off the last ball for a duck! No doubt the great Cricketing gods justice was served on him for being late!!!

So with Nick needing to leave early to attend a posh “DO” at the BurJ Al Arab , he was given the chance to rattle through his overs quickly from the water tank end with Gully appearing from his favored University end. Nick struck in his first over with the extra bounce of the new proper UK made cherry hitting the batters gloves and looping kindly to the ever agile Gibby  behind the stumps. Gully should have had a wicket himself but Nick downed a very quick chance at first slip. Nick bowled a nice line and length finishing with 1 for 15 off his 4. Gully had a rest and a chunder after his opening spell of 3 overs and then David and son Rohan where  given the chance to make it the Mariadson  family show and they did not disappoint!! David managed to get the ball to bend and swerve and completely bamboozled the batsmen who never really knew where the ball would end up. He struck twice in his first over and with  Rohan effectively tying up the other  end it really was a Family Affair. Rohan finished with 4 -0-26 but bowled so much better in applying the squeeze. David finished with 4-3-33 and 17 of them  came from one over . So the rate had climbed to over 12 an over when Ash and myself where tasked with the last 4 overs of the day.

The skipper of ABB ,  Aman was now on 51 when he decided to charge down the wicket to my first ball , result 1 wide and 1 stumping! Au Revoir Aman ! Another wicket later in the over with Rohan taking a fine catch in the deep and the game was surely ours. Ash bowled the penultimate over tightly to finish with 2-0-19 and when Rohan took another fine catch the game was ours and I finished with the flattering figures  of 2-3-9.

So DCC won by 28 runs against a team that had beaten us recently at the ICC.

A few ambers and pales , including a couple of chilled Spitfires as Ash read the book and then a few of us retired to the Polo Club to further raise our glasses to absent friends.

DCC vs Loose Cannons – G Turner Esq

A surprising start to this grudge match against arguably our biggest cricketing rivals in the current Era , Loose Cannons. 11 Darjeeling players turn up on time and not  a hangover to be seen. Of course Gulli played the day before so that may have had something to do with it!

Skipper Ash disappeared with their skipper Bradders and duly won the toss and of course Darjeeling elected to bat first in a match designated as 25 overs per side.

Ash instructed Brandon and Tom to open followed by our resident chirpy person Danny in at 3. A few photographs of the intrepid opening pair were taken [to follow] and off they strode into the glorious sunshine. About this time a stranger came amongst us and enquired  if Brandon was out in the middle as he had been hearing great things about his recent batting performances. We confirmed that he was indeed out  there and joked that he had probably evoked the great cricketing gods to smite Brandon down!

The Cannons had to start without their regular openers as they had arrived late so a large bearded chap with a famous cricketing name , Gower , was asked to bowl the first over. He duly trotted in and Brandon was hit by the cricketing gods bolt of lightning  and he was bowled neck and crop for a super golden duck! His mate chuckled as Brandon swore and cussed his way off the field to be replaced by Danny. Not the start skipper Ash had envisaged!

Danny patiently played out the rest of the over which included more than  a few wide’s  but it seemed that the normally placid ICC pitch had developed demons and the ball was moving via the seam as well as rearing off just short of a length. Batting was extremely hard work and the old sages of DCC where predicting that 180 would be a good score on “this” sort of track. So much for being an old sage!

Tom finally connected with a few deliveries and had just hit a glorious 6 when Gower nipped one back a shade and it was au revoir to Boinville for 12.

Chris the dominator  was promoted in order to “steady” the good ship Darjeeling, as skipper Ash tried to second and third guess how events would unfold. Even at this stage he was planning his opening bowling attack! Now that is forward thinking !

Chris certainly steadied the ship and was extremely patient whilst at the other end Danny slowly started to find his touch and timing. Chris was bowled for 7 by a ball that shot along the floor and he  queried on his return to the sidelines just how much DCC had paid for such a cow patch of a track!! It did not look good for Darjeeling and that 180 seemed a long way away.

