The Halloween Match Report


The Halloween Match – The Fielding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Halloween Match – The Batting

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

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

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

The Halloween Match – The Drinking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game on. 

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

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

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

Link to the scorecard:


Wombats v Darjeeling, Dubai 7’s night game. Scribed by Sir Thomas Kimber

Darjeeling lost the toss and were asked to field, in what turned out to be tough catching conditions. Opening bowlers JP (5-0-27-0) and Brent (3-0-34-1) used the humid conditions to significantly swing the new ball.  

JP bowling a tight opening spell, giving little away.  At the other end Brent struggled to control the swing and subsequently bowled a lot of wides. However, in between the wides were some absolute beauties and was unlucky to have a nick behind put down before making the breakthrough. LBW.  

From there on Wombats built a couple of decent partnerships, but never really got away from us, with Ash (4-0-31-0) and Krish (5-0-28-2) bowling tight lines, giving very little away. Krish in particular was excellent in changing pace which made it difficult for the batsman to get him away to the boundary. 

Towards the end of the innings, when Wombats really looked to increase the scoring rate, they were halted by the taking of regular loss of wickets, Joe (5-0-44-3) and Dexy (3-0-32-1) held their nerve to ensure Wombats did not make it past the 200 mark, finishing on 198 for 5 off their 25 overs. 

Darjeeling were assisted by some good fielding in the ring, Brent’s direct hit run out from point being the stand out moment in the field.  The less said about some of the efforts in the deep the better and in all honesty there were a fair few of them, but as I mentioned at the beginning conditions were tough, it was dark for a start.

 Tom (10) and JP (28 of 20) opened the batting for Darjeeling.  Tom looked in sublime form, timing the ball nicely until recieving what can only be described as a tricky straight delivery, which he duly played all around to be bowled. Not ideal.  Krish (6) came out to join JP at 3 and proceeded to deposit is second ball over the ropes for 6.  However, in trying to do the same to his third delivery he was bowled.

Possibly a touch on the rash side. This brought Dexy to the crease, who unfortunately also got one of those tricky straight ones and was bowled for a duck. This brought Jaco (16) to the crease, again we were unable to build a partnership as JP was undone by a slower ball.  Which brought skipper for the evening Pottie (8) to the wicket, who was undone by what looked like wombats best bowler and was bowled trying to up the scoring rate. Ash came to the crease and built our first meaningful partnership with Jaco, both playing some glorious strokes. Jaco was eventually out LBW for a well made 16. 

Brent strode the wicket full of meaning and promise, something he certainly fulfilled, during an innings filled with cultured strokes and brutal striking, including a couple of big sixes.  Again, he and Ash built a decent partnership, before Ash decided to protect his average and retire for a well compiled 23 off 32.  Brent also decided he would protect his average and retired after making 28 off 24.  Which allowed Chris (3), Kai (4 not out) and Joe (2 not out) to get some time in the middle.  Darjeeling ended up on 143 from our 25 overs. 

 An enjoyable evening had by all, despite the loss, Wombats were simply too strong on the day.


Dubai Super League CHAMPIONS

Darjeeling beat SCB in the final of the DSL yesterday.
A very good performance in the field with ONLY one dropped catch? Very unlike Darjeeling! Some good catches from Chris Neal, Rhys & Shugie. An excellent spell by Viv who somehow did not pick up a wicket but finished 5 overs for 16 with Rhys, Nick Harvey & Shugie picking up 3 wickets apiece. SCB finishing up on 163 all out in the last over.

Opening up myself and Rhys got off to a flyer and were 47-0 from 5 overs. Rhys batting through for 80*, myself 42, Pete & Watto in the teens. Darjeeling wining with an over to spare and by 8 wickets. From my side I’d also like to thank all the supporters who came down to cheer us on

CHAMPIONS!hys Carter

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As a lowly hack, I was once informed that brevity is everything. I therefore offer the tome below.

[vc_row type=”container” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]DCC vs Dubai Stallions
By 8.15am on Saturday morning, Darjeeling CC had already achieved its first victory of the day. The welcome sight of Gully, who had wisely decided to settle down for an early night almost five hours earlier, striding languidly across the car park of the Sevens ground meant that DCC had mustered a playing 11 (albeit in the second over of the match). The opposition for this decisive tournament fixture was the Dubai Stallions, a prospect which simultaneously bewildered and intimidated young Brian – was selection based on girth or length? He made a mental note to investigate further….

It was the morning after the night before and while Dubai’s privileged classes slept soundly, DCC’s most committed cricketers roused themselves from their slumbers at an ungodly hour; all were bleary-eyed, many with pounding headaches and a few still drunk.
With adroitness that would have had Kofi Annan nodding in silent approval, Jules expertly negotiated the toss (“You bat, we bowl? OK?) to ensure DCC would be back under the shade of the pavilion’s veranda before the sun had risen high in the cornflower blue sky.
As Jules paced out his run-up, Jonno proudly presented a cobalt blue tongue to the slip cordon as proof of his earlier antics in Rock Bottom. However, this only raised speculation that his preparation for the match had involved going down on an aging Smurfette – shenanigans he has neither confirmed nor denied…

While minds wandered, Julius bounded in for the first over with the vivacity of a young bullock and a determination to fell the Stallions opening batsmen at the first hurdle. Israr, with clear eyes and a full heart, opened from the other end and, with his first ball, induced a snick which Jonno lapped up (Granny Smurfette was still etched into the forefront of the mind at this point). There followed one of the tightest opening partnership spells in DCC’s recent history with just 34 being conceded from the first seven overs.

