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 v Oyster Catchers – Ian Potgieter

It was with nervous anticipation when 1:30 pm ticked past, and DCC only had half the team present at the “suggested” meeting time. The ICC official already putting us on notice for a 5 pm finished, quickly renegotiated to 5:30pm by the present audience. The toss was performed in the middle, no negotiation to bat first being attempted, the toss was duly lost and the boys were fielding. DCC was in fortunate position to have 11 plus Watto (official scorer for the day – how I wished we had that for last Saturday’s night game!!).

The opening spell by Mike was only spoilt by 2 wides and streaky shots past 3rd man for 4. Dave was the initial destroyer claiming 2 wickets in his 2nd over. The father & son tag team saw Rohan take a maiden wicket over in his first followed by a 2rd wicket in his second. The run rate was kept very slow, wickets kept falling, enter Ieuan “Terminator” Carney who proceeded to bowl a first delivery he would rather forget, in swinging beamer shoulder height and following the retreating new batsmen, with a slight dip to connect with the batsman’s glove edge just below the chin, latter needing to retire and attend A&E for his injured pinky (Our thoughts are on his well-being). The eventful over also saw the new batsman miss a straight delivery avoiding all forms of available protection and connecting with the “Box”. This was followed by spin bowling, Stu making a great start conceding only 5 but not wanting to catch balls hit gently back to him twice in the over; this was followed by Ollie conceding 3 plus one wide. Essentially the bowling was tight, drinks being taken after 9 overs with the Oysters Catchers sitting on 40 runs for 5 wickets. This is where Ashley’s’ renegotiation skills came to the fore explaining to all in the change room we need to make a game of it etc… and so the “bookie John” effect took hold. Overs 10 and 11 saw the Oysters put on 33 off Stu (12runs) and Olly (21 runs).  Enough said. Digby (1 wicket) and Callum (3 wickets) had great spells with equally great fielding by DCC – catches taken and run out effected from mid-off with a direct hit). The last 2 wickets fell to Stu and Ollie leaving the Oyster Catchers on a modest 99 from 17.21 overs.

With a run rate of 5 per over, Captain Ash rearranged the batting line up to give all a chance to bat. I believe he succeeded in that goalJ. DCC opening with Ieuan and Rohan both getting off the mark and trying to play aggressive shots. The pitch was holding up slightly and lacked pace (emphasis made for Lee’s benefit). First wicket to go was Ieuan for 6 (13 balls) followed by Rohan for 9 (5 balls). This brought Lee and Ash to the crease with plenty of time to get ones eye in. This was taken very literally and reminiscent of “Alec Bannerman” (google the name  J)

Alec Bannerman

Lee was eventually out 0 (13 Balls). On the positive it was a 10 run partnership with Ash. Stu briefly joined Ash and departed for 0 (3 balls). Pottie joined Ash and proceeded to put on a 36 runs partnership with Ash before Pottie was catch at mid-on for 20 (25 balls). Digby came to partner Ash, with Ash being next to go attempting to march down the pitch to smack the ball over the ropes only to miss it and be stumped for 16 (33 balls). Dave partnered with Digby to put on 29 runs before Digby was out for 10 runs (11 balls) [DCC 96/7 after 14.2].No panic yet as we had wickets in hand. Mike hoping to hit the winning runs was quickly taking the long walk back being bowled for 0 (2 balls) [DCC96/8 after 14.4]. Callum confidently walked up to complete what Mike could not, however was caught and bowled for 0 (7 balls) [DCC 98/9 after 15.5]. Well thoughts went back to Ollie over where he conceded 21 runs (bookie John influence) was he in the right frame of mind – Panic !!!. Digby making a comment hopefully the wide’s will win the game J and that proved to be the case, with the winning runs courtesy of 4 wide’s down leg side leaving Dave on 13 runs not out off 12 Balls and Ollie 1 not out. Top Scorer for DCC was Mr. Wides with 28 for 16 overs.

In conclusion a great game played with true cricket spirit and won by DCC, eventually. The DCC discount at Kickers was appropriately utilised by both teams…..

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!

Darjeeling v Wombats Fri 2nd October ICC – Written by the Overseas Correspondent, Colin Walters.