What happened next? Did the pitch suddenly put the demons away? Did the ball get soft or was the quality of the support bowlers merely not up to much? I prefer to say that through patience and application Danny and Israr  built their respective innings in a way we always have to do on pitches found particularly in the UK. At this stage respect was shown to the good ball whilst the over pitched or short delivery was dispatched to the boundary with panache and grace and often with pure brute force!

Experienced bowlers like Moxey and Bradstock where simply hammered off the park and only Sameer with 0 for 23 off his 5 overs came off the pitch without having received a beasting! Danny batted beautifully for his 73 before being superbly caught out to give Gower his third wicket of the innings. Andrew Tavare  strode in with the clear intent of giving Israr the strike and how beautifully it worked. Israr simply demolished whichever bowler was asked to do battle with him and he  raced to his 100 before skying a catch that was well held by that man Gower.

So instead of the disastrous score predicted by the sages we finished with 239 for 6 off our 25 overs. If any sub continental chap had had a wager on that score after ten overs surely he would have lost his shirt??

Ash gave the boys a pep talk on the pitch, reminding every man jack of us that we had to do the basics well and that if we did surely we would win. Sounds easy I guess but……..

Opening with Etienne and Julius it started well with again a bit of extra bounce and the odd ball moving off the seam DCC had a tremendous spirit in the field and Cameron Coles batting against his former club found the going particularly tough. It was his partner Taylor who fell first , admirably walking having gloved a  cracking Julius delivery to the safe hands of the Dominator having scored 23. Richard Bradstock entered the fray and in his usual fashion started to dominate the bowlers and with Coles built a fast scoring partnership before Coles fell to Israr for 26.

Gower strode to the crease looking for all the world like he was a farmer in a Thomas Hardy novel and sure enough swung  the bat with great gusto. For the first time DCC where a little rattled as skipper Ash rotated his bowlers seeking a breakthrough. Although the bowling at this point was generally tight , with Jamie having 2 overs for 24 , Ash bowling his first 2 overs for 16 the scoreboard continued to click around even though DCC felt in charge of the match . When the next wicket fell it was an unlikely scenario of Bradders pushing to mid-on  and seeing it was me fielding there  set off for the single. Little did he know that years of playing darts on a Manchester board meant I was able to hit double top from 3 yards and Bradders was a goner! Drinks where taken and DCC at this stage looked favorites  to end the recent run of defeats to Cannons.

Dannie replaced Ash and I replaced Israr who finished with a creditable 1 for 40 off his 5 overs. Dannie bowled his first over for only 6 runs and when Israr took a great catch off my bowling to snare Gower in an over that only went for 4 runs it was smiles all round for DCC.

That is of course when the cricketing gods reappeared and decided to change the whole course of the game! Danny went for 15 in his next over and even worse Sameer took 22 off my next over and the momentum suddenly was with the cannons.

Ash desperately tried to re organize  the troops when Tom had to retire with a hamstring injury but Sameer was in irrepressible form smashing various bowlers to all corners of the ground and in particular straight and high and hard!!

The fact that the match went to the 4 th. ball of the last over suggests that WE  did fight until the very end and that generally the bowling was controlled and straight. The fielding was generally good and the spirit remained high throughout. However when a guy is batting like Sameer was , supported admirably by Anderson , sometimes , just sometimes , you have to admire what the opposition has done rather that beat yourself up over what we might have done differently.

tienne and Julius both strove at the end to keep Sameer under control, but he kept smashing the ball skywards and unfortunately never once close to hand!

So did we snatch defeat from the jaws of victory ? Did we collectively let skipper Ash down when the going got tough? In my view the answer is a definitive NO. Simply one man took the game away from us in the same way Isrars   innings ensured we were in the match in the first place.

Ash skippered the side well and he was supported by all the lads and especially Chris behind the sticks.

For me  one of the best games I have played in at the ICC since we started playing there , played in a great spirit with both sides fully committed to paying hard but fair.

As for the track? It looked a  dog but 480 runs in 50 overs suggests that in spite of  having played cricket for over 40 years this Sage knows Jack!!!

