Chiang Mai 6s 2019

Chiang Mai Team 2019

The ever present Darjeeling opened their thirty second campaign for the Holy Grail of the Chiang Mai Sixes title.
Our glorious Leader & Captain Umer Saleem had put the squad through a net on the previous day & had the team assembled at the crack of dawn to offer an inspirational speech & take up the challenge of playing reigning Cup Champions, the NCL Dynamites.

Affable Appleton had prepared an idyllic setting. Indeed Darjeeling stalwarts, Badger and Chris Dommett represented the Lord Taverners in the tournament opener. The flight, guile and bulk of the Tour Manager will be sorely missed this week. General Saleem disintegrated into a frenzy of pre-match admin related activity, thankfully winning the toss and opting to bat. Not many skippers before him in previous years have opted for to bat first against such challenging opposition …

The reassuringly mountainous presence of Blikkies opened with Graeme self-proclaimed “Worth My Weight In Gold”. In testing, hazy & smoggy conditions on a new lump of plastic, the start was cautious. #WMWIG monopolized the strike stroking a brace of fours through the unguarded covers. The erstwhile Beijing Duck was removed for 17 in the third over. The former Armadillo was reprieved on 5 before launching consecutive sixes. On the final ball of the penultimate over, Blikkies holed out while PSG and Rachitt negotiated the final over setting a total of 48.

The Dubai outfit had the perfect start as the Rudi removed the opener with his first ball of an economical over, that yielded a mere seven runs. The Bangladeshis stabilized their innings before a final brutal assault. Ratchitʼs last ball was dispatched for 6 having conceded only two runs from his previous deliveries. With brutal efficiency the remaining runs were garnered off the suffering skipper, who dropped a sky-high catch running towards short cover.

The holders had won their first game with 7 balls to spare and earned a bonus point but the Darjeeling team had not disgraced themselves against the most challenging opposition. The NCL Dynamites skipper’s post game review comments were, ‘…. hopefully we meet DCC again in the Cup final stages’, acknowledging the talent of DCC (Blikkies, Graeme W, Rudi, Rachitt, Ian P, Peter L, Etienne, Chris M & Umer).

Link to Scorecard:
https://chiangmaisixes.cricket/scorecard/1694

Darjeeling finished Round 1 of the Players section placed 10th, and entered the Shield competition.
Divine Fellons winning due to extras handed over by Darjeeling, and Lanna match (although tied) lost due to less wickets fallen!
https://chiangmaisixes.cricket/match-centre/2019/round1

After a few games of near misses and what could of been, Darjeeling were knocked out in Round 2, losing by the smallest of margins to both the Yorkshire Puddings and Thai Nevada.

Darjeeling bowed out of the competition, clapping the support staff, admin and tournament organisers whilst walking off the field, thanked by the commentators in
https://chiangmaisixes.cricket/match-centre/2019/round2

Link to other scorecards:
https://chiangmaisixes.cricket/scorecard/1705
https://chiangmaisixes.cricket/scorecard/1719
https://chiangmaisixes.cricket/scorecard/1744
https://chiangmaisixes.cricket/scorecard/1766

All in all, a very memorable tour for our 50th, unfortunately not the best results on the field but the Darjeeling squad + support staff did not fail to make an impression!

One night in Bangkok – Julius Mooney

bkk-6s

Following Nick Harvey’s passionate call to arms email before our troops headed to battle in both Bahrain and Bangkok – the stage was set for Darjeeling’s debut in Bangkok.

Sugee and Watto, arrived at the airport a good 5 hours before departure to make sure they were boozed up nicely and to talk tactics, I made the plane…just…when I was accepted 60 mins before departure. (The joys of staff travel). Ferrari owner and property mogul Nathan Williams decided to save himself AED 35 so went with Oman Air, Israr was to meet directly at the venue coming over on EY and Pete, Brandon (Nathans brother) and now honorary club member Chris Waddington (all residing in Thailand) were to meet us in the hotel / ground….

After a VERY bumpy flight…I was passed out fast asleep after drinking copious amounts at the bar, Watto,Sugee, and myself arrived into BKK…were we quickly transferred to the hotel in central Bangkok. At the hotel we were met by Nathan and his old colleague Chris – accompanied by his wife – who thankfully turned out to be one of the lads! Priority number 1, was at least 4 pints in the hotel lobby before a quick change (no time for a shower) and a bus back to near the airport to meet up with the others for our first match of the tournament.

We were met at the ground by Israr – who was no joke of a lie wearing a suit – Kezza would be joining us later in the afternoon. Game 1 we were against last year’s winners. Tight bowling by all of the team kept their score to below 60, the runs were easily knocked off by player of the tournament Watto and Israr, smashing the ball to all parts of the ground. Mandatory beverages for all were consumed between innings and matches….By game 2, Kezza joined with Nathan voluntarily sitting out to make way. Given the treacherous conditions of the ground (astro nailed into wooden planks and an outfield that resembled an Irish bog) there were some comedy classics – with Watto flying arse over a tit to the great amusement of the crowd – everyone chanting his name. tragedy however struck also, with Chris running back (keeper) to collect a ball, slipping and snapping his arm…like a real man he walked off the field, necked a beverage and got in a taxi to the hospital, still in his greens, and for some reason carrying his bat….more of this later….the match continued with Nathan replacing Chris in the field….Israr complained of a “tweak” in his shoulder after 4 wide’s and a no ball – apparently the short run up is not good for his shoulder…heard them all now….