In the Test Match Special Radio commentary box are several well-known cricket commentators
“Welcome everyone! Richie Benaud (much missed) here in the box and It’s a lovely day at the ICC, the sun is shining not a cloud to be seen”
Tony Greig (not so much missed) -“ Richie you f**kwit we’re in Dubai, there’s never an f’n cloud in the sky!”
Darjeeling skipper Ben Jones won the toss and elected to bat
Henry Blofield… “ my dear old thing, that’s hardly surprising, it’s awfully warm out there!”
From the off Pete Kesby (30) caressed the ball to all parts including rather too well to mid-off causing Potty to be run out from a direct hit.
Richie now joined in the box by (wish he bloody would go missing) Geoffrey Boycott… “ trifle unlucky there I thought Geoffrey?”
Geoffrey… “bloody stupid!” My granny could have turned and got back quicker than that!”
An over or so later Kesby played a shot of such magnificence that David Gower would have creamed himself.
Blowers … “He’s batting like a millionaire… oh dear … hope I haven’t jinxed him… Ashiq comes into bowl its short, he cuts and oh dear…he’s out, caught at cover at the second attempt”
Geoffrey… “ that’s just bloody roobbish is that! My mum would have sent that to Abu Dhabi with a stick of Rhubarb!”
Glenn McGrath (yes we had the delights of old 5-0 himself in the radio test match special box this year) “Shut the fack up Boycott you old fart. You couldn’t hit a fackin football with your bat!” at this point a fight breaks out (though Geoffrey normally only hits his female partner) and Boycs is arrested resulting in TMS temporarily taken off air!
After the loss of 2 early wickets order was restored by Jacques (30) and Shugi (30 and a few)who batted brilliantly, running well between the wickets and dispatching every bad ball (there were a few) to the boundary.
At drinks, Darjeeling had smashed their way to 100ish for 2 (or something like that as its quite difficult to tell from the scorebook). After the much needed drinks break with skipper Jones urging his men on to greater things, play resumed…
4 balls later Darjeeling were 2 further wickets down…
Jaques bowled off his elbow… TMS back on air
Richie … “trifle unlucky there I thought?”
Very much adored if a bit clichéd Lancastrian, David “Bumble Lloyd… “that’s gotta hurt!”.
1 ball later…
Richie… “Masood, he’s a bit quicker through the air than you think, bowls, big shout, looks pretty straight to me… and he’s given him”.
Glenn covered in bruises from Geoffrey assaulting him earlier… “Looked fackin plumb to me! What the hell did they put in the fackin drinks?”
So a rescue act was called for and Darjeeling had just the man to do it, Saffer Viv (47 not out) and boy was it some rescue.
Tony … “This boy can smash it f’n miles” and so he did including one straight six that nearly killed a man in Sharjah.
Henry “He hit that one like a kicking horse, jolly good shot”.
In company with Shugi initially then with Jules (16 not out), Viv’s pyrotechnics got Darjeeling up to a more than competitive 172 for 5 off their 20 overs. Strangely on Shugi’s dismissal the match umpire limped off to get some pads on…
Much missed by all Yorkshiremen and pipe smokers Fred Trueman… “I just don’t know what’s going off ‘ere, I’ve never seen the like?” Fortunately the umpire was not required to sally forth to the wicket
Richie… “So Danish (Kaneiria) how do you think this one will go”
Danish… “Certain win for Wombats, I told the umpire exactly how many wides to give and which balls and”…. Short silence…” I think I just gave the game away didn’t I Richie?” Two men with handcuffs appear in the box to take Danish away!
The Wombats innings began with Viv opening from the football pitches end.
Glenn… “He’s fackin quick this bloke. If the Wombats opener got any closer to the square leg umpire he’d be taking one up the rear from him”
Blowers… “Yes indeed Glenn old boy, he bowls like the wind. Would you like another piece of chocolate cake?”
Geoffrey now out on bail… “Yea good idea, that’ll shut the stupid Aussie up will cake!” He’s not quick, now that Lillee and Thompson they were quick!”
Richie.. “ er Geoffrey… Didn’t you retire for a while when they were at their peak?” There is silence in the box …
And indeed Viv was fackin quick. Quickest thing this correspondent has seen for a while at club level. Even Omar, a fine player who has put Darjeeling to the sword on more than one occasion looked a trifle nervous. Viv and Shugi, slightly quicker than slow left arm, strangled the Wombats innings at birth. Although there were no early wickets, there weren’t many early runs either Viv going for just 5 off his 2 overs. Shugi was particularly unlucky having three chances missed including two in consecutive balls. Viv nearly getting a wicket from Jacques attempt at clawing in a full blooded hook shot from Omar
Richie.. “that was a trifle unfortunate for the bowler there..”
Tony.. “Well that’s a disaster! I just hope it doesn’t come back to haunt them… When you’ve got these boys down you’ve got to make them grovel!”
Jules was introduced into the attack and in his first over strayed a bit in line to allow the shackles to be released with 3 leg side 4’s but soon regained control in partnership with Krish who apart from a couple of wides found a lovely rhythm at a decent pace. At drinks despite no wickets down the Australian marsupials were miles behind the asking rate.
Bumble… “Bit of scoreboard pressure out there now ‘Enry?”
Blowers… “My dear old thing I do wish you’d stop talking exclusively in clichés but I know what you mean.”
Drinks worked their usual magic and in the first over after Jules induced the opener with an unpronounceable name to sky one to via his shoulder and head to Potty behind so at last a breakthrough.
Bumble.. “ that’s got to hurt!” Blowers… “ Oh for f***s sake Bumble, no more clichés!”