Roll on bowling at SES I say!!,

Darjeeling vs Loose Cannons – 21 September 2013 by Lawrence of Arabia

A hot balmy afternoon awaited both teams at the ICC. The pre-match discussion centered around the Cannons good record on grass and Darjeeling’s makeshift bowling attack. Danny Rees made his debut for the club and proudly hung up his Welsh towel in the change rooms for all to see.
The Cannons won the toss and no surprise, batted first. Darjeeling opened up with Etienne and Danny. The opening batsman (in particular Clint) took advantage of the quick outfield and some fullish deliveries and started hitting boundaries at will. Captain Ash decided to turn to spin, first, Kim (aka Warney) who got some turn straight away. Unfortunately, the batsman took advantage of the few balls that didn’t get a chance to turn, and at the first drinks break (7 overs – it was hot!!) the Cannons were no loss for around 70-80.
Finally, a change in luck for Darjeeling, the Cannon’s opener smashed a straight ball at Clint, who took a blow to his right hand. The other opener retired shortly thereafter suffering from heat fatigue. Captain Ash turned to Browny who bowled 4 very tight overs from one end, building up some great pressure.
The turning point of the game was when Ash brought himself onto bowl. Firstly, taking the prize wicket of Clint after Andrew took a juggling catch at mid-on. Ash then proceeded to destroy the Cannon’s middle order. Whilst some of the “Cannons” were a little “Loose” with their shot selection, all credit to Ash who finished up with a “michelle pfifer” – 4 overs 5 wickets for 12. Sackers also bowled a couple of tidy overs and took a wicket. The bowlers were well supported by the fielders (Cameron, Nathan and Noel behind the stumps etc.) and after looking like scoring 220, the Cannons made a sub-par score of 163.
Darjeeling opened the batting with Danny and Browny – who made a great start to the run chase with an opening partnership of over 100. In fact, the only problem was working out exactly how much they both scored – as the scorers from the Cannons team had got slightly confused for some reason with our openers (despite only one wearing a helmet). Anyway, Danny finally retired with heat fatigue after scoring a well made half century on debut. Sackers was next in and unfortunately got a straight one first up and was on his way. Noel then stepped up and with Browny scored some quick runs together and sometime in the 19th over we had reached our target with the loss of only 1 wicket. All credit to Browny who batted throughout the innings and remained around 80 not out – having been on the field for the entire match.
A good win for Darjeeling – which we celebrated with a few pints with the Cannons at the Ernie Ells club.

Matthewson wins Match single Handedly! Still no Sign of Averages!‏ – words by Gary Turner

We all thought that volunteering for a Saturday night game under the lights at the world famous ICC was a really cool idea! How wrong can the 11 sweaty betty’s  who braved the high humidity of the last day of August 2013 be?

The opposition , OMD , spookily playing in Black shirts , where at the ground early and practiced hard the skill of continuously dropping a white cricket ball. This practice would come to our rescue on more than one occasion as the evening progressed.

Ash , our stern but methodical skipper won the toss and as is the norm chose to bat and selected that well known optical duo , Dommett and Lloyd to open our batting. As in the morning game Mr.Wide kept the scoreboard ticking and our gallant openers ran several swift singles before Chris found the middle of his bat with a couple of crisp fours. Having run a three Nick decided it was too bloody hot and mistimed  a shot and was caught for 8, the partnership worth 30.  Enter the fray our nonsmoking  athlete , Greg Moses, who looked lean and mean. Greg started with a thunderous on drive , some said imperious , others regal , others didn’t like regal and then the conversation turned to the strange names of cigarettes in the UK in the 70,s , like number 10,s and number 6,s. Ash denied all knowledge of such vices using the fact that he was not raised in the UK as a defence! Flimsy stuff!

Chris ran his usual sharp ones and twos before also being caught off the bowling of Bin. He had in fact Bin and Gone!

Greg was seeing the ball well but spooned one off into the deep , we held our breath as the ball spiraled out of the inky black sky and breathed again as he was dropped! A dolly we all said!

Lawrence struck a few lusty blows before he was smartly stumped for 13 off the bowling of Qasim. Our run rate was about 7 an over and we all know that is never enough at the ICC.

Lee Dawson strode meaningfully to the crease wearing one of Badger’s Chiang Mai cast off shirts and we all agreed it fitted well!  Lee was quickly off the mark and as he does every year or so seemed to time the ball well AND ran regularly between the wickets. The runs started to come and then Greg spooned one off into the deep..(see previous part of the report!).