The cherry was then given to Gully to tighten the stranglehold and dispatch the Stallions onward to the glue factory. 10 balls later, and having fed the pony (a manoeuvre honed at the Sea View Hotel), he was thanked for his labours and sent back to sweep on the boundary. Down, but not out.

The change bowlers were effective and economical. As ever, Big Ben displayed his benevolence to the opposing batsman in generously providing ball-by-ball instruction on how best to play his deliveries. Not so much a horse whisperer as a steed shouter. Although the sentiment was compassionate, the result was ineffective as evidenced by his tidy spell of 1-19 off four – a tricky catch snaffled by Israr with consummate ease.

Tim Davy, now struggling for work as a Peter Crouch look-a-like as the long-legged footballer’s career wanes, took a sharp caught-and-bowled and proved near impossible to be get away – a six off his last ball blighting more-than-respectable figures of 1-23 off four.
Who is the most aggressive man in the club? Well, if you were to ask the Stallions, the Croydon terrier with the look and temperament of Ari Gold would be the collective response. Perhaps confusing cricket for baseball following a recent spell in the US, Brian literally went for the knock-out blow delivering two beamers in quick succession. Two strikes and you’re out here unfortunately. The intimidation tactics backfired and an apoplectic Brian was sent back to the serenity of deep extra-cover having only supplied the cowering batsman with five legitimate deliveries.

With one delivery still required to complete the over, De Boinville eagerly grabbed the ball like a fat kid grabbing a ball. He then demonstrated great sportsmanship to the clearly traumatized batter, bowling the gentlest off-break every seen on a cricket pitch. The reprieve was welcome and the ball deservedly carted over cow corner for a maximum.

It was time to circle the wagons and the Rhinestone Cowboy, Gully, having now sobered up, roared in with true Aussie grit bowling an inspired spell which included two wickets in two balls. He finished for a superb 3-26 off four. By this point in the proceedings, the Stallions resembled little more than shire horses and DCC took pity, slackening the reins and dropping two dollys (form is temporary, class in permanent). There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’ so it would not be fair to single out such individuals and the team should take responsibility. (Butter-fingers) Lee Dawson bowled tightly at the death and a sub-par total of 159 had been set by the Stallions off the allotted 25 overs for the loss of eight wickets.

The damp outfield (allegedly as moist as a young married French woman who had been cornered and chatted up by a few DCC charmers in Bidi Bondi) was beginning to dry and speed-up as the temperature hit 30C and confidence amongst DCC’s top order was high.
Openers Chris Neal and De Boinville saddled up and went out to the middle with the intention of battering the Stallions until they were flogging a dead horse (crow-barred in). The first few overs went to plan, with De Boinville seizing on every delivery and crashing the ball all over the park with such brutality against the equine-dubbed opposition that alerts were sounded at both PETA and the RSPCA. Each whip-like crack sent the ball in a perfect parabola toward the boundary until the human-mortar was prematurely silenced; caught at mid-on for 17 off 9.

Stylish left-hander Chris Neal provided good support with some elegant shots off both front and back foot. He was ably encouraged by the vulpine Israr from the non-strikers end; regrettably, when it came time for the number three all-rounder to face the bowling himself, he was unable to provide any further assistance and was out for a duck. Wickets continued to tumble like riders at Becher’s Brook and at 4-48, the match was hanging in the balance.
As the volume of the Stallions’ whinnying increased, and the vociferous appeal which followed every ball grew ever more tedious, it was up to Brian and Jonno to play the role of farrier, de-shoeing the petulant Stallions for good. With ever-increasing confidence and ability, this is exactly what they accomplished in constructing a partnership of 92. It was at this point that Jonno, having hit consecutive fours, declared that he was truly ‘in the zone’ before planting the following delivery into point’s hands for a valuable 37 . For the Stallions it was too late and DCC had slammed the stable door shut on the metaphorical bolting horse breaking several of its vertebrae in the process. It only remained for Big Ben to emerge with his shotgun and put the beast out of its misery.

Out the broad-shouldered Kiwi strode with a look in his eye that declared he was not only there to see DCC home, but that there would be no mercy in his actions. The bowler ran in. Thud. A few reverent nods and a smile from the umpire. Seconds ticked away. Like Tom Drummond on a dance floor, the umpire’s finger was raised skywards in the most contentious of decisions. Ben, utterly perplexed, took a deep breath, nodded acknowledgement to the umpire and tucked his bat under his arm before making the long walk back to the hutch. He knew a bad decision had been pronounced on this morning, but ‘the umpire’s judgement is final and must always be respected’ he informed his stunned teammates.

In any case, Brian (who in no way resembles a jockey) was riding these Stallions like AP McCoy at Cheltenham and the finish line was within reach. The final furlong consisted of Jules and the beamer-loving, man-of-the-match viciously thrashing the bowling over an ever-constricting field – the only valid theory for such poor decision-making by the Stallions captain was that he had Ketamined-up during the drinks break, having considered the floccinaucinihilipilification of his predicament, and was dozing in the paddock.

Ultimately, DCC won at a canter with six overs and four wickets to spare and knew that if they took down one of the planet’s most docile mammals, the Wombats, they would be in the final. The Stallions departed for the stables with their tails (despite having spend 40+ ball in the middle, Brian was none-the-wiser…) between their legs. A happy DCC team departed for home with the promise of more horse play and the rasping tones of Tina Turner’s early-90’s classic ‘(Simply) The Best’ ringing in their ears.

Given the eventual ease with which DCC took down the Stallions, it would be disappointing if the culling of a lowly Australian marsupial were not realised next week.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]