DCC v Dubai Mammoths – by Nathan Cartwright

Sat 26th @ ICC
A humid and a bit unpleasant but not that bad evening greeted DCC on Saturday for the match against the unusually named Dubai Mammoths.

Skipper for the day Ash duly won the toss or invoked the 1st rule and DCC went in to bat. Jono and Watto opening up for the home side on what can only be described as a bit of a sticky wicket. Watto later claiming it reminded him of an English pitch in March.

DCC started well enough, not so many off the middle but runs nonetheless until Watto was bowled by Anil for 15 off 13 deliveries, Darjeeling 1/32 in the 5th over.

Rhys next in to bat putting on a 56 in 8 overs with Jono before he departed caught for 30 off 34 deliveries, the highlight being a 6 over deep extra cover. Darjeeling 2/88 in the 13th.
Jono joined at the crease by Lloydy, the former looking like he wasn’t sure whether to call for oxygen or water. A mini assault ensued with the score quickly moving to 125 in the 17th before Jono was run out for a well compiled 62 off 40 odd balls.

A couple of tidy overs from the Mammoth’s kept the scoring down over the last 3, DCC ending up 3/143 off the allotted 20. Julius 10 not out off 13 balls and Lloydy 16 from 16.
There was some debate as to the legitimacy of this being a decent score, the camp split over the pitch conditions v’s it’s just not enough farking runs.

With the pitch holding up a bit Ash opened the bowling with Nathan Williams who bowled some tidy inswingers and had the batsmen in all sorts of trouble. At one stage boasting figures of 0/1 off 2 overs with the lone run being a wide (ending up with 0/24 from 4).

Shugy opening with spin from the other end, first ball had the opener back in the pavilion with Jono taking a sharp one handed catch in slips diving away to his right. Very un-Darjeeling like. Shugy also taking another in his next over with the other opener caught at point and ending with impressive figures of 2/13 off 4.
Shugy and Williams in tandem reducing the opposition to 2/4 in 4 overs. DCC were smelling blood and the run rate spiralling.

This bought the batting pair of Sunil (18 off 21) and Jawed (44 off 40) together, Sunil in particular playing some inventive shots, the inside edge, the outside edge, the French cut, all to effect. When Julius was bought on and dispatched for 6 straight back over his head Sunil had indeed shown us his full array, the latter surprising nobody more than himself.
At drinks the oppo 3/49 needing about a hundred from the last 10 and hadn’t shown much with the bat to this point. 3/49 quickly turned to 5/76, with a wicket to Reece (1/31 off 4) and probably the run out of the century pulled off by Krish and yours truly (not really but need to get a mention in my own report). Oppo 5/81 in the 15th and needing a shade over 10 an over.
From here things got interesting, Shadab and Saqlain smashing the ball to and over the fence with regularity. Rama bearing the brunt of this going for around 20 from his one over and Ash 1/19 off his two.
With the runs required quickly dwindling Saqlain was removed by a fantastic running and diving catch in the outfield by Reece (I think he took 2 good catches from memory), DCC given a sniff with Saqlain departing for 25 off 12 balls.
2 overs to go, 15 needed, Lloydy on to ball. First ball… got ‘im well bowled. The over eventually going for 9 runs leaving 6 to get from the last over.
Julius entrusted with the last over, the dangerous Shadab at the non strikers end, Mammoths 7/138 needing 6 to win.
Wicket first ball, 8/138 shadab still at non strkers end.
The remaining balls went something like, 2, wide, dot, wide, 1, 4 with Saqlain hitting the winning runs off the penultimate ball.
On the surface it may seem like DCC snatching defeat from the jaws of victory however I suspect the oppo reversed the batting order to keep us in it…
Saqlain man of the match for his 37 from 12 balls.