Skipper Ash was doing all sorts of calculations and reckoned we needed at least 179 to be sure of victory. This message was relayed to the middle. Lee hit an enormous 6 over long on and Greg hit  a smorgasbord of shots as our run rate started to climb. Greg then spooned one off into the deep (same chap , same story , same ending!). As per the skippers instructions and with precisely 179 on the board our innings came to an end with Greg having hit a fantastic 87 not out , surely he will be topping the batting averages? Who knows? Lee finished with a supportive 29 not out and Darjeeling where pretty confident that we had enough on the board.

After a Pattonesque  team talk out in the middle from Ash we set about our defence of the 179. Chris (the tyre) Tebb who was a late arrival at the ground due to having to call in a 3rd party outfit to change his puncture opened from the net end and started with something almost as rare as a Darjeeling set of averages , a maiden over! CD was given the honour of opening from the City end and bowled a good length to worry the opener and after 2 overs only 5 runs where on the board. Chris was relieved of duties after his second over and CD struck in his second so after 4 overs the OMD where behind the pace at 19 for 1.

David replaced Chris and got the ball to swing and seam with several oohs and aaahs from our nonsmoking  athlete who for some reason was static at first slip.

David bowled so well he was taken off by Ash ( a Darjeeling tradition???) who brought  himself on whilst CD finished his spell , sweaty but happy. Ash bowled a tight  first over and a generous second! I was allowed a couple from the City end and despite reading Mathewson’s  book on how to bowl Donkey Drops and take wickets , was not able to prize out the opener or the number 3 bat who by now looked comfortable and ready to accelerate the run chase.

Nick and Greg where introduced to “get us back on track” or so Ash thought. The runs however continued to flow (see earlier email from bowling guru Stu) until the opener literally gave up! Nick bowled , nothing happened , silence and the opener walked! Kaseem , out to Lloyd , fatigue! Strange but true. (it is recorded in the book as a stumping but clearly not true!).

Then the champagne moment of the whole evening. Stuart is at last called upon to bowl. His torture as a mere fielder over at least for a short while. He trundles (slightly slower than that but I don’t have a suitable phrase to suit that pace) , tosses the ball high into the night sky , down it comes and…. stumped! Eat your heart out Moses he thinks but does not say! In comes the next batsman , a left hander this time. A big swat to deep mid-wicket  and David takes a catch as coolly  as you like! 2 balls and 2 wickets to the bowling guru! The hat trick ball evades the batsman and the stumps but the 4 th ball is “spooned off into the deep , we held our breath as the ball spiraled out of the inky black sky and laughed as Greg dropped the ball and assisted it over the rope for a 4! Well most of us chuckled a bit , Stuie maybe not quite so much!

The game was almost won , Ash stated boldly that it was always his plan to bring Stuie on when the batsman where so desperate he would clear up and indeed another wicket fell to him and his figures of 2 overs 3 wickets for 7 runs will surely be recorded somewhere? Apparently not! The opposition innings closed on 159 for 6 so DCC won by 21 runs.

Nick had 2 for 35 off his 4 and CD 1 for 31 off his 4 and generally the bowling and fielding was tidy. The team spirit was excellent and the opposition remarked how sporting we all had been!! A very enjoyable evening was had by all and as I understand it evening games may become a more regular feature of our season to come. Bring it on I say!!!Image