With a score set up below 70 again, Watto, Israr, Kezza (man of the match) and Suggie chased down the runs with ease…..

That was it cricket wise for day one….the next 12 hours, became a real blur….but after the fines convention in Nathan’s room, we all headed out for a team dinner – joined miraculously by Chris – who true to his word was right back on the beverages – mixed in with some very strong painkillers….

After dinner and being the kind of cultured gentleman that we are….we went to a couple of “new age” bars, sipped exotic cocktails, watched some dance routines – similar to river dance, but with less clothes, no men, no Irish music and much nicer breasts…actually come to think of it, it was nothing like river dance….After the bars, Nathan and Kezza recommended that we visit a modern art museum….put it this way – I think we are all converted to Thai modern art….

After approx. 4 hours sleep we were back to the ground, which after the evening downpours, was more like a lake with a few small islands…but hey the game must go on…..and the beverages must keep flowing….

Playing a team from Singapore in match 3 – we were not at our best, bowling first, the oppo got about 80 odd…with normally dart accurate Sugee taking the brunt of the batsman aggression…losing 5 wickets (with me being cleaned up first ball with the second to last ball of the match with 12 needed) we fell 8 short….still with the rain gods being on our side and our superior strike rate we still had a shot to make it to the semis…

A massive storm hit in the afternoon and with a fine list the length of an elephants trunk pretty much occupied by me, a quick team negotiation was made…If I did a Klinsmann during the thunder storm in my pants – the majority of my fines would be absolved…after much deliberation the team agreed and away I went…sadly the puddle I chose was not a grass puddle but a sand puddle – meaning as a dove..the majority of my chest came off…anyway with the alcohol in me I didn’t really notice – it was only 4 days later back in DXB my wife pointed it out…by this time it looked more like nail marks on my chest – or where they?!?!?!?
After 3 straight hours of rain, the committee called the end of the days play…

After a quick shower, we were back out on the town – Soi Cowboy followed by an educational trip to PatPong….Watto was delighted with the piece of art that was presented to him by one of the girls….she had a remarkably unique way of drawing….Brandan and Kezza competed with each other to who was the better ping pong player…given his years of experience in Thailand…Pete certainly won….Sugee was more into the musical instruments….looking on astonished as they played the Sir Lankan national anthem….Israr dressed up in his best suit was more interested in his tinder (or was in grinder) frantically swiping right….it obviously paid off as when Brandon and I returned to the hotel at 3:00am – there he was in reception with 3 “legit” ladies….good lad!

Up at 8:00am the next day, we were checked out and on the way to the ground by 9. We had made the semi’s – and were on second, following one of the slowest matches ever in history played between the organisers and the geriatrics. Knowing that we had to leave latest by 2:00pm to make our 4:00pm flight back, the organiser’s kindly brought forward the cup matches…but time was most certainly not on our side…especially after match one took over 2hours.

Our semi-final went without a hitch with Kezza being the pick of the bowlers taking 3 or 4 wickets, bamboozling the oppo with his flight and spin…tight bowling for the remainder of the team, gave our inform batsman Kezza, Watto, Sugee and Israr little worries in chasing the runs down….

There was no need to worry about time as the other semi-final was over within 25minutes – the Sri-Lankan team (who we would eventually meet in the final) bowling out the oppo within 4 overs for a grand total of 8.

Having made an impact with the other teams, everyone around the side-lines were cheering for Darjeeling in the final. Unfortunately we lost the toss and were put into bat and after some solid hitting from Watto we finished slightly below bar – setting the opp 66 to win. The oppo started well, hitting both Sugee and myself for a fair few, a great middle over from Nath brought things back to par, before Kezza bowled another fantastic tight over, conceding only a couple off it. Watto bowled the last over, with the oppo needing just 15. The first ball got pumped for 6, before a “tactical” long hop sat up nicely for the oppo batsman to hit in the air for Sugee to take a great catch on the fence…Noting that the long hop worked well Watto bowled another on the penultimate ball – again the batsman aiming his shot to Sugee….With 5 needed off the last ball……..it was just too much for the Sri Lankans…..DARJEELING HAD WON…..cheers echoed around the ground – and Watto not to let down his adoring fans decided to do a fully clothed Klinsmann…unfortunately choosing the same puddle as mine – again not sliding particularly far…

At 1:45 we were presented with our trophy and the winners bucket of beverages…..at 1:59 we were changed (un-showered) and on the way to the airport. Arriving to the airport still caked in mud – we were checked in at 2:59 – 2 minutes before we would have been told to bugger off…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game on. 

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

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

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

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

 

The Darjeeling Jaeger Bomb Hakka

For our second game at the GCC 6’s we faced our regular opponents from Dubai, The Wombats. We decided to welcome them onto the field with a Jaeger Bomb fuelled version of the Hakka, led by Kirky