DCC v Standard Chartered Bank – by Julius Mooney

Given that Darjeeling Cricket Club seem to be as diverse as the Japanese Rugby team, and in honour of their superb victory over the Springboks last night, it only seems right to write this report as an ode to the Japs (apologise if the use of the word ’Jap’ is derogatory – my grandfather who fought in Burma for 3 years in WWII had far worse descriptions….anyway back to the match report)
Not since Pearl Harbour had the Darjeeling boys put out such a controlled tactical operation beginning with the ruthless (yet standard) toss win….yes you guessed it…..we were to bat first. Wattos San and Rhys San were due to open the batting, but Watto San was too busy finishing off his tempura and Sushi and Rhys San took a little longer than expected ’finishing’ off his last client….so Imperial leader Houghton San demoted them down the order. In stepped Last Samurai Potti San – who some could say looked a little ’spyish’ in his loyalty to the imperial Empire of Japan and Houghton San. Potti San soon confirmed suspicions, when he was run out for a brief 7 – Kamakazi in nature going for second. In stepped Rees San who started taking the attack to the boks, pushing them further out of their comfort zone, inching forward with every boundary. Sensing a spy in the midst Rees San was stumped for a solid 46 and showing his loyalty to the empire launched his bat in his ’follow through’ towards the square leg empire narrowly missing Potti San…..(the empire salutes you brave warrior).
Watto San energised by his prematch tempura and sushi added 20 more with our Imperial leader Houghtan San….before our leader was caught for a solid 36. Watto San soon followed – run out, despite the indigestion pushing right to the end.
The final 3 overs saw the very quick departures of Harry San committing Harakiri for being out for a duck, Mooney San, Rhys San, Rachitt San and Ram San (Ram San…I like that) contributing a mere 14 in the last 3.
The imperial empire finished the 20. 142 was the score to defend. A below par score, the boks fancied their chances, and given the empires recent performances in the field this could prove too small a score to defend. But game on…..
Mooney San and Ram San opened up the bowling keeping it very tight. Ram san got the breakthrough in his second over, Samurai style swing (ok low full toss on leg) middled to Potti San at square leg – who thought about dropping it, even parrying it up in the air to contemplate whether he wanted to be exposed as a spy….taking a fantastic catch….Mooney San bowled out – finishing his 4 overs for 20 runs. Ram San – 3 Overs, 1 wicket for 23. Rhys San and Rachitt San took over duties both bowling controlled line and length each ball building more and more pressure on the bocks. Rhys San – the pick of the bowlers picking up 3 for 21 of his 4 and Rachitt San a very noteworthy 2 for 17 of 3. Some extraordinary catching behind the timpers from Harry San and another great take in the deep by Potti San supporting the boys.
Rees San – bandana and all was given the nod for one quick over – and after nearly exploding like Mount Fuji at Brent San for a dropped catch picked up a quick wicket….The pressure overs were given to Rich San – (like his cousin in arms Rees San – Rich San donned the bandana of war…)and Brent San. Rich San kept it tight – well the bowling part – work behind the stumps was interesting to say the least – especially when his started doing what going only be described as a Polynesian mating ritual dance behind the stumps when backing up….Imperial leader – not impressed. Brent San – forgot to take off his Samurai war wig to bowl, but somehow it stayed on, and this was a good move as by this time they were running scared….Like Potti San – Brent San was of on the raider of Imperial Leader Houghton San prior to the game as a possible infiltrator – but like Potti San….they soon realised that the pull of the Imperial Empire of Japan Darjeeling was just too strong and loyalties soon moved.
Brent San, finishing off 2 for 20 of his 3 – again aided by some superb handling behind the sticks by Harry San.
Darjeeling had done it….pulled off the impossible and left the game favourites crying into their bunny chow. Superb military tactics in the field had led the way to a closely fought victory by just 11 runs.
The thirsty troops all retired to the Dojo (Kickers) where we all clinked glasses in celebration – Kanpai!!!