Darjeeling v Awali Taverners at the ICC GCA – words by Stephen Brown

An early start was in store for Darjeeling, but incredibly managed to get all 11 men there before the opposition. The usual stench of stale alcohol and cigarettes filled the changing room, with Julius being the only exception as he now only drinks water and smokes an electronic liquid tube! Nick Harvey then tried to cure hangovers by opening a boiling hot bottle of Jäegermeister, and Gary Turner  was put in charge of dishing it round the lads and demanding you take a “man’s swig” of the devils juice.
Noel, who looked like some kind of cartoon puppet when he walked in with his youngest son’s white shirt on, was again given the honour of leading the troops. He won the toss, elected to bat and made his first masterstroke of the day by announcing Badger would accompany Brown at the top of the order and stride out at number 1!
After months of anticipation, Badger took the first ball of the day and got an almighty roar from the crowd as he nicked one through the gully for a welcomed boundary. Darjeeling got off to a flyer with a breezy 20 by Brown, and a short cameo from Chris N, before been cleaned up by a full toss. There was confusion on whether or not it was a no-ball, but it is very difficult to argue when you lose your off stump, and have to walk past it on your way to the changing rooms.
Darjeeling then consolidated with Anthony working the ball around and Badger “the anchor” still playing and missing every other ball. When Anthony departed the last ball before drinks, Badger was to walk off to a standing ovation for his 45 ball 29*. However, everyone’s hopes turned to despair when he decided he’d had enough and wanted to retire. Rumours were spreading that fitness may have had a part to play, but it was later confirmed that he was getting the shakes as he’d not had a Benson & Hedges for at least an hour! A new record that will take some beating.
Julius and Gary were to take the crease after drinks and their innings couldn’t have been more different. Gary played a fluid run a ball 27, with a little help from the keeper, who dropped the worst catch I think weI will ever see. Julius or Julia as he was known on the electronic scoreboard was under pressure from ball 1. Myself and Jonno (who had dragged himself out of bed to watch) had told him to stop being so selfish and to “crowd please” for once in his life. With this seed now planted, he scratched and prodded his way around for what seemed like 3 days! Messages were being sent via walkie talkie for him to kick his stumps over, and although he tried as hard as he could to get out, the fielders just couldn’t help us out. His mammoth stay was eventually ended by a sharp grab at slip and Teddy departed for a prolonged 11. This turned out to be a blessing for Darjeeling as this brought MOM Nick Harvey to the crease and he blazed his way to a 25 ball 50. A real impetus that was needed, and he and Noel upped the run rate in the latter stages to set the visitors a tricky 217.
The visitors got off to a flyer with Julius and Josh bowling a real mixed bag. Both got unlucky, beating the edge on numerous occasions, but boundaries were leaked and the visitors were above the rate in the first 5/6 overs. Julius then struck twice in two balls (the 2nd being a debatable LBW decision by stand in umpire Jonno) which turned the game back in our favour.
Noel was rotating the bowlers well and Chris N and Chris “the scorer” Tebb put a squeeze on, going at under 6 an over. For those wondering why Chris T is nicknamed the scorer, you won’t believe it until you’ve seen the book. He was either a very lonely young man, not quite good enough to make the senior side, or enjoyed picking up 20 quid every Saturday. No matter the reason, his multi-coloured scorebook and his performance on the electronic scoreboard was a very close runner up to Nick Harvey for MOM! Not many enjoy the luxury of scoring, and his efforts were well appreciated by all and in particular Badger who was attached to an oxygen machine in the dressing room and unable to score after his 13 over stay at the crease.
With the run rate now climbing, who better to take advantage of the conditions than Gary and Badger. Their opener Charles was the only player who could still take the game away from us and when Gary had him caught at short extra cover by Anthony who was fantastic in the field, Badgers eyes lightened up on the arrival of “the rabbits”. I can’t finish talking about Gary without mentioning his maiden over! Only the 2nd of the day, but his was the only one that counted as he was bowling at someone who could hold a bat. The other maiden being bowled at Badger earlier in the day with 6 plays and misses infuriating the opposition skipper.
Badger gladly helped himself to a couple of wickets, and MOM Nick Harvey bowled a tight spell to back his batting up and also chipped in with a wicket. Josh at this point was in the captains ear ensuring Noel he was warmed up and ready for another chuck. Noel contemplated this, but with the run rate now at 28 runs an over, he just couldn’t be risked! Instead, the skipper went for experience and threw the ball to Simon Fowler who’s trusty dobbers earned himself a wicket and made a win now impossible for the visitors.
There was still some action to be played as Julius was on a hat trick from earlier. He charged down the hill and bowled his quickest delivery of the day (clocked at 48mph) but the shuffly Guy Parker safely dealt with it. Julius was to grab another wicket with the penultimate delivery of the game and was the pick of the bowlers with figures of   4-0-25-3. The opposition finishing 47 runs short, and a convincing win for Darjeeling.
A game played in superb spirits, and the Bahraini lads were extremely accommodating after the game allowing us to drink all their beverages. Shirt presentations were carried out by Nick Harvey and by the time the 5th bottle had gone down, it was nailed on that we will be visiting Bahrain in the near future for a rematch.