Emaar Eagles and the good ship Darjeeling – scribed by J Dot

Abandon hope all Ye who enter here………………….
Pirates don’t do Valentines aarrrrrrrrr they do Cricket arrrgg.
So the 11 lost souls forever condemned to Captain Davey Jones locker, decided to play the land lubber game of cricket avast.
By virtue of elimination Gul dog selected J.Dot to captn said team of scurvy dogs, hence fore he shall be known as Captain Hook, for his love of the short ball arrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. (more on that later).
The opposition was late by process their cur dog of a Captain could not use his sextant and arrived late, some form of land device known as email was used as an excuse, but we made them have a choice of field or be keelhauled. They chose the former and Captain Hook armed his sailers with wooden swords known as bats. Avast ye sea scum, batten down the hatches as we will let loose Bilge Boy Blikkes to plunder and pillage the bowling attack!
Accompanying Bilge Boy was Brad “the Glacier” Wissink know for his exploits with Romanian Gypsies, Glacier is not deferring to his Ice cool temperament but his strike rate in said T20. So haul up the sails and make hast me lads as it gets stormy. Bilge Boy wielded his sword and took the Eagles to task, but was cheated of his wicket by ricochet from the keepers armour and was stumped for a quick 21 off 16, back to swabbing the deck for you Bilge Boy.
Meanwhile the Glacier was ebbing forward and steadily ensuring the scoreboard ticked over, Chris “Cut Throat” Neal joined the Glacier and started well until the natives captured him with the old playing back to a spinner ploy, bowled he was and for his crimes he was banished to the brig to think on his crimes, I ordered the cat o nine tails but a mutiny called for few lashings only. Jamie “Cabin Boy”  then upped the rate with a few lusty blows, and some cricket shots as well. However he let his Captain down by committing Hari Kari the Japanese pirate suicide.  Run out for 29 off 18. The Glacier kept advancing, the ice age cometh……
The ship was listing badly now, and it was inevitable that she would go down to Davy Jones locker with all crew aboard. Able seaman “Able”, chipped in with 10 bowled, by a sea urchin, and the Glacier was the bizarrely stumped after he ran from his crease after the keeper managed to finally keep a ball in his Krakken arms, this surprised the Glacier so much he went looking for mermaids somewhere about mid pitch and the krakken removed the bails, thus ending the ice age.
Still his 45 from 49 kept us afloat whilst others were floundering in the deeps. Arrrrrrrrr Avast ye.
This left 13 balls for Captain Hook to do something, hooking wasn’t it and he has his capstan removed trying to cut (the head off) a straighter delivery. So we rounded the cape of good hope and the Saffa’s joined with Viv “the Gentleman” Botha making a cameo 7 off 3 and Brian “Bosun” Williams not out on 8 with Tim “Tall Timber” Davy not out dead eye’s 0. So the good ship Darjeeling ran around for 156 off 20 and no treasure in sight, avast the wretched albatross of bad fortune!
As all good captains do, I rounded on the crew and blamed them, I also flogged them mercilessly and removed rum privileges. At the same time I looked at the stores and decided to open up with the big guns on deck. Unfortunately Greg “The Deserter” had deserted, we will find you and keelhaul you deserter.
The map to the rest of this story is missing just like our treasure, the scurvy dogs destroyed the evidence and we only have anecdotal tales of whoa and despair.
The Gentleman lived up to his name being very nice to almost blast the opposition out of the water with his big guns firing twin salvo’s arrrrrrrrrrrrr 2/21 from 4 ye scurvy lad, Cut Throat taking 2 behind point. Gul Dog bowled like a busted arse, and needed to have a rest on a desert island, after going for more than required, 0/26 from 3.
Krishna “Hare Rama” used all 6 of his arms to deceive the Eagles, but his navigation was off at times, leading to a 2/26 from 3, though I swear arrrrrrrr with a few more months at sea he will improve. Bosun was bowling well, using some sort of sling to catapult the ball down the wicket, when tragedy struck and he jammed his finger in the mechanism and had to have it amputated, at the elbow. bowling figures lost at sea.
Tall Timber was useful but one of the opposition took a liking to his offerings in his last over, again poor record keeping has left us with no answer to is he any good, he’s tall and offered the capt that he had a 4th in him.
I disagreed and sent him to the briny depths (third man).
Bilge Boy was asked to plunder some more and obliged even without a snickers, death bowling is his forte and he deliver some fatal blows as sharks sensed blood in the waters, and a feeding frenzy started. 2/million off 4
Capt Hook rolled his hook down at the death as well, had his wooden leg break on the second ball, and could then only bowl off 3 steps, Still entertaining and less runs than Cut throat…………arrrrrrrrrrrr
This left us with Cut Throat and 21 req, dishing up a compass wide first ball he tempted the gods with the reducing target, next ball despatched to the boundary  and it was suddenly all on, a 2 from the next ball leaving them with 14 req off 3, thanks Cut Throat…….still a third run out ensured victory for HMS Darjeeling. Arrrrrr
Other highlights, Jamie “Cabin Boy” slipping like bambi on ice due to no spikes,green grass and dew, he actually winded himself once……….Roger the cabin boy would be more useful arrrrrrr.
Viv the Gentleman also almost killing himself on the boundary trying to stop a ball.
The 3 way fake run out, 1 take shot at stumps with no one at the stumps miss by a nautical miles, 2 wait for batsman to try to steal a second run, 3 have the fielder who backed up the 1st throw hit stumps, Pirate win.
The hit it back to the bowler run out, 1 hit slow full toss straight back to bowler, 2 have the non striker batsman run the entire length of pitch, 3 easiest run outs ever.
Cameo appearance, Danny “Shoeless” Rees, fielded for 3 overs when the Bosun went for amputation.
So despite running aground on the rocks HMS Darjeeling was re-floated and plundered all and sundry, with wenches kidnapped for good measure and rum rations restored for all……..

DCC v Omnicom – words by Simon "Schoolmaster" Cook

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, DCC made a terrific start with both Nathan and Jono scoring freely in the powerplay. With the loss of Nathan (for a breezy 30) and the field spread for the slower bowlers the scoring slowed slightly in the middle overs. Jono and Dannie picked up ones and twos until an over of 22 broke the shackles.
When Dannie was finally out ( his final score being 32 for 5), it was left to Jono and the middle order (Ben/Raj) to see DCC to a very competitive score of 174 of which Jono’s contribution was a fine 76.
In reply Omnicom were never really in with a shout. Dave and Rich opened the bowling and both picked up early wickets. All the bowlers were backed up well in the field with some excellent ground fielding and an enthusiastic keeper who picked up a couple of stumpings.
With Gully and myself brought on to relieve the openers, the required rate continued to climb with wickets falling at regular intervals. There were a few lusty blows which never threatened the Darjeeling win and Raj mopped up with 4 wickets. He narrowly missed out on a hatrick with a fine display of controlled, accurate bowling.
The game was finished in style with an excellent diving catch from Jamie and we were able to enjoy a slightly earlier beverage due to finishing the bout within the distance.
Another enjoyable victory. A lovely way to spend a beautiful afternoon .

More Turkey’s PLEASE – words by Nick "Ironman" Harvey

There’s a certain glow one feels when you arrive at the ground for the Darjeeling inter-club Christmas match and the smiles that greet you are both friendly and warm.  But, if you look closely you can detect a hint of something else. As a child you’d share that smile with your friend just as you agreed to bunk off school; as a teenager, before you were about to get laid; a smile that promises tomfoolery to come with a soupçon of vice……………….nice.

Stark differences were apparent on meeting the two skippers of the day.  The Southern hemisphere skipper, Greg Moses looked stoic and fit (now that he can bench press his own body weight); Gary (True Grit) Turner on the other hand appeared at best grim and at worst like death after five seconds in the microwave (now that his two day marathon drinking session was over).  Imagine therefore, Gary’s glee of learning that our little warm-up session was to be a 100 metre dash across the pitch at the team briefing………but did baulk at the idea? Did he fook! Gary, Turner……..True grit!

A week ago or so, I sent around a mail requesting some of the players’ vital statistics which, I’m sure mildly irritates people (I thank yee all for humouring me), but all bar one was duly returned with some interesting results.  For those of you with an occasional fetish for useless information – below a summary of the stats:

  • The average age of the squads was 37.5 years old
  • Average height, 180cm (5’10¾)
  • The average BMI, 29 – which, if the Darjeeling Cricket Club Christmas Club squad were a country
    would make us the fattest in the world bar Tonga & Micronesia (well, it is Christmas afterall……!)
  • Members below 6 feet lie about their height…….Julius, 5’11”? ………per-leeease…!
  • The average time we’ve ever run the 100m (from the sensible answers) is 14 seconds
  • Our allergies include; pineapple, alcohol, non-alcoholic drinks, virgins (not sure how he found out about that one – would have been fun testing it though), Jagermeister, 4x4s with baby-on-board stickers, pollen, pretentious ar*eholes, Palestinian Bankers, furry dice, penicillin, top quality spin bowlers and a couple of Darjeeling members! (no names of course!)
  • The average weight is 94kg (14 stone, 12lb in old money)

The reason for acquiring the statistics was not to set up a dating site (as was suggested) but to set a handicap for our 100 metre sprint across pitch (which I once again miscalculated).  So after the team briefing and sweepstake draw we had a little pre-warm up session with Ben Jones’ camp scissor step manoeuvre catching the eye.  We lined up in our selected rows with poor young slim Jason Stewart looking to make up 8.5 seconds to the high-handicappers.  The young and fit never stood a chance, J Dot cut the ribbon first, Dommett pulled a hamstring and despite my best efforts of pulling him back, I was pipped at the line by Johno (….the shame of it). Coco came up the rear.  We then sauntered off to the changing rooms muttering & cursing under our breath between gasps of air.

GT won the toss and elected to bat, opening with Cockcrusher (Coco) and the Beast (Badger).

It being Christmas and Darjeeling having a penchant for playing silly-buggers, all batsmen took a swig of good-ol-Jagermeister before striding out and for all bowlers (and returning batsmen), a jager-jelly was dished out by the umpire complete with freezer bag over their shoulder.