Darjeeling v Wombats – Saturday 4 May – words by B Scholtz

Ash was nominated as the match day commander and promptly put his name forward for the General Custer award for tactical miscalculations, as he agreed to a 25 over game, lost the toss, and then when we finally thought he had a grip on the situation, discovered that the man he had nominated, Andre Fourie was not aware of his selection.
Battle plans were drawn up and frantic text messages were sent, Darjeeling would start with 10!
Much like the calamity in the changing rooms before the match started the first 13 overs were a brutal experience as catches went down, Nick nearly caught a blinder, Lee couldn’t catch a cold and Ash was keeping the air space above the UAE occupied with aerial missiles that refused to land on the pitch or inside the boundary ropes. Lee bowled an interesting over and the only breakthroughs were provided by Barry, bowling a straighter one than his previous delivery and getting an LBW and Etienne bowling their skipper.
Wombats 130 for 2 off 13.
George ‘The Chairman’ Appleton saved us from having to endure this torture with 10 men as he had emergency whites in his car and having done his stint in the heat was replaced by Chris “the Captain” Dommett who had raced over from the cinema! Top commitment!
With the reassuring presence of the previous days MVP, (where is the match report Noel ‘do we still write match reports’ Raymond!)
After the drinks break Darjeeling can claim a moral victory as we bowled a lot tighter, Nick got 3 wickets and catches were held, Gary took a stepler after the Wombats number 3 had holed out on 99 and we only went for 115 off the 12 overs taking 5 wickets. Would have been 6 but Lee dropped another one! Etienne finished with 2 wickets, Badger got 1, ‘pick of the bowlers’ Brian got none but as he only went at 6 an over when everyone else went at 10 plus he gets the accolade!
Darjeeling would require 246 off 25 to win.
With fielding done, the lads lower down the order tucked into a few beverages of the amber variety clearly confident in the match either being over before they would have to bat or terminated early as Wombats had the task of bowling 25 overs in an hour and 15!
The open 3 overs safely reassured Gary that eviction was probably going to happen before the match could be decided and tucked into another Fosters! Lee and Sackers opened the batting and set about the score with vigor. 1 of the first, 6 off the second, 2 off the third, solid test match cricket, but not great chasing 246 at 10 an over! Lee finished off his great day out by getting a duck off his 10th ball. Score 10 for 1! Brian joined Sackers at the crease as Simon was trying his best to instill some energy in the Wombats fielders to ‘quickly’ get into position as we didn’t have much time. Brian and Sackers accelerated the score putting on a quick 50 before Sackers got castled quite literally as he feel over during the dismissal. 60 for 2. Barry joined Brian and they made a quick 20 before Brian got himself out with the score on 80 after 10. Barry batted well after that and apparently hitting a huge 6, before he too was stumped and Darjeeling were struggling at 100 for 4. Enter Chris and Etienne who moved the score serenely without any issues to 120 for 4 at the drinks break after 14.
Now if anyone had quickly jumped on the internet, typed in Duckworth Lewis calculator and gone to the following link,http://easycalculation.com/sports/duckworth-lewis-calculator.php, this responsibility does fall firmly with the captain, we could have calculated we were only 9 runs short, D/L is strange!
As no one knew D/L was even this easy to calculate the blame cannot be completely put on Ash’s shoulders and with eviction playing a role in shot selection. Chris holed out, Etienne got caught behind and when Ash joined Nick at the crease the game was teetering towards an abrupt conclusion, as the ground staff had arrived and were starting to turn the sightscreens black. To speed up the process Ash got bowled first ball and with Badger and Gary running around the changing room trying to pad up. With no batsmen appearing the game was concluded in the 17.3 over with Darjeeling 130 for 6.
In step another quick D/L calculation to concluded that Darjeeling lost by 47 runs!