Neither stuck around for long despite Etienne’s purposeful drop off Coco’s skied leading edge (he was later heavily-fined).  This brought Juggernaut Mooney and the Dominator to the crease with Julius in particular smashing fours to all parts of the ground.  Chris, with a knackered hammy, was less enthusiastic between the wickets than his usual scampering-self.  Chris Bridle was half way out to the square to act as runner before (you’ll never guess) Badger came bounding on to act as Chris’ legs (apparently, he wanted to get in the game…!).  Chris was visibly distressed/amused (delete as appropriate).

All in all, the North had three retirements (as we were playing Taverners’ rules); Julius, Dommett & Me).  There was a couple of memorable moments that exemplified/tested the ‘spirit-of-the-game’  Firstly, Julius claiming and GT awarding five penalty runs after Gully’s delivery was hit by Chris on to his cap lying behind/near the stumps and secondly, me being recalled by Greg and others after being giving out by Coco LBW some way out of his crease. Indeed, the exuded body language of the South at half time as they strode off avoiding eye contact and the offering of water was akin to that of the Australian’s during the Bodyline series against Jardine’s England (well similar to that from that series that was on the telly anyway).

Rich Hallows, Lee Dawson and Julius (on his second innings) all chipped in, but the total of 158 after the North’s 22 overs always looked 30 runs short.  The South had three notable bowlers to speak of namely (Velvety) Etienne (3 overs, one wicket for 10 runs), Jason Stewart (3 overs for 14) and Jason (Breathless) Brown (3 overs, three for 14)….well bowled Gentlemen.

The Southern Hemisphere opened with (Sensitive) CD & Nathan (Caring) Cartright and for a while it looked they were making a game of it.  They scrapped and scrabbled about and were just 20 odd after 6 overs.  Chris Bridle (great to have you back in the squad by the way) forgot he was playing cricket as he chested one down from CD’s miscued drive (both umpires heard the distinct drumming sound of leather on ribcage).  CD eventually found himself (to be joining many others) in Badger’s famous hutch as Nathan fell to……err someone else…?
Potty, usually effective, failed to impress and one Mr. Nick Lloyd was less than impressed after being run out cheaply.  When cordially reminded of his duty to take his obligatory jager jelly whilst marching off, was heard to retort “well f**king bring it here then…!” (ooooo-oooo!).

Andrew Kirk, managed to better his previous Darjeeling batting effort (by facing a ball) and just made it to double figures
but was dismissed before reaching twenty.

The winner of the sprint, Mr. Breathless Brown was next to the crease and from the minute he took his jelly and guard, looked purposeful and determined to make his twenty and retire.  Joined by Ben Jones, the big guns had definitely arrived. In reply, True Grit whipped out his cock-crushing secret-weapon and Ms. Caroline Toussaint was thrown the ball. Twenty minutes later, both Big Guns were back in the paddock, both falling victim to Coco’s charms in spectacular fashion.  Firstly, Ben, playing forward was bowled with Coco getting the best of his length and secondly, Jason, honey-trapped in as he smashed Coco (Jason’s length, definitely shorter than Bens’) in to the deep only to pick our Richard Hallows with laser-point-accuracy.  Both J Dot and Richard wore the same “WTF??” expression (both in total disbelief…..for different reasons).  But in the end Mr. Brown had to go and take his goodbye jaeger-bomb.

Next in was the South’s skipper, Mr Greg Moses who’d been swaggering around all day with his chin raised more above horizontal than Agmal’s arm is bent.  He marched to the crease and took very little time in stamping his authority on the game with True Grit falling prey to a very brief but very brutal onslaught (with Greg’s 20 coming in just 7 balls).  The North lost 22 runs in that over and the tide had tipped.  In short, the South’s tail didn’t merely wag but beat the North’s bowlers to all corners.  Etienne, too finding the middle made his retirement runs thereby, bringing Kymbo & Gully (10 & 11) to the crease.
True Grit looked deep into his arsenal and brought Coco back into the attack with Badger chirping away to Gully about being dismissed by the fairer sex.  Gully’s reply was to play a beautiful slog sweep off one knee from a Miss Toussaint full toss that looked to be heading straight to the awaiting Badger at deep backward square leg.  There are two-sides to every story and I think it’s only fair to share both.
Badger:                                                     “…it flew well over my head and miles over the boundary”
The Entire Southern Hemisphere:         “…it went through your hands mate”
Personally, I believe Badger.