Match Report – Darjeeling CC v Wombats

On a drizzly Saturday reminiscent of ‘St. George’s Day’ in 2008 when grey skies and rain greeted the 43rd US President, Darjeeling CC was due to begin their Two Match T20 series against The Wombats (recent winners of the pre-Chiang Mai Sixes Tournament).  On arrival to the ground, the GCA appeared deserted – the teams however, (most of which arrived early) were camped out in the Changing rooms warming their hands round post match bevies.   Familiar faces of Greg Moses, Neil Colbeck, Sackers and Steve Brown greeted me whilst Brian languished horizontally on the benches deigning to offer an outstretched arm.  (Ash was around busying himself with the ground staff – of which I discovered he refers to as ‘curators’)   Early discussions surrounded Friday’s performance of DCC – with particular reference to dropped catches, Brian’s scruffy half century and the enigma of what made certain Darjeelingites ‘tick’
Next to join ‘the party’ was Matt Escritt looking healthy and ready for action followed by Gibby & Son along with (yet another) trimmed beard style and tails of bitter Canadian winters and thermal underwear.  Bringing up the rear, the unmistakable figure of Lee Dawson.
Further mention should be given at this stage to the weather and pitch conditions.  There was spitting rain – rain I might add you would welcome in England for your Saturday league cricket – let’s say median British weather conditions. Rain that was however, keeping the covers on.  A 2:30pm start was announced – at 2:20pm the toss was lost and Darjeeling was put into field.  At 2:30pm the covers were sliding off and Lew was limbering up.  At approximately 2:33pm the covers were sliding back on.
When polite enquiries were made (whatever polite is for what the fuck is going on with the covers’) – we were informed that the ‘Australian’ pitch was due to be used and as this was heavily clay-based it might be too slippery for us and could cause injury (which is ground staff/curator speak for “there’s a spot of rain in the air and we don’t your spiky feet touching our pristine square”).  A further pitch inspection was agreed at 3:00pm and we also heralded the arrival of one Mr Dommett looking a wee hungover and donning a simple Nokia to replace his vodka-damaged smart phone.
DCC sauntered back to what Americans call the ‘locker room’ and the lids to the Eskies once again opened.  A new shower turned our interests to indoor cricket and an impromptu game of French cricket began. We learned that you cannot be out for a Golden Duck and that Steve Brown is a little too ‘passionate’ in the froggy form of the game.  We then stretched the indoor pitch to the toilets and found Ash’s batting forte is definitely with indoor tennis ball cricket after he sent deliveries pinging around the alcoves of the changing rooms.
At 3:00pm it was announced the game was cancelled and some took this as a cue to leave whilst a few of the keener/more optimistic/more deluded members (myself included) hung around in the hope some cricket could be negotiated.  Interests however, turned to talk – with that master orator, Greg Moses delivering a 3 o’clock bombshell – i.e. that he had zero sympathy with anyone killed by a dog or a snake*
We even tested the theory of how to repel such a snake attack and agreed it would be possible (and forgivable)if the victim was drugged or asleep.  Discussion then switched to further unlikely “Animal Death Matches”  A Staffordshire Terrier v a Red Kangaroo, A Badger versus a Wolverine, a Gorilla against a Bull and Tag team between a Tasmanian Devil and Staff (Terrier) versus a Monitor Lizard / Komodo Dragon and Panda.  We also concluded that a Great White Shark would beat a Polar Bear (in water) – unless, the Polar Bear was defending her young and lastly, that a Grizzly Bear was just about the hardest beast out there (out of water).
Now this may sound like drivel to any TMS (Test Match Special) followers – but let me tell you Aggers, Blowers and Bumble – it beats discussions about the demise of test cricket cheesecakes any day!
To further prevent the onset of ennui, Greg entertained us with a Sydney Harbour Bridgesque climb up the GCA
and avowed it to be “one of the finest views in cricket”.  After getting further updates on the current affairs on the world of darts (and hearing that Sackers has forked out AED1,200 for a ringside – or should I say “oche-side seat”  at the Dubai Duty Free Masters) it was time to leave. I would welcome any further addendum from any of the more hardcore DCC’ers who remained.
*On further probing, the parameters of this bold declaration were agreed – the snake would have to be of the constrictor type (i.e. a python or Boa and not a poisons viper) and that we’d be talking about a sole dog and not a pack dog attack.