That shot did, however, make the run chase far simpler with both Gully and Kym finding the boundary fence.  With two and a half overs to go Gully was dismissed (for the second time that over) which brought back Mr. Moses and the game was all but lost.  There was a bit of hand-bagging round the boundary and on the pitch over bowlers and batsmen not used (I felt …….it was just the right amount of animosity) as the last few deliveries were bowled.  But with the winning runs hit hands were firmly shaken and bums warmly slapped as we headed off to the changing room to read out the book and the fines.
Sugee won AED 400 on the sweepstake for pulling out Breathless Brown and I wish I could remember more about the fines (duly punished Vodka and yet more Jager shots) of which some were brilliant.  Afterwards, I think all bar two or three then headed to the Els club for dinner and the promise of AED10 drinks.  A great session was had including a revival of obscure Darjeeling XI’s – this time we had the Psychologists’ XI (as, in those of need of seeing one).   I believe it was Ben Jones that picked up on a running theme, i.e. that the majority were South African (and all agreed most were decent players….!).   Perhaps, a new question to be added to the membership questionnaire?

DCC Xmas
Before the festivities really got going.

On a personal note, congratulations to the South (again) on winning the match and thank you to everyone for being such a good sport and making it such a memorable day (and night).

Blikkies Blitzes ABB (and his bat!) words by Chris Dommett

On a weekend when the Springboks swept all aside at the Dubai Rugby 7s our very own Blitzbokke stole the show against ABB at the ICC CA.
There was a nip in the air and a hint of dew on the ground as the usual motley assortment of Darjeeling players drifted into the ground. Captain Banerjee announced to all that in a dramatic change from the usual tactics, he had won the toss and decided to field! He claimed to have spotted a little something in the pitch suggesting early movement, although a more convincing argument might have been that it would be cooler bowling first.
Anyway, after awarding a new club shirt to debutant Ethan Holmes we trudged reluctantly onto the pitch only for some sharp eyed cove to spot that the sight screens were set for a white ball. With no sign of activity from the ground staff an executive decision was made to try to fix the problem ourselves, ignoring young Ethan’s assertion that black screens shouldn’t pose a problem for the batsmen as we had no quick bowling. Greg offered him a look of disdain before clambering to the top of the screen to mend the pulley system which was jammed.
Finally, we got down to play with Greg opening up from the stadium end and Ethan standing where a keeper normally would for a bowler of Badger’s pace. By the end of the over he was nursing a couple of bruised hands and standing within chatting distance of the slips, commenting to Ash that it felt weird to be standing so far back. Welcome to big boys cricket young man
Etienne opened up from the other (unnamed) end, keeping it tight and getting a bit of swing and the score trickled along in singles, edges and wides until Etienne struck in his second over. A back of a length ball tempted the opener into a wild slog which Brad eventually caught coming in from mid off. He struck again in similar fashion in his next over, with Brad again pouching a skier (or skyer?), to have ABB struggling at 28 for 2 with only their no.3 batsman Syed Hussain looking capable of taking on the Darjeeling bowling.
After dropping a tough slip chance off Greg, Blikkies took over from the stadium end, picking up a wicket in his second over with a catch by the Dominator at midwicket.
Drinks were taken with ABB struggling at 58 for 3 after 10, but the fourth wicket partnership between Syed and Nidhin accelerated the rate towards respectability at 9 an over. A couple of late run outs left ABB with a sub-par total of 154 for 5, although given Darjeeling’s recent batting troubles it was by no means a given. Bowling figures were generally respectable, with Greg 4 overs, 0 for 20, Etienne 2 for 23, and Blikkies 1 for 24. Andrew Morris went for 15 in his first over before Captain Banerjee ruthlessly removed him from the attack, and both Brad and Shuggie going for 9 an over without a wicket.
So the chase began, or in the case of Brad, the leisurely amble. Blikkies decided to attack from the start (no change there then), whacking anything pitched up back past the bowler, and pulling anything short over mid wicket. So ferocious was his hitting that one shot saw his bat split in half lengthways, with one half nearly copping the square leg umpire. With Brad hitting just 2 fours the big unit was required to run far too many twos for his liking, with the pitch looking in danger at one point of being repainted with yesterday’s Snickers.
The result was never in doubt as the openers cantered (cross between a gallop – Blikks, and a walk – Brad) to the target in the 18th over, with Bliikies going to a brutal ton with a baseball shot which hit the academy on the full. 103 not out off just 69 balls, ably supported by Brad with a more conservative 37 at exactly a run a ball, and a 10 wicket win for the good guys for a change.
Back in the changing room the usual banter ensued with Elsabe promising Bliks rather more than just a massage as a reward for his ton, and a new bat for Christmas. Reverend Moses called for silence, and asked everyone to ponder the Thought For Today – the lost art of fingering… This was duly discussed, with thoughts ranging from the best techniques to how the decline in this practice is probably responsible for the world’s population problem. Ethan wisely refused the offer of a cold beverage as his Dad was waiting for him, and left with Greg’s encouragement to keep practicing the fingering to keep him busy for the next week.
A good performance all round and surely the dawn of a fresh winning streak for the mighty Darjeeling. Bring on Standard Chartered!!