Darjeeling v National Bank of Fujairah – words by Gary Turner

Whilst the majority of the Darjeeling crew , including the  current and immediate past Chairman’ where continuing the team building and bonding exercise that is commonly known as the Chaing Mai Sixes, it was left to the hardy few to brave the largest shamal seen in the UAE for many a year and take on the unknown entity known as the National Bank of Fujairah.
Greg Moses had managed to pull together a team of has beens , never will be’s and some still thinking they might be’s! Plus a ringer from London called Bruno who is a lover not a fighter!
Skipper for the day , Gary , selected because Greg did not want the stress, walked towards the square like a man who understands bad weather and duly won the toss and elected to bat. So far so good!
With no Simon Fowler to select it was obvious that Noel, the ever ready, and Ben were the obvious choices to open up for DCC. There is something impressive about Noel strolling to the wicket. A combination of pugnacious short arse Aussie and knowing that no matter how bad those first balls are he will block and say in a loud voice “NO” means reassurance!
At the other end , Ben , a man who has been sent to Darjeeling because his partner was worried he was drinking too much! WOW! Grisdale will meet you soon MR. BEN!, The bowling was average and the two boys went on their merry way , Noel striking the ball magnificently behind square and Ben pulling anything short for 4.
Noel got bored and missed a straight one for a well worked 35 and Greg , chilled as ever strolled to the wicket looking like a white and slightly tall Viv Richards. He didn’t have any smoke on him but you can use your imagination!
Ben continued to strike the ball well until on 47 a Darjeeling umpire gave an LBW! Yes! No name no pack drill as they used to say and he shall remain anonymous ….. Lee! Apparently as plumb as Jack Mc Plumb living in Plumbville!
Enter Anthony who had described himself earlier as doing a bit of both to the skipper!! Grisdale will soon meet you MR. Anthony!!!
Anthony and Greg plundered the runs off the 9 bowlers used before the former was caught on 47, a great knock if you forget the many dropped catches the bankers had spilled!
Bruno the cockney geezer came and went and it was left to Greg , 51, not out and Steve Blandford to bring us to a creditable 216 for 4 in our 25 overs.
By now the wind and sand storm was at a level that even well hard northeners , from England at least where beginning to blink! Greg, as usual, and a worthy position for a Saffer, was asked to toil up the hill, into the gale, and at pace.2 out of three was not bad as he plopped the ball on a length enough times to cause the somewhat Kamikaze openers some trouble. Etienne came down the hill and struck early with a wicket in his second over. Greg meanwhile toiled up the slope but after 3 overs was given a well earned rest to be replaced by Both Ways Anthony! Of course this skippers decision led to a wicket with Anthony clean bowling the other opener.
There is a time in a match when a decisive decision has to be made, this was not it so CD was brought on to replace Etienne who finished with very creditable figures of 4 overs 1 for 14.
CD , as you all know is an enigma. So much talent, so few wickets! But not today…… Amidst the wides and the full tosses he bowled some Jaffas and finished with 3 for 33 off his four overs before pleading with the skipper to be taken off because his wallet , still strapped to his body was giving him back ache!
Anthony, whose 2 overs gave him figures of 1 for 19 was replaced at the up hill end by Steve Blandford who these days bowls robbers mask eroding as spin.Needless to say he provided the champagne moment when a batsman tried to smash him through mid wicket and was deceived by the lack of quality of the ball and skied in towards a gently snoozing Mo. screams of catch it woke our Grocer of note and he sprinted in and took the catch at knee height ! Fantastic cricket?
Skipper GT replaced CD and duly confirmed the golden arm theory with a wicket off his 4th ball, well caught behind by the ever ready Noel. Steve finished with 2 for 33 off his 5 and GT a creditable 3 for 23 off his 3.4 overs.
All together a good performance in very difficult climatic conditions.
Please note that all names used in the production of this document  are factual and will not protect the innocent!